Tomorrow night, the South Pasadena Tigers will make the near 40-mile trek down the 210 freeway to face the Los Osos Grizzlies in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division 9 playoffs.
The Tigers are coming off their fifth straight winning season, led by head coach Jeff Chi, and are powered by senior running back Jason Hong, who is currently the state’s 12th leading rusher with 1938 yards. For Los Osos, they’re looking to bounce back after a close call with South Hills, a game they won 19-13 and a likely investigation into an incident where video showed two varsity players whipping a JV player in the locker room.
Now, let’s take a closer look at three key players to watch in tomorrow night’s playoff action.
Jason Hong, Running Back #22 (Senior, South Pasadena High School):
South Pasadena’s offense is on fire this season, thanks in no small part to the explosive playmaking of Hong, scoring more than 50 points in three times. Standing at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Hong has led the Tigers to a 9-1 season and a share of the Rio Hondo league crown, splitting with Monrovia and San Marino. In their homecoming game earlier this year, Hong rushed for four touchdowns, which catapulted him into the top 15 nationally with 37.
Mason Overacker, Quarterback #7 (Senior, Los Osos High School):
Overacker ranked second in the Citrus 4 league this season, tallying 1,334 yards, nearly three times the national average according to MaxPreps this season. He also ranks second in the league with 10 passing touchdowns. With only four interceptions this season, Overacker looks to spoil the Tigers hopes at advancing to the next round.
Sawyer Fox, Kicker #21 (Senior, South Pasadena High School):
Listed as both a tight end and defensive end, Fox plays a crucial role for the Tigers. The team ranks fifth in the CIF with 49 PATs and is third in the Southern Section. He also leads the Southern Section with a punt/yard average of 57.33. In the homecoming game against La Cañada, at least two kickoffs went into the back of the endzone, giving trouble to the Los Osos team which led the league in kickoff return yards this season.
Kickoff is slated for 7pm at Los Osos on Nov. 3 and the winner will face either Dominguez (Compton) or Kaiser (Fontana) in the next round.
Our own Jonathan Williams will have a full recap, sideline, pregame and postgame interviews after the game concludes.