Our board is now updated and complete through all weekend games for projected matchups in the CIF bowl games for Northern California that will be decided on Sunday and announced Sunday afternoon. This is the same report that will be sent to the CIF and the section commissioners before they meet to place teams on their own board. This also is where to go for scores of all top-ranked teams playing in section finals.
To see Part 3 of our video series done a few days ago that explains further the new CIF bowl system and how both the north and south games can be interconnected, CLICK HERE.
We hope you enjoy this free feature. It’s also a great time to sign up for our Gold Club to see all of our great content. Some of the all-state football teams will be Gold Club, including All-State Underclass. The yearly rate is going up possibly as early as next week. For details, CLICK HERE.
(Note: CIF Central Section championship teams for Divisions II, IV and VI will be placed into Southern California regional bowl games)
OPEN DIVISION (NORTH)
De La Salle of Concord (12-1, ranked No. 1 in our State Top 25 rankings and winners of five of the last six CIF Open Division state titles) blanked state No. 10 Foothill of Pleasanton 35-0 in Saturday night’s CIF North Coast Section D1 final. The Spartan first string defense now hasn’t given up a touchdown in 11 straight games and shut out a team that scored 55 last week. DLS will be going for its sixth CIF Open Division state title in seven years and eighth state crown overall.
SMALL SCHOOLS OPEN DIVISION (NORTH)
Central Catholic of Modesto (14-0) outlasted Oakdale 21-7 on Friday in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D3 final. The Raiders, who were led by Justin Rice with 29 carries for 165 yards and two TDs and Hunter Petlansky with 120 yards passing and a TD run, won in their first try in D3 section bracket. They’ll likely move up to D2 next year. For state games, however, their enrollment is well below the cutoff to be in the new small schools open division. Central Catholic will be going for its fourth straight state title (the previous three were in D4 bowl games).
In this regional bowl game, Central Catholic should match up with Marin Catholic of Kentfield (13-1), which defeated Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa (11-3) by a 38-21 count on Saturday to win the NCS Division IV title. There could be a late push for Sacred Heart Prep out of the CCS to take the Wildcats’ place, but still seems to us to not be a strong enough case.
Folsom (14-0, No. 4 overall in state) knocked off No. 6 Elk Grove (13-1) in Saturday night’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 final 35-27. The winner would be the No. 2 team on North board and host school for this game. For game recap, CLICK HERE.
Bellarmine of San Jose (12-1, No. 11 overall in state) defeated Milpitas (10-3) 26-13 on Friday to win CIF Central Coast Section Open Division I title. The Bells have done enough in their recent wins to move past Clayton Valley of Concord in next week’s rankings. We’ve had Clayton Valley higher all year in the rankings until now based on the only loss being by one point to Folsom.
Clayton Valley of Concord (12-1, No. 9 overall in state) has been ranked in front of Bellarmine all season due to having the one-point loss to Folsom. Seems very likely now that Ugly Eagles would be in this division instead of D1AA. They barely squeeked by Concord 23-22 in the NCS D2 championship on Saturday night.
Oak Grove of San Jose (11-2) took down St. Francis of Mountain View 27-21 on Saturday in CCS Open Division 2 final. The Lancers were 11-1 and No. 25 in the state this week with the only loss before Saturday to Bellarmine. With Oak Grove now avenging both of its earlier losses and having a better record than either Liberty of Bakersfield or Del Oro of Loomis, the Eagles do indeed move up to D1A on our board.
Liberty of Bakersfield (10-3) topped Clovis (11-2) 56-21 to win its first CIF Central Section D1 crown. The Patriots could move up to D1A, but makes more sense to us to leave them here and then on the South board pair up Ridgeview in D2A. One of Liberty’s losses was to Mission Viejo, one was to Cathedral Catholic of San Diego and the other was to Central Section D2 champ Ridgeview although D1 college QB Jordan Love was injured and didn’t play against Ridgeview.
Del Oro of Loomis (7-6) avenged one of its earlier losses with a 30-20 victory on Friday night over Rocklin in the Sac-Joaquin Section D2 championship. The other five losses were all to higher-ranked teams, including those to De La Salle and Bellarmine. CCS Open 2 runner-up St. Francis of Mountain View (11-2) could be in this spot as well, but we like the pairing of Central Section vs. SJS here and then the two Bay Area teams — Clayton Valley & Oak Grove — pairing in D1A.
Campolindo of Moraga (13-1) knocked off previously unbeaten Analy of Sebastopol (13-1) 38-28 in Friday’s NCS D3 championship. The Cougars won last year’s CIF D3 state bowl game and have proven in recent weeks to be a worthy successor. Their only loss is to Napa.
St. Francis of Mountain View (11-2) lost in the CCS Open Division 2 final on Saturday 27-21 to Oak Grove, but beat Oak Grove earlier in the season and its only other loss was to Bellarmine. The Lancers possibly could switch with Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton (10-3) for this spot since SHP is a championship team while St. Francis is coming in as a runner-up.
We’re going to list Sacred Heart Prep (10-3) in this bracket after it defeated Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco 35-28 in Saturday’s CCS Open Division 3 title game. Not only do the Gators have one CIF state final appearance, but also are coming off of a 2014 season when they won the CCS Open Division crown.
Pleasant Valley of Chico (12-0) won the CIF Northern Section Division I title last week. The Vikings are looking like they will play one of the CCS Open teams in their bowl game.
Milpitas (10-3) lost in the CCS Open 1 final to Bellarmine but is making the NorCal field due to a CCS decision to take advantage of new state stipulation that allows runner up teams to move on if a section has an Open Division bracket or brackets. Milpitas could move up to D3AA with Sacred Heart Prep getting placed lower in this bowl bracket.
If Milpitas is in this bracket, which team to play the Trojans is quite the tossup. We would have ranked McClymonds of Oakland (12-0) as the next highest team, but Mack is quite small in enrollment and perhaps should not be placed here. On the other hand, both Hanford (12-1 and won Central Section D3 title on Friday 42-28 over San Joaquin Memorial) and Sonora (12-1, won SJS D5 title last week) both have bad losses – Hanford’s 42-7 to Lemoore and Sonora 41-15 to Oakdale. Hanford has the highest computer ranking of the three so best solution may be to have Hanford play Milpitas and give the Bullpups a home game as a two-time section champion.
If Hanford inches up into D3A, then McClymonds of Oakland (12-0) and Sonora (12-1) would match nicely for D2AA. The Warriors won the CIF Oakland Section title last week while the Raiders won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D5 crown. Mack’s win over SJS D1 playoff team Stagg of Stockton may be the difference in being the higher-placed team, but the CIF obviously would make more dollars if it was a Sonora home game.
The next group of teams after Hanford, McClymonds and Sonora includes Sierra of Manteca (8-5), the SJS D4 winner, along with Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento (12-1), from SJS D6, and Sutter (9-4), which avenged one its losses last week by beating Orland in the Northern Section D3 final. Since one of Sutter’s losses also is to Ripon of the SJS, Bradshaw should rank higher. Its only loss (on-the-field) is to much larger school Vista del Lago of Folsom. Sierra’s losses come from being in the same Valley Oak League as SJS D3 finalists Central Catholic and Oakdale plus others. The Timberwolves won their section final by a large margin vs. Liberty Ranch of Galt. Going by our analysis, we’d have it Bradshaw vs. Sierra and which would be home could be tossup.
In the end, we see Sutter behind Sierra and Bradshaw and thus possibly hosting the next team on our board, Immanuel of Reedley (10-2). It’s also not even a stretch to say that Immanuel should be higher and hosting. The Raiders won the CIF Central Section D5 title on Friday night over Mendota 35-20 and also have a win over Central Section D4 champ Chowchilla. The other key is that Immanuel can’t be in the same CIF state bowl division as Chowchilla (which will be in the south) and it’s going to make a lot more sense to move up Immanuel than doing anything with where Chowchilla is expected to be. One of Immanuel’s losses also was to Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara, a CIFSS semifinalist from its Northern Division.
St. Bernard of Eureka (12-1) played its way onto the NorCal board by defeating previous board member Berean Christian of Walnut Creek (11-2) by a 31-17 margin in Saturday’s CIF North Coast Section Division V title game.
St. Bernard just doesn’t have the resume to be in front of Sutter, Sierra, Bradshaw or Immanuel and thus would get the host placing for this division. It’s opponent would be the highest ranked Northern Section team, D5 champ Fall River of McArthur (11-0). Fall River has a head-to-head win over Northern Section D4 winner East Nicolaus (11-2).
East Nicolaus (11-2) defeated Williams last week for its section title. Since the Spartans didn’t have to be in the play-in game, they’d clearly to us would be the last team on the board so would be facing the play-in winner. That game was Saturday between Stone Ridge Christian of Merced (12-1) and Mission of San Francisco (9-4) with Stone Ridge winning 70-21 but allowing points for the first time to end a 10-game shutout wins streak.