- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
The Southern California high school playoffs kick off tonight, and several intriguing first-round matchups feature USC commits or targets. This weekend will also give USC a chance to impress several recruits who will be on hand when the Trojans travel to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks.
La Puente Bishop Amat (6-4) vs. Rancho Santa Margarita (8-2): Bishop Amat could be riding a high heading into this game. A knee injury knocked Bishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz -- also a USC baseball commit -- out of a late-season loss to Los Angeles Loyola. But after sitting out the season finale, Ruiz will suit up tonight and could be back in action for the Lancers. Though Bishop Amat went just 1-3 in the very difficult Serra League, they won a coin toss to get into the playoffs and will be playing with nothing to lose. Santa Margarita, led by USC commit Max Tuerk, heads into the playoffs after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Anaheim Servite to end the regular season. The Eagles will likely rely on their big offensive line in the first round, where a win would set up a possible matchup with Long Beach Poly.
Inglewood (5-5) vs. West Hills Chaminade (8-2): Two top playmakers will be on the field in this first-round matchup. Inglewood began the season 1-5, but outscored opponents 155-26 over the final four games to make the playoffs. USC target Derrick Woods will lead Inglewood, having played wide receiver as well as quarterback for long stretches this season. Chaminade will counter with 2013 tailback Terrell Newby, who rushed for 1,533 yards and 24 touchdowns this year.
USC targets Arik Armstead and Kevon Seymour visiting Oregon for USC-Oregon game while Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick considers visits.