Friday Night Lights: Bishop’s first playoff foe has played division’s best

Bishop Diego completed its best regular season in football in school history, won a league championship and defeated rival Carpinteria.

The Cardinals will have to put those accomplishments out of mind as they enter the CIF playoffs.

They open against Brentwood in an East Valley Division first-round game Friday at La Playa Stadium.

The Eagles will provide a good challenge for the fourth-seeded Cardinals. They finished third in the Alpha League behind Sierra Canyon and Paraclete, the top two seeds in the East Valley Division.

“They actually played Paraclete — probably the most physical team in the division — very well into the second half before losing their quarterback to injury,” Bishop coach Tom Crawford said.

Brentwood’s most impressive win this season was a 34-14 thrashing of Campbell Hall, which was ranked in the top five at the time.

Crawford said Brentwood is a very disciplined team that uses a lot of shifts and motion in its offense.

Quarterback Connor Boggs has been the starter the last three weeks. His favorite target is 6-2 wide receiver Garrett Swanky, who’s caught 23 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns.

Crawford noted that Brentwood uses several players in their attack

“They have several good offensive players who catch the ball well,” he said. “Defensively, they are disciplined and fast.  In five games, I’m not sure I’ve seen more than one blown coverage.  All their guys run well to the football and their inside linebackers and secondary do a good job covering the pass.”

The Eagles will face a Bishop Diego team full of weapons. If it isn’t Brandon Gonzalez is running through defenders, it’s Jack Gregson sweeping around the end and outrunning them, or Sam Kwock blasting off tackle on a counter play or taking a quick pass from quarterback Nolan Tisdale and bursting into the secondary.

Tisdale’s other targets include Reese Moulton and Troy Skinner.

The defense has been rock solid.

The teams have common opponents in Grace Brethren and Malibu. Brentwood lost to both teams.

“They had an unfortunate loss to Grace in game one (26-23) but had a chance to win it at the end, and the loss to Malibu was when they had 4 or 5 starters out —and it was played in a wind storm,” Crawford said. “I can tell you that we’re not overlooking these guys because this will be a tough 48 minute contest.”


Templeton (5-5, LPL No. 3) at Carpinteria (7-3, TVL No. 2): Both teams enter the Northwest Division playoff opener after losing their regular season finales: Templeton fell to Nipomo 12-0 and the Warriors were beaten by Carpinteria 39-20. Warriors coach Ben Hallock said his team is in good spirits. “Our guys are fine, we are really happy to be in the playoffs and to still be together practicing — enjoying every part of it. Hopefully, we can play well and give ourselves a chance to practice and play another week.

Senior running back Alex Rodriguez was cleared to practice and could see action. He missed the last two games with a knee injury. “We are checking him out and and letting him get his “sea legs” back. We are not sure how much he will play and in what situations yet. We are not going to push him — he has got to know he is ready,” said Hallock.

As for Templeton, Hallock said it can’t be judged on the Nipomo loss. “I think they would like a “do over” against Nipomo in week 10,” Hallock said. “They didn’t look like the same team as in earlier games.  They are the last team to have beaten Lompoc. They played Lompoc tough — basically gave up 5 big plays to Lompoc’s skill guys (one of whom is very good) and played them even from there.”

Hallock said Templeton’s coach Dan Loney played for Larry Welsh at Atascadero and he played on the team that beat Carpinteria in the 1995 CIF Final at La Playa Stadium.


Dos Pueblos (3-7, Channel No. 2) at Arroyo Grande (9-1, Pac-7 No. 1): The Chargers have played against some strong teams this year like Righetti, Lompoc, Canyon and Ventura. But none of those teams have the size of second-seeded Arroyo Grande. The Eagles’ quarterback, 6-5, 220-pound Brent Vanderveen, is bigger than any player on the DP roster. He’s made a commitment to Oregon State. They also have a couple of tackles who weigh 290. The big offensive line has bulldozed opponents for 369 points.

Dos Pueblos will be counting on the running of Josh Bartley to stay in the CIF Western Division first-round game. Bartley’s return to the lineup has been key to the team’s three-game win streak. The Chargers’ defense suffered a blow last week when Isaac Gomez suffered a leg injury.


  1. Bolthead Charger says

    GO CHARGERS!!!!!

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