Two more teams find out why it’s a game of inches, but it’s also a game of ouches and the team putting the biggest ouch on a ranked team last week was Oak Grove of San Jose. Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa also moves up several positions this week heading into its CIF North Coast Section Division IV final vs. Marin Catholic.
Note: For this week’s Gold Club post highlighting the State Top 25 overall rankings, CLICK HERE.
Every sport is a game of inches and now almost all major sports from tennis to football, baseball, basketball and hockey have some sort of replay method to get it as right as possible. Horse racing was the first sport to have a camera at the finish line to determine the winner and even some major college conferences use cameras now, but not high school football.
Early in the season, film seemed to show a two-point conversion by St. Mary’s of Stockton was a few inches short that was called the other way in its win over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa. The Newman coaches cried ouch but their team is still alive and kicking in the CIF North Coast Section Division IV title game this Saturday night against Marin Catholic at Rancho Cotate in Rohnert Park.
At Turkey Day in San Francisco at Kezar Stadium, the media standing at the goal line pretty much agreed that Balboa quarterback Lee Lelea had extended the ball over the goal line before his knee hit the hallowed Kezar gridiron, but the official right on the goal line waved it off and Mission escaped with a 14-13 win that got the Bears a CIF San Francisco Section championship and a CIF Division 6 state play-in bowl berth against Stone Ridge Christian this Saturday afternoon at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater. It was a huge ouch for Balboa to come in such a crucial situation as deciding a championship.
Last Saturday, super junior and Alabama-committed Antioch running back Najee Harris rushed for 390 yards and six touchdowns with three successful two-point conversions but couldn’t get one with 1:02 left in the game as the Panthers fell to Foothill of Pleasanton 55-54 in a matchup of unbeatens that lived up to pregame chatter.
With everyone in the stadium knowing what was coming, Foothill head coach Matt Sweeney called time out and after he sent his boys back onto the field the Falcons rose up to the occasion and stopped Harris inches short to preserve the win.
No offense to Foothill, since that program under Sweeney has been a consistent winner year in and year out, but the chance to see Harris run against De La Salle that has been the buzz of the Bay Area as the season has progressed will have to wait.
Instead, we will get to watch Foothill running back Isaiah Floyd (208 yards, four TDs versus Antioch) see what he can do against the Spartans on Saturday night at Dublin High in a title game that likely won’t come down to a few inches but could include a few ouches.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Saturday, Nov. 28)
(Includes all Central Coast Section schools but no North Coast Section schools north of the Santa Rosa Metro area)
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 11-1
2. (2) Clayton Valley (Concord) 11-1
3. (3) Foothill (Pleasanton) 12-0
4. (5) Bellarmine (San Jose) 11-1
5. (4) Antioch 11-1*
6. (7) St. Francis (Mountain View) 11-1
7. (6) Pittsburg 10-3*
8. (8) Monte Vista (Danville) 7-4*
9. (9) Serra (San Mateo) 6-4*
10. (10) Campolindo (Moraga) 12-1
11. (18) Oak Grove (San Jose) 9-2
12. (11) Valley Christian (San Jose) 8-4*
13. (12) Archbishop Riordan (SF) 9-3
14. (13) Milpitas 10-2
15. (14) Freedom (Oakley) 7-5*
16. (16) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 11-1
17. (20) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 11-2
18. (17) Palma (Salinas) 10-2*
19. (23) Analy (Sebastopol) 13-0
20. (15) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 8-4*
21. (19) California (San Ramon) 7-5*
22. (21) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-5*
23. (22) James Logan (Union City) 7-4*
24. (24) Los Gatos 7-4*
25. (NR) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 9-3
Dropped Out: Previous No. 25 Moreau Catholic (Hayward).
Teams On the Bubble
Aptos 8-4, Burlingame 9-2*, Concord 9-4, Dublin 7-4*, Granada (Livermore) 6-7*, Hillsdale (San Mateo) 11-1, Justin-Siena (Napa) 9-3*, Leigh (San Jose) 8-3*, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 9-2*, McClymonds (Oakland) 12-0, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 6-5*, Miramonte (Orinda) 11-2*, Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 10-2*, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 11-2*, Palo Alto 5-7*, Piedmont 9-3*, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-4*, Salinas 6-5*, San Benito (Hollister) 7-5*, San Leandro 6-5*, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-7*, St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 8-4*, Tennyson (Hayward) 9-3*, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 9-3.*
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend