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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Norwalk football nips Rio Hondo Prep in first round of Division 10 playoffs

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

The return of senior running back David Herrera was a welcome sight for the Norwalk High football team as it began the CIF-Southern Section Division 10 football playoffs. Held out of action for the final 11 quarters of the regular season because of an elbow injury, Herrera was in rare form last Friday night, rushing for 188 yards on 17 carries and scoring on an 11-yard run as Norwalk held on for a 28-27 win.

The third-seeded Lancers improved to 10-1 on the season but in two of the last four games, have won by a combined three points. Senior running back Michael Mueller added 108 yards on 12 carries and scored from 51 and eight yards out while senior running back Anthony Martinez added a five-yard score as Norwalk had leads of 14-0 in the first quarter and 20-6 late in the first half before Ryan McCulloch tied the game late in the third quarter on a five-yard run.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Kares took a 27-20 lead on a Nate Curtis 29-yard run. But with less than three minutes remaining in the game, Mueller scored the game winner and the Lancers elected for the two-point conversion instead of sending the game to overtime with Muller providing the extra two points. The game was iced when senior safety Adrian Ramirez intercepted a pass with less than two minutes remaining.

The Lancers won a playoff game for the first time since 2013 when that team advanced to the Southeast Division championship game where they fell to La Serna High 41-38 in overtime. The 10 wins this season marks the third time in the past 25 seasons the program has reached that mark.

Norwalk will be home to a Muir High team that enters Friday’s contest at 5-6. The Mustangs defeated Tustin High 28-21 last Friday but have split their last four games. Muir has scored an average of 14.4 points a game, which bodes too well for Norwalk as it has scored at least 28 points in nine times. The Mustangs have also been shutout four times. The winner of this game will face the victor of the Baldwin Park High-Covina High contest on Nov. 18. Baldwin Park is the second seeded team in the division and no matter who Norwalk plays, if victorious, it would be on the road.

Prediction: Norwalk 42, Muir 7.

Division 12

Valley Christian High (4-7) @ Portola High (4-7)-See V.C./Rancho Alamitos High game story.

Prediction: V.C. 38, Portola 21

Last week: 1-2

Season to date: 44-18-1

In other football action, Cerritos High led Colton High 22-0 after the first quarter in last Friday’s Division 13 first round game and 28-20 at the half before falling late in a high-scoring 42-41 affair. The 605 League champions end their season with a second straight 5-6 record.


The top two teams from the 605 League were eliminated last Friday in the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs. In Division 2, Whitney High was on the short end of a 13-5 decision to second-seeded Beverly Hills High. It was the first loss of the season for the Wildcats (17-1) while in Division 3, Cerritos was edged by fourth-seeded St. Margaret’s High 10-8. The Dons wrapped up the season with a 13-7 record.


A pair of Division 6 teams lost to the top two teams last Saturday in the quarterfinals as top-ranked Hemet High blew past 605 League champion and eighth-seeded Whitney (11-6) 13-5 while Gahr High was blasted by second-seeded Muir 23-7. The Gladiators, who were the third place team in the Gateway League, finish at 9-13.


Artesia High, the defending 605 League champions, begins the season on Tuesday against Calvary Chapel Downey High while Cerritos visits Kennedy High on Tuesday. Gahr will participate in the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary Cardinal Classic all week while John Glenn High is home to Bassett High on Tuesday.

La Mirada High faces Huntington Beach High on Monday while Norwalk hosts St. Anthony High on Monday before participating in the Rumble on Rosecrans Tournament the remainder of the week. V.C. visits Pacifica Christian High on Thursday and Whitney visits Loara High on Tuesday.


Cerritos begins its season on Monday by hosting Peninsula High before going to Yorba Linda High on Wednesday while Gahr visits Long Beach Jordan High on Tuesday before hosting Rancho Dominguez High on Thursday. Glenn travels to Mountain View High on Wednesday while La Mirada goes to Diamond Bar High on Tuesday and Fullerton High on Thursday.

Norwalk visits Loara on Monday and Western High on Thursday while V.C. hosts St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy on Tuesday and Whitney visits Santa Fe High and Sacred Heart on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.


Gahr will be home to V.C. on Tuesday and Whitney on Wednesday while Glenn hosts Whittier Christian High on Wednesday. Norwalk plays Jordan on Tuesday at home


Gahr entertains Kennedy on Wednesday while Glenn welcomes Bassett on Thursday. Norwalk goes to Pioneer High on Tuesday before hosting Bell Gardens High on Thursday while V.C. goes to St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy on Tuesday, then hosts California Academy od Math and Science on Thursday.


Gahr visits Saddleback High on Tuesday and Montebello High on Thursday.