A look at this week’s top high school football playoff games:
Lake Balboa Birmingham (5-5) at Lincoln (10-0), 7 p.m.
The City Section Open Division playoffs begin with No. 4 Birmingham taking on No. 5. Lincoln, which is having one of its best seasons ever behind running back Andre Watkins, who has rushed for 1,585 yards and 1`9 touchdowns. Birmingham, after going 0-5 against Southern Section foes, has dominated City Section competition. The versatile Arlis Boardingham and linebacker Delamonte Barnes lead the defending City champion Patriots. The pick: Birmingham.
Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (6-4) at Vista Murrieta (9-2), 7 p.m.
Sierra Canyon, seeded No. 2 in Southern Section Division 2, will have to contain Vista Murrieta running back Gavin Galzote, who has rushed for 1,666 yards and 21 touchdowns. Sierra Canyon will try to use its speed and experience from playing a number of Division 1 opponents. The pick: Sierra Canyon.