Enterprise No Match For ‘Nade

Chaminade QB Brad Kaaya completed 17 of 26 passes during his team's win over Enterprise of Redding in the CIF Division II state bowl game. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Chaminade QB Brad Kaaya completed 17 of 26 passes during his team’s win over Enterprise of Redding in the CIF Division II state bowl game. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Chaminade of West Hills wins its first-ever section title and state title in the same season by virtue of its 41-9 victory over Northern Section representative Enterprise of Redding in the CIF Division II State Championship Bowl Game. Chaminade’s dominant performance is not surprising considering the available section champions from the North in this division and completes a seven-year journey for one of the state’s best coaches.

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When potential section champions began to emerge in this division in the postseason, it became apparent the SoCal representative would be a huge favorite over section champions that potentially could represent NorCal.

This scenario became magnified when Serra of Gardena, which was eyed as a potential opponent for St. John Bosco of Bellflower in the SoCal Open Division bowl game, lost to Chaminade of West Hills, Enterprise’s opponent in Saturday afternoon’s Div. II bowl game, in the CIF Southern Section Western Division title game.

Chaminade wasn’t chosen for the SoCal Open Division game, and that created a tall task for the unbeaten CIF Northern Section Division I champs when the Eagles were chosen for the Division II contest. Even if Chaminade would have lost to CIFSS Northern Division champ Hart of Newhall in the SoCal Division II bowl, the Indians owned an earlier win over Chaminade and the tall task would have been relatively the same. When it all played out, the unfortunate scenario became reality as Chaminade simply had too many weapons and cruised to a 41-9 victory.

Chaminade (14-2) capped a memorable season in which it not only won the program’s first section title in 61 years of playing football, but also avenged both of its regular season losses — the other being a 36-0 setback to Serra in Mission League play.

Chaminade also became the second program ever from the San Fernando Valley to win a CIF state title. In 2011, Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth won the Division IV title with a 34-13 victory over Le Grand.

“This was going to be an expression of everything we’ve been about this season,” said Chaminade head coach Ed Croson. “The state final in this division for the last two years basically has now been between us and Serra. That game was really the winner-take-all. This game was the like the big prize at the end of the journey.”

Enterprise running back Izzy Matthew found the going tough against Chaminade's defense. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Enterprise running back Izzy Matthew found the going tough against Chaminade’s defense. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

For Enterprise (13-1), its first loss of the season dropped the CIF Northern Section to 0-2 all-time in CIF State Championship Bowl Games. In 2008, Hamilton Union lost 59-7 to St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano in the inaugural Division IV bowl game.

The game was competitive in the first quarter as both teams traded field goals. After Enterprise (the most Northern team geography-wise in the state ever to appear in a state bowl game) tied the game with 1:38 remaining in the first quarter on a 37-yard field goal by Sheldon Highfill, Chaminade’s Donovan Lee simply took the game over and led his team to victory.

Lee set an individual CIF state bowl game record with three interceptions and two touchdowns.

“We all knew this was going to be a big stage,” said Lee, who has committed to Colorado. “We wanted to be able to show people how far we’ve come this season. These are memories you just can’t beat.”

Lee got Chaminade’s explosion going by taking a swing pass near midfield down to the Enterprise six-yard line with 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter. On the first snap of the second period, QB Brad Kaaya (17-23, 276 yards, 2 TDs) hit senior WR Brayden Lenius on a 10-yard touchdown reception.

After junior defensive lineman Joel Loth picked off a screen pass thrown by Enterprise QB Bobby Luken (10-20, 77 yards, 4 INts), Kaaya hit Lenius for a 38-yard reception and on the next play Lee took a sweep nine yards around the right side to paydirt to give ‘Nade a 17-3 lead with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter.

Lee promptly picked off Luken one minute and 20 seconds later on a pass in the flat and went in 19 yards for a touchdown and a 24-3 lead.

Asked if it was one of the easiest touchdowns he’s ever scored, Lee said. “I told myself to him (Luken) don’t throw it, don’t throw it and he did.”

Right before the half, Lee picked off his second pass at Chaminade’s eight-yard line to kill a potential Enterprise scoring drive. His third interception with a 32-yard return came with 10:01 remaining in the third period. Offensively, Lee gained 23 yards rushing and caught three passes for 50 yards.

After Lee’s heroics, Chaminade added a 20-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 27-3 lead and Kayaa threw touchdown passes to Kieran Yancy (3 yards) and Brandyn Lee (30 yards) to round out Nade’s scoring.

The Enterprise faithful finally had something to cheer about with 10 seconds remaining in the game when back-up QB Chase Turner connected with Justin Abney with seven seconds remaining in the game.

“We wanted to prove we can play football up north, and we were pretty decent in the first half,” Enterprise coach Darren Trueblood said. “The boys couldn’t give us one more ounce of effort than they gave us, we just ran into a team that had too much. The trophy we got isn’t the one we wanted, but we’ll take it.”

Although Abney’s touchdown was a lighthearted moment, there will be nothing for the CIF and California football fans to cheer about if future games in this particular division continue in this manner. When all the section champions are crowned, there simply isn’t many NorCal teams that can compete with its SoCal counterparts using the current bowl selection criteria and cutoffs.

Perhaps a future North Coast Section Division II champ such as Clayton Valley of Concord can be a viable opponent, but a Northern Section Division I champ surely won’t be for a team likely to finish No. 3 in the final overall state rankings.

For Croson, the win over Enterprise rubberstamps his resume as one of the state’s best coaches. After winning three L.A. City Section titles in four years and four overall at Birmingham of Lake Balboa, Chaminade hired him to make the program competitive amongst the state’s very best.

Croson’s 2007 Birmingham championship club was narrowly edged out of a bowl berth by Corona Centennial, but tonight’s victory completes the mission he began at his previous school.

“In retrospect, maybe I’m not as afraid of (the Open Division) as I thought,” Croson said. “Maybe this team could have competed, the way Brad has been playing and the way guys like Brayden have gotten. It was great to get over the hump (with the win over Serra). A lot of people, a lot of kids all contributed to this.”

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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  1. randy wise
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    If I remember right Izzy Matthews of Enterprise ran for 182 yrds. Don’t think the comment under the pic is quite accurate! He did not find the going tough against the elite So. Cal Champ. I find this article to be totally biased and offensive in comments. As far as I am concerned, make it Nor Cal and So Cal div champs and leave it at that. After all, why waste a trip all the way down there if we can never compete…. Right. Maybe true but what a slap in the face.
    Two things to remember… #1 They should alternate venues south and north every yr or at least meet half way in the state to make it fair. #2 Then play a 9 regular season, start a week earlier and come up with a true state playoff. Texas can manage to do it and they are a large state. That takes away the doubters about the selection process. aka “worthy opponent”. This isn’t a beauty contest it’s football! Settle it on the field of make it a split like I said earlier. Finally, lets not overlook the fact that Chaminade is a private school that recruits a large area. Enterprise is a public school with local talent within set boundaries…

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 24, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      Games will be at Sac State I believe in a coming season. Second, it’s ridiculous for every school in the state to cut back to 9 games so we can have a playoff system like Texas. The first priority in all high school sports is participation and for thousands of kids to have to get one game cut out to satisfy playoffs would be really sad.

  2. Thomas Turner
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I agree with Randy. I played at Red Bluff High School and was on the 1978 NSCIF Championship Team and always wondered if our team could have competed at the regional or State level, and thanks to this great Enterprise High School team know I know!
    I think that if our area had a way of recruiting eletie athletes the author of this article would be singing a different tune.

  3. LevelTheField
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Another state ring, another cheater. These fools are just as dirty as Bosco. Ayinde Bomani coaches a midget team and the Nade JV team…which is illegal. He is also the cat who pulls in transfers and illegally recruits middle school kids.

    Pat yourself on the back too…

  4. Mike
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious Northern Section teams can’t really compete at the State Championship level. There are 6 sections in NorCal. Bowl committee members should do a better job of selecting teams capable of making it a game.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see any other teams from the bowl division that Enterprise was in that could have done any better. That game had nothing to do about Northern Section weakness. It was NorCal lack of depth and one team coming out of that to face perhaps the second-best team in the South period.

      • Jack
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        Casa Grande, Clayton Valley, and Miramonte would have given Chaminade a game. Anyone who saw Miramonte’s playoff run in person and saw Enterprise in person would understand that. You knew the fix was in when Cal-Hi had CVC seed #3 and Miramonte #6, Inderkom #5 and Manteca #8, and when Miramonte and Manteca won suddenly Manteca leap-frogged Miramonte to #4.

        • Mark Tennis
          Posted December 25, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Yeah, it was a fix. We never look at information and make selections based on 30 years of experience. It’s only politics and what people pay us. The fix was Miramonte trying to play the system by moving up from D3 to D2 so it wouldn’t have to play Campo, El Cerrito and Marin Catholic. Maybe they could have played Chaminade closer (I doubt it) but you don’t get picked over an unbeaten team with two bad losses.

  5. Dave
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    First of all, congratulations to Enterprise on a great season. DII will always be a challenge for NorCal. There have been several competitive games, but with the exception of Folsom in 2010, NorCal has failed to win in this division. That said, the issue of Private vs. Public is probably never going to go away. Quit complaining about it and get to work. The Northern Section is now 0-2 in State Bowl Games. This will not help them in the future Regional Bowl selection process.

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