Narbonne, Carson, Fairfax and Crenshaw lead the Open Division field in the City Section football playoffs.
This is the first time the City Section has installed an Open Division for its top eight teams.
The format was adopted to help give more teams an opportunity to compete for other city and regional state championship berths.
In the old format, only the section champion and runner-up were given a state regional berth in certain cases.
Otherwise, some teams that competed for “lower” division titles have earned an upgrade of sorts, as opposed to waiting at least four or five years for re-leaguing.
The Open Division playoffs begin on Nov. 17. The other L.A. City playoff divisions begin play Nov. 9.
Here are the Division I first-round games, scheduled at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 unless otherwise noted.
Jefferson (7-3) at Arleta (7-3): Jefferson has bobbed and weaved its way into the playoffs like a heavyweight boxer. Now it’s ready to start punching for a few knockouts.
Taft (2-8) at Garfield (5-5): Despite a challenging schedule in the tough Eastern League, Garfield did its best to earn at least a home playoff game, and succeeded in doing so.
The winner of this game will meet the victor of the Hamilton-El Camino Real match.
Hamilton (4-6) at El Camino Real (5-5): Hamilton is accustomed to the postseason — it won a championship a few years ago — and so is El Camino Real. Both are hungry teams ready to compete for the quarterfinals in a very competitive bracket.
Sylmar (5-5) vs. Dorsey (4-6) at Jackie Robinson Stadium:
Thanks to the Open Division format, Dorsey has its best chance to return to the Division I finals without having to face any of the Open Division teams, namely Narbonne, Crenshaw, Carson and Fairfax.
The teams in the Division I are very competitive, but not at the elite level that Dorsey faced earlier in the season. Nevertheless, everyone starts the playoffs 0-0, and the loser goes home.
If Dorsey’s leading unit of Isaiah Smalls, Charles Mincy Jr., Dion Bascom, Keeshawn Johnson, Jojuan Collins, Timothy Mosley and Mekhi Ellis can keep the Dons together despite bouts of inexperience-related mistakes, then destiny is in their hands.
The winner will meet either Palisades or Canoga Park in the next round.
Here are the remaining Division I playoff games:
Grant (8-2) at Westchester (4-6), Los Angeles (1-9) at South Gate (7-3).
Here are the Division II first-round playoff games, scheduled at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 unless otherwise noted.
Hollywood (6-4) at Eagle Rock (9-1), South East (3-7) at View Park (6-4), University (2-8) at Bell (4-6), West Adams (4-6) at Cleveland (5-5), Franklin (5-5) at Reseda (9-1), Washington Prep (3-7) at Roosevelt (5-5) and Belmont (5-5) at Huntington Park (7-3).
Here are the Division III playoff matchups, scheduled at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 unless otherwise noted.
Van Nuys (2-8) at Santee (9-1), Monroe (3-7) at Contreras (7-3), Fremont (3-7) at Verdugo Hills (5-5), Jordan (4-3) at Torres (6-4), Bernstein (5-5) at Locke (7-3), Poly (2-7) at Wilson (5-5), and Legacy (3-7) at Marshall (7-3).
Here are the local teams that are scheduled to begin first-round playoff games in the CIF Southern Section, scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 unless otherwise noted.
Bishop Amat (5-5) at St. John Bosco (8-2): St. John Bosco’s regular season record may look impressive, but there’s nothing to overlook about Bishop Amat, a longtime Southern Section contender.
The other local game in Division I is Serra (6-4) at Corona Centennial (8-1).
Other games involving local teams include: Division II: Redlands East Valley (6-4) at Cathedral (9-1) ); Division III: La Serna (6-4) at St. Francis (9-1); Division IV: Etiwanda (3-7) at Downey (8-2); Division 5: Long Beach Wilson (5-5) at Paramount (9-1); and Los Osos (5-5) at Lawndale (10-0) ).
In the lower brackets there are: Division 6: St. Paul (4-6) at West Torrance (5-5); Division 9: Leuzinger (4-6) at Moreno Valley (8-2); and Norwalk (7-3) at St. Anthony (7-3); Division 10: Gahr (7-3) at Santa Fe (6-4), Montebello (7-3) at Pasadena Poly (8-1-1), Whittier (5-5) at Garden Grove Pacifica (9-1); Division 11: Heritage Christian (8-1) at Culver City (8-1); Division 12: Santa Ana Valley (3-7) at Schurr (9-1); Verbum Dei (5-5) at Godinez (7-3); and Bell Gardens (5-5) at Santa Ana (9-1); and Division 13: Orange (8-2) at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary (6-4).