After a thrilling CIF DIII quarterfinal win over the Brawley Wildcats last Friday, your undefeated Santa Fe Christian Eagles will travel to Chula Vista this Friday night to take on the Mater Dei Crusaders in the CIF DIII semi-finals. Here is a preview of the game.
SFC is the #3 seed and Mater Dei is #2 seed in the CIF DIII playoffs. Mater Dei is also ranked in the top 5. Both teams are undefeated.
SFC and Mater Dei have only played one common opponent this season – Brawley. SFC won last week’s playoff game against Brawley by a score of 38-35. In the first game of the season in late August Mater Dei beat Brawley by a score of 53-21. The edge here goes to Mater Dei. However, August was a long time ago.
Interestingly, Mater Dei beat El Capitan in their quarterfinal CIF playoff game by a score of 55-0. A dominant performance. But how good is El Capitan?. Consider that El Capitan and Orange Glen played to a 34-34 tie in the first round of the CIF playoffs which El Capitan won in overtime by a score of 41-34. SFC beat Orange Glen a couple of weeks ago 50-0 in the first half. SFC eventually won the game 50-14. If Orange Glen and El Capitan are comparable teams as evidenced by their game being tied after regulation, it stands reasons that SFC, like Mater Dei last Friday, would also beat El Capitan by a wide margin.
Looking at their respective schedules, Mater Dei played 3 teams with winning records. SFC played 4 teams with winning records. The combined record of Mater Dei opponents is 43-54. The combined record of SFC’s opponents is 54-56. According to MaxPreps, Mater Dei’s schedule has been stronger than SFCs.
On paper SFC and Mater Dei would appear to be pretty evenly matched offensively with each team averaging about 40 points per game.
Mater Dei averages just over 300 passing yards per game which is 2nd in the County behind La Jolla Country Day. Recall that SFC was able to limit the effectiveness of La Jolla Country Day’s passing game and holding the Torrey’s to 230 passing yards, almost 25% less than LJCD’s average for the season. Key to the Game #1: SFC must get pressure on the Mater Dei quarterback and must have good coverage in the secondary to control Mater Dei’s potent passing game.
SFC’s running game (247 yards/game) gets a slight edge against Mater Dei (194 yards/game). Key to the Game #2: SFC must be able to run the ball effectively to control the clock with sustained drives and to keep Mater Dei’s high powered passing offense off the field.
Key to the Game #3: SFC must win the turnover battle. Against Brawley SFC had only one turnover on a meaningless final play of the first half. However, Brawley committed a critical turnover the led to an SFC touchdown. A single turnover could decide the game against Mater Dei.
This should be an exciting game.
Good luck to the Team and Go Eagles!