Helix running back Darien Hancock
Bracket Breakdown: Division II
(1) Helix (10-0)
(8) Valhalla (5-5) vs (9) Mt. Carmel (5-5)
(5) La Costa Canyon (6-4) vs (12) Hilltop (5-5)
(4) Oceanside (7-3)
(3) Mission Hills (8-2)
(6) Rancho Bernardo (8-2) vs (11) Bonita Vista (3-7)
(7) Scripps Ranch (5-4-1) vs (10) Morse (6-4)
(2) Steele Canyon (8-2)
First Round Nov. 19 7 p.m. (top four seeds receive byes)
Quarterfinals Nov. 26 7 p.m.
Semifinals Dec. 2 7 p.m.
Finals Dec. 6 4 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium
Favorite (1) Helix
In the toughest bracket in the section, Helix leads the way after an unbeaten regular season. Led by a scary defense that has allowed only 55 points, if Helix’s an offense full of weapons clicks in the playoffs the Highlanders will find themselves lifting the trophy in Qualcomm Stadium next month.
Sleeper (6) Rancho Bernardo
Is there an 8-2 team that has received less buzz this season than Rancho Bernardo? The Broncos finished second in a competitive Palomar League and their only losses came to Torrey Pines and Mission Hills. Rancho Bernardo can run the ball with backs David Jones and Tyler Gomogda and their defense has only allowed 10 points per game.
First Round Upset (10) Morse over (7) Scripps Ranch
Both these teams have been up and down this season, and Morse (6-4) comes in lopsided winners of two straight with Scripps Ranch (5-4-1) coming off a loss. And road games are nothing new for the Tigers, who have played all their games on the road this season while their stadium is being renovated.
Star Watch QB Hunter Moore, Mission Hills, Sr.
Moore is the leader of a Mission Hills team that has been on the radar since beating Vista on Oct. 29. The senior has a good arm and can take off out of the pocket. The Grizzlies will go as far as Moore will take them.
Potential Matchup to See Semifinals – (1) Helix vs (4) Oceanside
After meeting in the Division II finals for six of the previous eight seasons, Helix and Oceanside won’t see each other in Qualcomm Stadium this year – they might meet sooner. What makes this year different is that the Highlanders would come in as the higher seed.