The road to the Central Section Division I football championship will once again go through Central High.
The Grizzlies were awarded the top-seed in the D-I playoffs, set to begin Thursday because of the Veterans Day holiday on Friday. Central is top-ranked in The Bee’s Coaches’ Top 10 poll and finished off its second straight undefeated Tri-River Athletic Conference season Friday night with a 55-7 win over Clovis East.
Central’s only loss this year was to national power De La Salle-Concord.
The Grizzlies’ top TRAC rivals are seeded No. 2 (Clovis West) and No. 3 (Buchanan).
Clovis West (8-2, 4-1) bounced back from its 40-13 loss to Central last week and defeated Clovis 45-21 in a finale Friday. The Golden Eagles finish second in the TRAC.
And Buchanan (8-2, 3-2) takes third in the league, having lost to Central and Clovis West to start conference play but concluding it with wins against Clovis, Clovis East and Clovis North.
Liberty-Bakersfield (6-4, 5-0) beat defending D-I champion Bakersfield 27-24 Friday night to win the Southwest Yosemite League and secure the No. 4 seed in D-I.
Undefeated Tulare Union is the top seed in D-II, which only has eight teams. The Tribe finished off an undefeated regular season by beating rival Tulare Western 62-41 Friday night in a battle of unbeatens.
As expected, Tulare Western earned the top seed in D-III.
Golden West, which finished second in the West Yosemite League, is No. 1 in D-IV. Undefeated teams are top seeds in the next two divisions, Caruthers (D-V) and defending section champion Strathmore (D-VI).
Fresno Christian is top-seeded in the 8-man division.
Playoff pairings were set in meetings that began Saturday morning at the Central Section office in Porterville.
Central Section football playoffs
All games Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. unless noted
No. 11 Clovis North at No. 6 Edison, Sunnyside Stadium
No. 10 Ridgeview at No. 7 Clovis
No. 9 Sanger at No. 8 Bullard, McLane Stadium
Byes: No. 1 Central, No. 2 Clovis West, No. 3 Buchanan, No. 4 Liberty-Bakersfield, No. 5 Bakersfield
No. 8 Sunnyside at No. 1 Tulare Union
No. 7 Lemoore at No. 2 Dinuba
No. 6 Redwood at No. 3 El Diamante
No. 5 Frontier at No. 4 Garces
No. 13 Fresno at No. 4 Independence
No. 12 South at No. 5 Tehachapi
No. 11 Chowchilla at No. 6 Kingsburg
No. 10 West at No. 7 Highland
No. 9 Mt. Whitney at No. 8 Madera
Byes: No. 1 Tulare Western, No. 2 San Joaquin Memorial, No. 3 Bakersfield Christian
No. 12 Monache at No. 5 Liberty-Madera Ranchos
No. 11 East Bakersfield at No. 6 North
No. 10 Wasco at No. 7 Delano
No. 9 Exeter at No. 8 Roosevelt, Sunnyside Stadium, Nov. 10, 7 p.m.
Byes: No. 1 Golden West, No. 2 Central Valley Christian, No. 3 Selma, No. 4 Kerman
No. 11 Lindsay at No. 6 Coalinga
No. 10 Bishop at No. 7 Hanford West
No. 9 Fowler at No. 8 Kennedy
Byes: No. 1 Caruthers, No. 2 Shafter, No. 3 Firebaugh, No. 4 Yosemite, No. 5 Immanuel
No. 8 Orange Cove at No. 1 Strathmore
No. 7 Sierra Pacific at No. 2 Rosamond
No. 6 California City at No. 3 Riverdale
No. 5 Orosi at No. 4 Granite Hills
Opening round, dates and times TBA
No. 6 Desert at No. 3 Laton
No. 5 Alpaugh at No. 4 Riverdale Christian
Byes: No. 1 Fresno Christian, No. 2 Trona