Predicting high school football games isn't as easy as it looks.
Before the CIF Southern Section playoffs began last week, I thought the three local teams were sure winners. I don't always go with the teams in our coverage area because they're local. Just ask the five football coaches in the area.
But I had Corona del Mar and Estancia penciled in to play each other in the Southern Division quarterfinals. The matchup, featuring CdM's no-huddle attack and Estancia's physical ground game, would've been great to cover.
I was so sure that CdM and Estancia would square off this week that one of my first questions to Coach Scott Meyer, after he led his CdM team to an impressive 35-0 win against Anaheim in the opening round last Thursday, was what he thought about seeing Estancia in the next round.
Meyer said he couldn't predict a winner of the next day's game between Estancia and Los Amigos, even though I already had. Meyer talked highly of the Eagles. They impressed him when CdM and the Eagles scrimmaged before the season.
Late last Friday night, I found out that the Sea Kings and Eagles won't get to play for real this year.
Estancia lost at home to Los Amigos, 41-14. The Eagles committed seven turnovers, the most this season. A year after making the semifinals for the first time in the program's history, Estancia was one-and-done in the playoffs.
The area's two teams that are still alive in the playoffs are CdM and Newport Harbor, which is the Southwest Division. Both have winnable quarterfinal road games Friday at 7 p.m., Sea Kings (9-2) play Los Amigos (8-3) at Bolsa Grande High and the Sailors (7-4) face Villa Park (10-1) at El Modena High.
Just like last week, I'll be going with the local teams. Heck, I'm correct 76 percent of the time in picking winners, good enough for first place in our sports department.
Talalelei Teaupa is a Samoan fire knife dancer when he's not carrying the football for Newport Harbor.
He still finds ways to carve up defenses on the field.
The senior tailback rushed 26 times for 272 yards and two touchdowns last week in the Sailors' 42-21 victory against Troy in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoffs.
Teaupa's yards on the ground rank eighth for single-game performances in the Sailors' record book. His yardage is the third best when it comes to playoff games, only Ryan Rippon's 306-yard game against Tustin in 2005 and Andre Stewart's 294-yard game against Villa Park in 1999 are better.
For the season, Teaupa has rushed for 1,577 yards. The single-season total is the ninth best in the Sailors' history.
When Newport Harbor and Villa Park play in football, it's always in the playoffs.
The programs meet for the third time in the postseason. The other times they played, the Sailors won in the first round, 34-13, in 1997, and won, 35-16, in the quarterfinals in 1999.
The Corona del Mar and Sage Hill girls' volleyball programs each reached CIF Southern Section title matches last year.
Both are one victory away from playing for section crowns again. To get there, both will have to win on the road Tuesday.
The Sea Kings (28-6) are at top-seeded Redondo Union (34-3) in a Division 1-AA semifinal match at 7 p.m.
The third-seeded Lightning (25-6) are at second-seeded Ontario Christian (20-5) in a Division 3-A semifinal match at 7 p.m.