With previous wins of 42-12 in last year’s CIF Northern California Division IV and 38-24 earlier this season, there weren’t too many casual observers who were worried that defending CIF Division IV state champion Central Catholic of Modesto might run into some difficulty against McClymonds of Oakland in Friday’s NorCal D4 bowl game that was played at Lincoln of Stockton.
Central Catholic head coach Roger Canepa wasn’t one of them. He knew that the Warriors would come primed for the upset. This was a team, after all, that was leading 18-14 in that earlier game.
McClymonds’ effort was noble, especially since star running back Lavance Warren was lost to injury in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors couldn’t get that upset and fell to the Raiders 17-14.
“I was definitely worried because of the style of football that they play, but I thought eventually they’d get tired,” said Canepa, who is taking his team next Friday to play Bakersfield Christian (12-2) in the CIF Division IV state bowl game. “That’s a very good team we just had to beat.”
After trailing by just 10-8 at halftime, the Warriors had several chances to take the lead in the third quarter. One drive ended on downs, another ended on an interception by Drew Loya and a third ended on another interception by Nic Navarro.
Following Navarro’s interception, the Raiders extended their lead to 17-8 on a 40-yard TD pass to tight end Jared Rice from quarterback Hunter Petlansky.
McClymonds didn’t score until there was one minute on the clock on a 6-yard TD pass from Emani Fountain to Lavon Washington. By then, the Warriors needed to recover an onside kick to keep going and they didn’t.