Thanks to Contra Costa County, the Bay Area is well-represented in this week’s CIF NorCal bowl games and may have three teams going for CIF state titles in two weeks. Congrats to all teams that played in section finals last weekend in the NCS and CCS.
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Three teams from Contra Costa County will represent the Bay Area in the CIF regional bowl games that begin this week. In all, four Northern California regional games will be contested with two being hosted on Saturday night in the East Bay.
Not only are the Bay Area teams all from Contra Costa County, the letter “C” is everywhere surrounding all three.
After one week to rest, De La Salle of Concord goes straight to Carson to meet Corona Centennial in the CIF Open Division title game. Clayton Valley Charter of Concord is playing this week and takes on Oakdale at home on Saturday. Finally, the Campolindo Cougars of Moraga, who incidentally make the biggest move of any team upward in this week’s rankings, host Sutter on Saturday night at Acalanes in Lafayette.This past Friday night, the caravan worked the buttons and knobs at home but Saturday on the sidelines at Diablo Valley College we witnessed a solid performance by two fairly evenly matched teams. However, in the end it was top-seeded Campolindo of Moraga coming away with an NCS Division III championship 27-20 victory over Marin Catholic of Kentfield.
After the teams went to the locker room at halftime tied 14-14, it was the Cougars that had more left in the tank.
When Campolindo held Marin Catholic three-and-out on its opening drive to start the third quarter, Cougars’ quarterback Jack Stephens (13-of-25, 207 yards, two TDs, one INT) only needed three plays to get his team a score when the 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior found Duke-bound receiver Tyler Petite for a 43-yard touchdown that gave the Cougars a 20-14 lead they never relinquished.
Campolindo got an excellent game from running back Nick Fadelli. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior spun and weaved his way to 122 yards on 24 carries with a 6-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring.
“We were in the kind of game we hadn’t seen all year,” Campolindo head coach Kevin Macy remarked. “The difference tonight wasn’t coaching. It was the passion, tenacity and spirit of the kids in the second half.”Here are the 14th rankings of the 2014 season (after games of Saturday, Dec. 6; previous ranking in parentheses):
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 13-0*
*CIF Open Division state bowl game participant. According to the staff of the CIF office who spoke at the bowl game selection teleconference on Sunday, there was “limited discussion” about Folsom and not Sparta marching straight to Carson for the open division, but it didn’t last long as the committee came to the conclusion DLS was the “clear choice.” And why not? It isn’t just the Bay Area teams the Spartans have dominated north of Fresno for the past 23 years, it’s Folsom and all others they’ve played from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section as well. The Spartans punched their ticket with a 35-0 blanking of Pittsburg for a 23rd straight NCS title.
2. (2) Clayton Valley (Concord) 14-0*
*CIF NorCal D2 bowl team. Will the Ugly Eagles avenge the defeat to Oakdale in the same game in 2012 when they lost 27-24 at neutral Stockton Lincoln? They sure looked good on Friday in a 33-7 romp past Concord in the NCS D2 final.
3. (3) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 13-0
“It’s difficult they’re not moving on. They’re a good team and deserved to be on the board, but after looking at the criteria and strength of schedule of all the teams on the board the vote was for Grant,” was the explanation by CIF officials on the CIF selection teleconference as the reason SHP was left out, but that does nothing to diminish the accomplishment of beating Bellarmine 14-0 in the CCS Open Division title game.
4. (8) Campolindo (Moraga) 14-0*
*CIF NorCal D3 bowl team. For weeks, there has been a reluctance to move up the Cougars up but now they have a chance to play for a state championship in two weeks and get to 16-0. No, they’re not from the WCAL or EBAL but Bellarmine just lost in the CCS Open Division final to a school similar in competitive equity as Campo.
5. (4) Bellarmine (San Jose) 10-3
This is where the top finishing team from the West Catholic Athletic League lands after the CCS Open Division title game loss. The Bells avenged one of their losses in the semifinals vs. Valley Christian and have to finish ahead of Milpitas in the rankings as well.
6. (9) Milpitas 11-1*
*CCS Open Division consolation forfeit win not included. We don’t count forfeits, but in the end the only loss for the Trojans was in overtime to Bellarmine and they had wins over Los Gatos and Valley Christian.
7. (10) Los Gatos 10-3
How much stock to put in a 27-0 blanking of Valley Christian in a CCS Open Division consolation game is questionable but it seems to validate Los Gatos and Milpitas going ahead of Valley Christian at this point.
8. (6) Pittsburg 10-3
With the loss to De La Salle, the Pirates fall back behind a couple of CCS Open teams and also make room for Campolindo.
9. (7) Foothill (Pleasanton) 9-3
Coach Matt Sweeney’s bunch falls in behind the Pittsburg team that beat them in the NCS D1 semis.
10. (11) Serra (San Mateo) 8-4*
*Open consolation forfeit not included. Will Serra face sanctions for deciding not to play in the CCS consolation game against Milpitas? They still get to finish in front of Valley Christian in the rankings due to a head-to-head win.
11. (5) Valley Christian (San Jose) 9-4
We’ve counted the consolation loss to Los Gatos and after all is said and done the Warriors also fall in behind Serra.
12. (12) St. Francis (Mountain View) 9-4
The Lancers won a record 16th CCS title with a 17-7 CCS Division II victory over an Archbishop Mitty team they edged 15-14 in WCAL play. Riley Quinn, born with just one hand, intercepted two passes and Bennett Williams added another pick. Devin Hurtado and Lutoviko Ahoia scored on touchdown runs and Dennis Green had 28 carries for 156 yards. We can’t move up St. Francis, though, ahead of Serra or Valley Christian in the rankings.
13. (13) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 8-5
Coach Dave Brown’s team does have five losses, but owning wins over Pittsburg and Serra is enough to warrant no drop in this week’s rankings.
14. (14) California (San Ramon) 9-3
We still might drop the NCS D1 semifinalists below Aptos, but for this week it stays the same. The Grizzlies’ suffered two of their losses to De La Salle.
15. (16) Aptos 12-1
Posting an 11-8 win over a St. Ignatius team that has a win over SJS D1 finalist Stockton St. Mary’s allows Aptos to move up ahead of Concord in this week’s rankings. This ranking in the Bay Area is little consolation to not getting a bowl game bid but the Mariners did win a second straight CCS Division III title.
16. (15) Concord 11-2*
*Forfeit win not included. Unlike the first game against their arch-rivals from Clayton Valley, the Minutemen didn’t put up much of a fight in the NCS D2 final loss to Clayton Valley.
17. (17) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 7-5
The NCS D1 quarterfinalist went out 65-16 to De La Salle and holds tight in this week’s rankings.
18. (18) McClymonds (Oakland) 12-0*
*Forfeits not considered. The Warriors got some consideration among the commissioners for the NorCal D4 bowl bid but in the end there was no way a precedent would be set and the team couldn’t get the required six votes. A third straight Silver Bowl title will have to suffice.
19. (19) Palma (Salinas) 9-3
This is another CCS Open team that could benefit from the likely-to-pass new CIF bowl game playoff format. This team could have possibly qualified for a lower division bowl game after losing in the section open division.
20. (20) Liberty (Brentwood) 9-3
The Lions did some roaring for the first time in school history. Hopefully, the trend will continue and the Bay Valley League will be more competitive.
*Forfeit win not included. The Pride lost out in the commissioners’ vote on Sunday to Capital Christian (Sacramento) for the second spot in the NorCal Division IV bowl game, despite getting supposed credit for a forfeit win in a 32-22 loss to McClymonds. Being involved in a forfeit is never a positive unless you actually beat the team on the field, particularly when Salesian had another loss, albeit to a Division II Sac-Joaquin finalist Inderkum of Sacramento. Cap Christian’s unbeaten record was too hard to overlook and the Pride got left in the gate despite a second consecutive NCS Division V title with a 14-7 win over St. Helena. .
22. (22) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 7-6
The CCS Division III runner up to Aptos for the second-straight year could have thrown a wrench into things had it not fallen to Aptos, but it turned out to be another close loss in a season full of them.
23. (25) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 10-4
Some would say the Wildcats’ loss to Justin-Siena that ended a long league winning streak should put them behind Justin after that team won the NCS D4 title, but MC had some off-the-field problems and at full strength it smacked around a Novato team that pushed around Justin, coupled with the fact they came within a whisker of beating No. 4 Campolindo. All of that allows them to move in behind a St. Ignatius team they had on the ropes and could very well have beaten in a 21-14 loss. Campo head coach Kevin Macy said Marin Catholic is the best team so far that his team faced all season.
24. (24) Freedom (Oakley) 7-5
The season ended two weeks ago with a loss to Pittsburg and despite a little movement around them the Falcons hold their nest steady.
25. (NR) Justin-Siena (Napa) 11-3
The Braves get to come in this week, and very deservedly so, for the Berkeley St. Mary’s team they beat 18-10 in an exciting NCS Division IV title-game victory. It was the sixth NCS title since 2000 for affable head coach and 2004 Small School State Coach of the Year Rich Cotruvo.
Previous No. 23 St. Mary’s (Berkeley).
Teams On the Bubble
(In alphabetical order)
(All teams season complete)
Acalanes (Lafayette) 8-4
Alhambra (Martinez) 8-4
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 6-5
Analy (Sebastopol) 11-2
Aragon (San Mateo) 9-2
Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 8-4
Casa Grande (Petaluma) 6-7
El Cerrito 5-6
Fremont (Sunnyvale) 9-1
James Logan (Union City) 8-3
Kennedy (Fremont) 10-1
Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 9-3
Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 7-5
Monte Vista (Danville) 4-7
Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 10-3
Pacific Grove 10-2
Pinole Valley (Pinole) 6-7
Pioneer (San Jose) 9-3
Oak Grove (San Jose) 7-5
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-4
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 3-7
San Benito (Hollister) 9-4
San Leandro 6-5
San Marin (Novato) 9-4
St. Helena 12-2
St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 11-2
Stellar Prep (Hayward) 9-4
Terra Nova (Pacifica) 7-6
Wilcox (Santa Clara) 7-5
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend