Top high school football games in the Southland for playoff quarterfinals

Garfield receiver Jayden Barnes leaps in the air holding the football to celebrate a touchdown catch with teammates.
Receiver Jayden Barnes, left, celebrating a touchdown catch in the second quarter of the East L.A. Classic against Roosevelt with teammates, is a two-way star who leads second-seeded Garfield into a quarterfinal playoff game against San Pedro on Thursday. (Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

Analyzing the top high school football games this week:


San Pedro (5-4) at Garfield (9-1), 7 p.m.

No. 2-seeded Garfield begins the City Section Open Division playoffs trying to show it has gained the physicality needed to win it all. The Pirates from the powerful Marine League offer a good first test. Garfield's offensive and defensive lines will try to dominate the trenches. Beware of the versatile Jayden Barnes, Garfield's two-way receiver and defensive back. The pick: Garfield.


Los Alamitos (9-2) at Gardena Serra (8-3), 7 p.m.

These two teams could have been playing in Division 1. Instead it's going to be an entertaining, memorable Division 2 quarterfinal. Los Alamitos quarterback Alonzo Esparza will need to avoid mistakes and get the ball to running back Anthony League. Los Alamitos has to deal with running back Cincere Rhaney and receiver Zacharyus Williams. The pick: Serra.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.