Tesoro was awarded an at-large berth Sunday morning, meaning the Titans—who lost three of their last four games—will be in the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs.
The Titans (7-3) won't have an easy time of it, though; they will play at third-seeded Bellflower St. John Bosco (6-4), which went undefeated on the field but lost four games by forfeit.
Tesoro, the third-place from the South Coast League, was selected as the at-large team ahead of Serra League third-place team La Puente Bishop Amat (6-4) because of its strength of schedule, its strength of league, and record against common opponents (Tesoro beat Chino Hills and Amat tied Chino Hills).
Bishop Amat was then tabbed the second at-large team because a fourth-place team from the same league can't be chosen ahead of a third-place team.
Encino Crespi (8-2) was the fourth-place team from the Serra League, but couldn't be considered for an at-large berth until Bishop Amat had been considered. Much of the talk among football coaches at the pairings was that Crespi was the most deserving of an at-large berth.
- Here are the list or criteria for determining at-large teams:
- Head-to-head competition (4 points)
- Overall strength of league (1 point)
- Overall win-loss record (1 point)
- Strength against common opponents (1 point)
- Strength of schedule (2 points, using overall win-loss record of opponents)
One of the marquee games in the first round will feature defending champion Santa Margarita (8-2) against El Toro (9-1) at Trabuco Hills High. Santa Margarita finished third in the Trinity League and El Toro finished second in the South Coast League.
"I like the idea of local community," said Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch. "We had the Rumble at the Ranch (against Tesoro) for a couple of years. Last year we had a wonderful game at Mission Viejo. To go against El Toro—I love local community football."
Mission Viejo (10-0) was the second-seeded team after winning the South Coast title; the Diablos will play host to Westlake Village Westlake (6-4) in the first round.
"It's very strong," said Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson, whose team has lost in the semifinals the past three seasons. "You better be playing your A game every week. It's a great challenge."
Ventura St. Bonaventure (9-1), whose only loss was to Santa Margarita when SMCHS still had Johnny Stanton at quarterback, is the top-seeded team; the Seraphs will open against the only easy mark in the 16-team bracket, Long Beach Cabrillo (3-7). One of Cabrillo's losses was to San Clemente, 37-6; San Clemente beat Tesoro two weeks ago and finished in a three-way tie with the Titans and Trabuco Hills, but Tesoro won a coin flip to get the third-place designation ahead of San Clemente.
Other local teams that were among the top four seeded teams in their division: No. 1 Corona del Mar and No. 2 Laguna Beach in the Southern Division; and No. 2 St. Margaret's in the East Valley Division.
Here's a look at playoff brackets for local teams, with home team listed second:
Long Beach Cabrillo (3-7) vs. No. 1 St. Bonaventure (9-1)
Santa Margarita (8-2) vs. El Toro (9-1) at Trabuco Hills
Moorpark (8-2) vs. Mission Hills Alemany (8-2)
Lakewook (8-2) vs. No. 4 Mater Dei (8-2) at Santa Ana Stadium
Tesoro (7-3) vs. No. 3 Bellflower St. John Bosco (6-4)
Westlake Village Oaks Christian (8-2) vs. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (7-3)
La Puente Bishop Amat (6-4) vs. Long Beach Poly (7-3) at Veterans Stadium
Westlake (6-4) vs. No. 2 Mission Viejo (10-0)
Esperanza (6-4) vs. No. 1 Edison (9-1)
Sonora (5-5) vs. Valencia (7-3)
Los Alamitos (6-4) vs. La Habra (7-3)
Laguna Hills (6-3) vs. No. 4 Foothill (8-2)
Yorba Linda (8-2) vs. No. 3 Villa Park (9-1)
Troy (7-3) vs. Newport Harbor (6-4)
Huntington Beach (5-5) vs. Capistrano Valley (8-2)
El Dorado (4-6) vs. No. 2 Tustin (10-0)
Anaheim (5-5) vs. No. 1 Corona del Mar (8-2)
Los Amigos (7-3) vs. Estancia (7-3)
Woodbridge (5-5) vs. Westminster (6-4)
Godinez (4-6) vs. No. 4 Katella (8-2)
Beckman (3-7) vs. No. 3 Garden Grove (8-2)
Santa Ana Valley (7-3) vs. Segerstrom (8-2)
Rancho Alamitos (7-3) vs. Northwood (4-6)
Loara (3-7) vs. No. 2 Laguna Beach (9-0-1)
Rubidoux (10-0) vs. No. 1 Ontario Christian (10-0)
Brethren Christian (6-4) vs. Big Bear (8-2)
Yucca Valley (5-5) vs. Citrus Valley (5-5)
Jurupa Hills (6-4) vs. No. 4 Fillmore (8-2)
Shadow Hills (6-4) vs. No. 3 Banning (9-1)
Malibu (7-3) vs. Linfield Christian (4-6)
Rim of the World (8-2) vs. Twentynine Palms (6-4)
Aquinas (6-4) vs. No. 2 St. Margaret's (9-1)
No. 1 Bishop Diego (10-0) vs. South Torrance (4-6)
Village Christian (6-4) vs. Bishop Montgomery (7-2)
Mary Star of the Sea (4-5) vs. Gladstone (9-1)
Oak Park (5-5) vs. No. 4 North Torrance (8-2)
Compton Centennial (3-7) vs. No. 3 La Salle (8-2)
El Segundo (6-4) vs. La Puente (8-2)
Torrance (5-5) vs. Whittier Christian (7-3)
Sierra Vista (7-3) vs. No. 2 Nordhoff (9-1)
Frazier Mountain (6-4) vs. No. 1 Mission Prep (8-1)
Flintridge Prep (5-4) vs. Ribet Academy (9-1)
Lancaster Desert Christian (4-5) vs. Bishop Union (8-2)
Capistrano Valley Christian (8-2) vs. No. 4 Salesian (9-1)
Hamilton (5-5) vs. No. 3 Boron (9-1)
St. Monica Catholic (6-4) vs. Kern Valley (7-3)
Desert (6-4) vs. Saddleback Valley Christian (6-4)
Bellarmine-Jefferson (4-6) vs. No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep (8-1)