SAN JOSE -- Terra Nova has had a season to remember this fall, scoring points at pinball pace on its way to a perfect record, and Sunday the Tigers were rewarded for their efficiency.
They received the No. 1 seed in the Central Coast Section Open Division football playoffs.
That's the good news for the Tigers.
The bad news is that because of a section bylaw that prevents teams from the same league playing each other in the first round, Terra Nova will not face presumed eighth-seed Pioneer, a team the Tigers beat by 41 points in September.
Pioneer and Valley Christian had to swap places because Valley Christian could not open against second-seeded and West Catholic Athletic League mate Serra.
So instead of another game against Pioneer, Terra Nova will play at home in Pacifica on Friday night against Valley Christian, the official eighth seed.
"As I always say, our goal is to win the league title, and whatever happens after that, we'll deal with it," said Bill Gray, Terra Nova's longtime coach.
The top seeds in the other divisions, which unlike the Open are categorized by enrollment, were Alvarez (Division I), St. Francis (Division II), Burlingame (Division III) and Sacred Heart Prep (Division IV).
Terra Nova will be making its third consecutive trip to the Open playoffs. It lost to Bellarmine College Prep at San Jose City College in its previous two appearances.
Gray feels much better about this year's team, which has had only one game (Sequoia) decided by single digits.
"After the last two years, with our experiences with Bellarmine, the first year we didn't handle it very well, the second year we did quite a bit better," Gray said. "Of those three teams that have gotten pushed into the Open, this is certainly the best by far. We're healthy, and we're heading into it very confident. Very confident."
Valley Christian rallied from a 9-0, fourth-quarter deficit Saturday at St. Ignatius to win 10-9, or it would have moved down to Division III. The Warriors lost their star running back, Kirk Johnson, two weeks ago when he tore ligaments in his shoulder against St. Francis.
"He's obviously a key player for us and is a big-time back," Valley Christian coach Mike Machado said.
Because of its loss Saturday at Serra, Archbishop Mitty dropped to the fifth seed in the Open, behind four of the five league champions that automatically qualify. The Monarchs will open against No. 4 Palma in Salinas.
Wilcox, which got the automatic Open spot from its league after Milpitas lost Friday, was seeded third and will play at home Friday against No. 6 Bellarmine.
Serra will play host to Pioneer on Saturday afternoon.
"It's the first time we've had a home game in the Open Division," Serra coach Patrick Walsh said. "It's always nice to come out of your own locker room."
CCS football playoffs
No. 8 Valley Christian (7-3) at No. 1 Terra Nova (10-0), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 5 Mitty (9-1) vs. No. 4 Palma (7-3), Friday at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Pioneer (7-3) at No. 2 Serra (8-2), Saturday at 1 p.m.
No. 6 Bellarmine (7-3) at No. 3 Wilcox (9-1), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 8 Monta Vista (7-2) at No. 1 Alvarez (10-0), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 5 Independence (5-5) at No. 4 San Benito (5-5), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 7 Homestead (8-1) at No. 2 Milpitas (8-2), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 6 Salinas (5-5) at No. 3 Piedmont Hills (7-3), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 8 Andrew Hill (8-2) at No. 1 St. Francis (7-3), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 5 Palo Alto (5-5) at No. 4 Leland (7-3), Saturday at 7 p.m.
No. 7 North Salinas (7-3) at No. 2 Los Gatos (7-3), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 6 Oak Grove (5-5) at No. 3 Menlo-Atherton (7-3), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 8 Hillsdale (7-3) at No. 1 Burlingame (10-0), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 6 Willow Glen (5-5) at No. 3 Leigh (8-2), Saturday at 7 p.m.
No. 5 St. Ignatius (2-8) vs. No. 4 Christopher (7-3), Friday at Gilroy at 7 p.m.
No. 7 Aragon (7-3) at No. 2 Aptos (7-3), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 8 Seaside (5-5) at No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (9-1), Saturday at 1 p.m.
No. 5 Monterey (7-3) vs. No. 4 Menlo (6-4), Friday at Sequoia, 7:30 p.m.
No. 7 Pacific Grove (9-1) at No. 2 Live Oak (9-1), Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 6 Scotts Valley (8-2) vs. No. 3 Carmel (10-0), Friday at Pacific Grove, 7 p.m.