Our board is now updated and complete through all weekend games for projected matchups in the CIF bowl games for Southern 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.
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(Note: CIF Central Section championship teams for Divisions I, III and V will be placed into Southern California regional bowl games)
OPEN DIVISION (SOUTH)
No analysis is required for Corona Centennial (14-0) to be quickly going onto the board opposite De La Salle of Concord in the north after the Huskies blitzed St. John Bosco of Bellflower (13-1) 62-52 in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 championship on Saturday night at Angels Stadium. Centennial, as defending champion, entered the game No. 2 in the state overall while Bosco was No. 3. Bosco was No. 1 and Centennial No. 2 in MaxPreps’ national rankings. For recap, CLICK HERE.
OPEN DIVISION SMALL SCHOOLS (SOUTH)
Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (14-0) stamped its ticket with a 20-0 win on Friday vs. San Dimas in the CIFSS Mid-Valley Division championship. The Trailblazers, the last CIF D4 state champ prior to Modesto Central Catholic’s three-peat, generally have to beat bigger schools in the CIFSS to get bowl eligible. They did this year with little difficulty.
San Marino (14-0) also put a strong finish to its run through the CIFSS Central Division with a 45-28 victory over higher-seeded Charter Oak of Covina (12-2). The Titans would clearly be the opponent for Sierra Canyon. The Titans come in just below the 1,250 enrollment cutoff for the division. Since the Central Division is regarded as being stronger than the Mid-Valley Division by the CIFSS, looks like San Marino also gets home game.
Mission Viejo (14-0, ranked No. 5 overall in the state) topped No. 17 Vista Murrieta (12-2) 21-14 in Friday night’s CIFSS West Valley Division championship. For recap, CLICK HERE.
With Mission clearly now sitting in the No. 2 position on the South board, it would play Helix of La Mesa (11-1, ranked No. 8 overall in state) in this bracket. The Highlanders won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division on Saturday vs. St. Augustine of San Diego (10-3) by 44-30 margin. If St. Augustine had won in the upset, then Narbonne of the L.A. City Section likely would have come up.
With Helix winning in San Diego, Narbonne of Harbor City (12-2) would then be good for D1A. The Gauchos, who beat Crenshaw 57-21 in Saturday’s L.A. City Section D1 championship, have a bad computer ranking due to the league and section they’re in. But their talent is on a very high level, which really showed in that 41-40 overtime loss to Gardena Serra. That’s a team that only lost to Mater Dei by one point in CIFSS Pac-5 playoffs.
Camarillo (14-0, No. 19 overall in state) actually may have done enough to be in front of Narbonne and could host this game. We don’t have it ranked that way — Narbonne was No. 13 in state last week — but never know how commissioners might vote. The Scorpions blew out Thousand Oaks in second half of their game on Friday 55-27 and made a big statement. It was an opponent that came close earlier this year in a 49-45 defeat. Camarillo also has a win over St. Bonaventure (Ventura), but Narbonne’s overtime loss to Gardena Serra still gets the edge in our rankings.
After Bosco-Centennial winner, Mission Viejo, San Diego Open and Camarillo, the next teams on the board would clearly be among a group that includes La Habra, Ridgeview of Bakersfield and Calabasas. La Habra (13-1, No. 21 overall in state) won on Friday 39-36 over San Clemente in the CIFSS Southwest Division final and needed a miraculous 27-yard TD pass from Eric Barriere to Prince Ross on the final play. Ridgeview (13-0, No. 22 overall in state) also won on Friday over Lemoore 45-19 for its second straight Central Section D2 crown. The Wolf Pack also has a win over Central Section D1 champ Liberty of Bakersfield.
It seems fairly certain La Habra is one of the two teams in this bracket. Calabasas (12-1) rolled past defending champion Palos Verdes (PV Estates) 42-3 in the CIFSS Western Division championship. We have Calabasas No. 24 overall in state with its only loss to Camarillo by one point. Ridgeview also has to be in a different division on the SoCal side of the board than Liberty of Bakersfield in the north. It’s possible Liberty to go to D1A on that side, but if not then it’s more likely Ridgeview gets placed in D2A with Calabasas in D2AA.
The first team on the board for this slot will be the odd team out between Calabasas and Ridgeview. Heading into Saturday night, still hard to see with certainty how that will go, but Ridgeview being placed here shouldn’t be viewed as a sign of disrespect. There is just a lot more depth of strong teams in the south than in the north.
Heritage of Menifee, if it has finished 14-0, would have been next but lost in the CIFSS Inland Division title game to Citrus Hill of Perris. The Hawks (12-2) suffered both of their losses to CIFSS playoff teams from higher divisions (Norco in Pac-5 and Murrieta Valley in West Valley) and would be a good opponent for either Calabasas or Ridgeview. Ridgeview, in fact, played and lost to the Inland Valley champ last year, Redlands East Valley, in the SoCal D2 regional game.
Could Oceanside (9-4) with its history come up to this game? It’s possible, but Rancho Bernardo (11-2) won 41-23 in the San Diego D2 final on Saturday over Mt. Carmel so probably not because the Broncos have been ranked higher locally all season.
The winner of the CIFSS Southeast Division, La Mirada (11-3), checks in next. The Matadores downed La Serna of Whittier (11-3) 45-20 on Saturday. La Mirada also has a head-to-head win over CIFSS Central Division finalist Charter Oak of Covina.
If Sierra Canyon was not in the SoCal Small Schools Open Division, it might be here or in D3AA. One intriguing matchup between schools that have been surging in the playoffs would be Oceanside, which defeated its arch-rival from El Camino 23-14 in Friday’s CIF San Diego D1 final and has four losses, vs. Oak Hills of Hesperia (9-5), which topped Serrano of Phelan 40-21 to avenge an earlier loss and earlier in the CIFSS Eastern Division was the team that knocked off unbeaten Palm Springs.
Earlier on Saturday, the SoCal board got shaken up when 12-0-1 Los Angeles High was upset by Fairfax in the CIF L.A. City Division. That clearly dropped Fairfax (8-6) down below all of the CIFSS title teams except the two small schools. Moving up also would be Mater Dei Catholic, the projected San Diego D4 winner, and Canyon of Anaheim (9-4), the CIFSS Southern Division champion. Mater Dei also was forecast to be in the Small Schools Open Division, but wouldn’t go there because of San Marino beating Charter Oak in CIFSS Central Division. Mater Dei Catholic crushed Bishop’s of La Jolla on Saturday 49-14 in the SD D4 final. Canyon, meanwhile, used several big return plays to beat Brea Olinda of Brea 31-21.
Although Bonita Vista of Chula Vista (11-2) won the San Diego D3 title compared to Mater Dei Catholic being in D4, it would still be lower placed due to comparative scores. Fairfax winning in the L.A. City Section puts the Lions probably here, but they might even get consideration to play Notre Dame of Riverside or Saddleback Valley Christian.
The bottom six slots in our board for the south are still pretty easy to call despite some of the upsets on Saturday. Saddleback Valley Christian of SJ Capistrano (13-0 on-the-field) won the CIFSS East Valley Division title on Friday by forfeit when our D5 state No. 1-ranked team from Grace Brethren of Simi Valley self-reported that an ineligible player had been on the roster. Hard to see SVC being placed higher than Canyon of Anaheim despite its record.
The other team in this bracket to face SVC would be Notre Dame of Riverside (14-0), which beat Linfield Christian of Temecula (12-2) 14-8 on Saturday in the CIFSS Northeast Division title. The Northeast does have some bigger schools compared to the East Valley (like Nipomo, Templeton, etc) but not enough for its champion to be placed any higher and into the mix with Bonita Vista. And for the record, the Notre Dame is higher in our D5 state rankings than SVC.
Belmont of Los Angeles (14-0) won the CIF L.A. City Division III title on Saturday afternoon with a 24-7 victory over Hollywood High. Isaiah Chatman, according to the L.A. times, rushed for 142 yards on 31 carries as the Sentinels won the first section title in the school’s 93-year history.
Belmont used to be a school with 3,000 to 4,000 enrollment, but is much lower these days. A logical opponent for the Sentinels may be Chowchilla from the CIF Central Section in this division. Chowchilla (11-2) avenged an earlier loss with a 20-16 triumph vs. Washington of Easton in the D4 section final. Wouldn’t it be something if Chowchilla won a CIF state title nicknamed the Redskins before the name becomes banned next season.
The CIF has indicated long travel is going to be considered in placing these games, but it may be too hard to get around Coronado (9-4) and Kennedy of Delano (10-3) from being at the bottom of the SoCal board. Coronado won the CIF San Diego Section D5 championship last weekend over Crawford. Kennedy won its second straight Central Section D6 crown on Friday night against Avenal 30-14 behind David Zepeda’s 229 yards rushing and three TDs.