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WCA Champions League Postseason Preview

Gavin Cribb carries the ball during a 40-6 Cal Strength win on Jan. 30, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Gavin Cribb carries the ball during a 40-6 Cal Strength win on Jan. 30, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

All five weeks of the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League regular season are complete. Here are five things West Coast Preps is looking at heading into the postseason this weekend. 

Does Cal Strength put the cherry on top?

All travel ball season, Cal Strength has been one of the most complete teams in the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League.

Cal Strength compiled a 4-1 record during the regular season, with its only defeat coming in 21-14 fashion in overtime to OC Elite in the fourth game. In its last four games, three opponents failed to score in double figures, and one was shutout.

But that’s only where the dominance begins.

Its offense – led by two Danville junior quarterbacks in Monte Vista’s Dyllan Devitt and San Ramon Valley’s Jack Quigley – are producing every change they get. 

Two of Quigley’s last three games featured more than 130 passing yards on a running clock, highlighted by 157 yards and three touchdowns in week No. 3 for West Coast Preps Athlete of the Week honors and later capping it off with a 9-for-11 effort for 139 yards and a touchdown this past weekend. 

Devitt has more than 125 yards in two games, highlighted by 162 yards and three scores in the second week of the regular season. His other big day was 127 passing yards in week No. 3.

Meanwhile, Monte Vista senior running back Gavin Cribb – with an offer from George Fox – is progressing as the year rolls along, with a 36-yard rushing day in the fourth game and a 40-yard rushing day last weekend.

Plus, the receiving corps is deep, including a week 3 game when 10 plays caught a pass. This past game, six players caught a pass and three exceeded 25 yards – Pittsburg senior Matthew Quesada (89 yards), Monte Vista junior Cole Boscia (33 yards) and Monte Vista junior tight end Jack Endries (28 yards).

Cal Strength faces Giants at 7:45 a.m. Saturday.

What does Cal Strength’s defense accomplish this week?

The defensive display by Cal Strength is one for the ages in Southern California.

Opponents have scored 34 points over the past four games, equating to an average of just 8.5 points per contest. Only one team scored 10-plus points.

And, in the regular season finale, Cal Strength’s defensive unit really came to play, forcing four turnovers, creating more than eight tackles for loss and scoring two defensive touchdowns – one one Monte Vista senior linebacker Josh Zeising’s pick six and another on Amador Valley sophomore defensive lineman Brady Nassar’s fumble recovery in the end zone.

San Ramon Valley junior defensive back Za’Darion Nardi intercepted two passes and was named the West Coast Preps Athlete of the Week

Next steps for Xclusive Speed’s receiving corps

Last week was a masterful performance from Xclusive Speed’s air attack.

Not only did Pittsburg senior quarterback Eli Brickhandler – the first-ever West Coast Preps Athlete of the Month – dominate with 300-plus all-purpose yards, but the receivers all across the roster shined and have done so all season.

Seven different Xclusive Speed receivers caught passes, with Denmark (Georgia) senior Azari Brown leading the way with four catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Brown has provided some important performances throughout, including the game-winning touchdown grab in week 2 and then his 39 yards and three scores the following game.

Manteca junior Khalid Robinson is on a tear. For the third time in the last four games, he surpassed 40-plus yards after his season-high 60 yards and a score on four receptions in the 35-7 trouncing of the West Coast Islanders in the regular season finale.

Valley Christian sophomore Jurrion Dickey – a top 100 class of 2023 prospect who recently added an Arizona offer – just had 37 yards on two catches, part of a travel ball season that includes a ridiculous 144 yards in week 2.

And then there’s Northgate senior Andrew Daigle, one of the hardest workers of the offseason, who tallied 35 yards on two catches – both of which were crucial receptions – for Xclusive Speed to cap the regular season.

Xclusive Speed vs. Iron Sharpens Iron’s defense

Another exciting matchup to watch is this prolific Xclusive Speed offense against Iron Sharpens Iron’s stingy defense at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

The Xclusive Speed offense continues churning out impressive performances, not only from its air attack, but also from a punishing ground game. Oak Grove senior running back Elias Herrera amassed 30 yards each of the last three games – including an Athlete of the Week effort when he had 66 all-purpose yards in week 4 – while Castro Valley senior running back Michael Lewis combined for 61 yards on seven touches over the past two games.

But Iron Sharpens Iron’s defense is one of the top defenses in the WCA Champions League.

Opponents are scoring 12.5 points per game against Iron Sharpens Iron over the last four games. One of those was a shutout. Another game featured two defensive touchdowns from the opposition, so offenses are technically averaging nine points versus ISI.

Antonio Henry building off his last effort

Yuba City senior receiver Antonio Henry starred in Iron Sharpens Iron’s 21-14 defeat to Southwest.

Henry totaled 89 yards on three catches. One of those receptions was a 76-yard score that tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.

It was the second time Henry notched a big showing during the travel ball circuit, coming a few weeks following a week 3 display when he recorded a 17-yard catch.

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