2017 CIF State FB Champions (All 13)

Fortuna QB/RB JB Lewis gets sandwiched by two defenders from Katella of Anaheim during CIF D5-A state final last Saturday at Glover Field. Fortuna won 54-33. Photo: Patrick Takkinen/SoCalSidelines.com.


For a one-stop place for all of the CIF state bowl winners crowned on Friday, Dec. 15 or Saturday, Dec. 16 with an MVP chosen for each game, this is the place to go. First-time champions include Mater Dei, Serra of San Mateo, St. Francis of Mountain View, Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara, Steele Canyon of Spring Valley, Crenshaw of Los Angeles, Milpitas, Fortuna, Strathmore and Galileo of San Francisco. We were 9-4 in our predictions, which beat the CalPreps computer.


For a look at every MVP from all 13 of the CIF state finals from last year, CLICK HERE.

For a look at every MVP from all 13 CIF state finals from two years ago, CLICK HERE.

For a look at every MVP we chose for the CIF finals we watched from 2006 to 2014 in Carson, CLICK HERE.

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Open Division
Santa Ana Mater Dei (15-0) 56,
Concord De La Salle (11-2) 21

The Spartans gave up 56 points to the CIF Southern Section D1 champion for the second straight season, but they still hold the single-game state title game record with the 63 they scored in 2014. This DLS defense was much improved over last season, but Mater Dei of 2017 will go down as one of the all-time best teams. Last year’s St. John Bosco team was overpowering, but that school’s all-time best was in 2013.
MVP JT Daniels. He was getting questions after the last two games about being back at Mater Dei next season because of reclassification possibilities. He said he will after the game on Saturday.
CIF logo 216
Division 1-AA
Folsom (16-0) 49,
La Mesa Helix (13-2) 42

For Folsom’s first two CIF state titles in 2010 and 2014, the team had co-head coaches with Kris Richardson and Troy Taylor. This is the first one with Richardson “by himself.” Mentioning that to him, however, would quickly result in a cascade of complements about the team’s assistant coaches. Taylor was the offensive coordinator at Utah this last season after serving as an offensive coordinator in 2016 at Eastern Washington.
MVP Kaiden Bennett. The junior quarterback helped the Bulldogs overcome a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter with 327 yards passing and four TDs plus 147 rushing and two more scores.

Division 1-A
Harbor City Narbonne (12-3) 28,
Pittsburg (9-3) 21

If you said early in the week that Jalen Chatman would only throw for 57 yards and would get sacked three times, then you’d have said that was a sure loss for the Gauchos. Nope, instead their defense shut down the Pirates even more impressively and Chatman still made plays (one with his head and another with his legs) to help Narbonne win.
MVP Jermar Jefferson. After rushing for five TDs vs. Paraclete in previous game, Jefferson bolted for 164 yards and two TDs on 28 carries to lead Narbonne once again.

Division 2-AA
San Mateo Serra (13-2) 38,
San Bernardino Cajon (14-2) 14

The Padres ended up scoring the final 24 points of the game and trailed 14-7 at halftime. They didn’t have to face an amazing player like Tulare’s Kazmeir Allen (who was called the best player ever seen by some Serra coaches) but a similar offensive juggernaut and prevailed. Cajon’s Jayden Daniels went 27 of 39 for 340 yards and one TD and rushed 22 times for 104 yards and another score.
MVP Edmond Lahlouh. For offense and defense, it was tough to beat Edmond. He had six carries for 62 yards on offense while on defense he had a game-high 14 tackles with 2.5 sacks.

Division 2-A
Mountain View St. Francis (11-4) 22,
Simi Valley Grace Brethren (13-3) 13

There have been years in the quirky CCS playoffs when it didn’t favor the Lancers, like last year. But this year they were the ones seeded higher than a team they lost to in the regular season (Valley Christian) and they took advantage with wins against Manteca and Grace Brethren to get the program’s first CIF state title. St. Francis also proved its worth with a 31-30 loss to Serra of San Mateo in the CCS Open 2 finals and came from behind (31-14) to almost win.
MVP Evan Williams. A two-way standout for head coach Greg Calcagno all season, Evan came up with diving TD catches of 29 and 3 yards to account for two of the three Lancers TDs in the game.

Steele Canyon principal Don Hohimer holds trophy after team won CIF D3-A state championship over Half Moon Bay. Photo: @SteeleCanyonHS1/Twitter.com.


Division 3-AA
Santa Barbara Bishop Diego (15-1) 41,
Redding Shasta (12-2) 6

As we were watching Grace Brethren more than holding its own against St. Francis in the D2-A final, we knew that the Lancers had barely beaten Bishop Diego (in overtime) and thought the pick of Shasta in this game was probably wrong. It was more than that. Although Shasta was hampered by the injury loss of RB Seth Park, the Cardinals were dominant in becoming the first school from Santa Barbara County to win a CIF state football title.

Shasta actually grabbed an early 6-0 lead on a TD pass from Ian Garcia to Kenyon Riley. After that, though, it was all Bishop Diego. Both RB John Harris and QB Jake Engel led the offense. Engel threw for two TDs and rushed twice for 62 yards. LB Ashton Bergeson continued to eat up tackles on defense.

MVP John Harris. The three-year standout capped his career with more than 5,100 rushing yards by going for 146 yards on just 12 carries and scoring twice against the Wolves.

Division 3-A
Spring Valley Steele Canyon (12-4) 44,
Half Moon Bay (14-1) 42

The host Cougars showed their class by honoring a player from a rival school before the game. That was a salute to Granite Hills’ Will Burton, who was killed in a car accident earlier last week.

They had to show both explosiveness and resolve in denying Half Moon Bay. Steele Canyon led 34-15 but with 4:19 left the lead was down to 37-35. The visiting Cougars then scored with 1:25 left on a 26-yard TD pass from Gavin Tomberlin to Hayden Von Alman to make it 44-42, but couldn’t recover an onside kick.

In finishing the season with an eighth straight win, Steele Canyon also turned in the feat of knocking off three unbeaten teams in the playoffs. The first two — Bishop’s of La Jolla and Ramona — gave them the CIF San Diego D2 title. The third win gave them a CIF state crown.

MVP Thomas Fishburne. The Steele Canyon QB was a sparkplug all through the playoff run. In the state final, he completed 10 of 13 passes for 187 yards and one TD and also rushed for a 36-yard touchdown. Chase Hofmann rushed for 162 yards on 28 carries for Half Moon Bay.

Longtime Crenshaw head coach Robert Garrett, who has helped several players reach the NFL, holds first CIF state title trophy he’s won during illustrious career. Photo: @CIFLACS/Twitter.com.


Division 4-AA
Los Angeles Crenshaw (12-3) 46,
Auburn Placer (13-2) 43

With the way Crenshaw played in its regional win over Oceanside El Camino, a shootout wasn’t expected against the Hillmen but that’s what we got. The Cougars won their first CIF state title in football (they have eight in boys basketball) in their second final appearance. Their first attempt was a loss to De La Salle of Concord in the Open Division in 2009.

A TD pass from Isaiah Johnson to Rayshawn Williams with 1:41 left lifted Crenshaw to the lead. Placer came back, but ended up having to throw into the end zone for a score on the last play. The pass was intercepted by the Cougars’ Joseph Williams, the younger brother of Rayshawn.

The Hillmen kept answering Crenshaw touchdowns with scores of their own. QB Michael Stuck fired a pair of TD passes to Travis Warren while junior RB Marshall Chapman rushed for a pair of TDs.

MVP Isaiah Johnson. The Crenshaw QB had a great night by going 18 of 23 passing for 234 yards and five TDs. Johnson also rushed for one score.

Division 4-A
Milpitas (14-1) 45,
El Centro Southwest (14-1) 41

This was the Tariq Bracy show as the Trojans won their first CIF state title and helped the CCS go 4-1 on the weekend, including two wins by its Open Division runner ups.

Look below for more on the phenomenal Bracy, but head coach Kelly King needed a 39-yard TD pass from Tyree Bracy to Tuni Fifita with 2:37 left for the winning points. Mariano Robles also was key for Milpitas with three made field goals.

Southwest came back from a 34-15 deficit and took a 41-37 left in the fourth quarter on the fifth TD pass of the game by Cameron Jungers. For the game, Jungers hit on 14 of 24 passes for 334 yards. Milpitas didn’t give up big runs to Southwest standout Tyler Saikhon, but he did catch TD passes for 49 a and 69 yards.

MVP Tyriq Bracy. What a great ending for this senior, who is one of Northern California’s top player of the year candidates. Bracy carried 30 times for 254 yards and three TDs, scored on a 35-yard reception from brother Tyree and had a 57-yard punt return score.

Division 5-AA
Oakland McClymonds (14-0) 42,
Visalia Golden West (12-3) 12

Concerns about the Warriors being in too low of a CIF division were justified as they blew out the Trailblazers after blowing out unbeaten East Nicolaus in the NorCal final of this division.

Head coach Michael Peters’ club led 35-0 at halftime and got huge outings from both senior Charles Alberty and junior Jarmar Julien. We picked Alberty for MVP, but it easily could have been Julien. He had 210 yards on just 13 carries and scored on runs of 2 and 83 yards. McClymonds not only is the only team this year to win a second straight CIF state title, but will take the state’s longest winning streak (25 games) into next season.

Gonzalo Rodriguez rushed for 123 yards on 40 carries for Golden West.

MVP Charles Alberty. He’s the team’s most dependable and dangerous receiver and is one of the top cornerbacks we’ve seen this season. In this state final, Alberty scored on fumble return on defense while on offense he caught TD passes for 42 and 11 yards from QB Emoreea Fountain.

Division 5-A
Fortuna (13-2) 54,
Anaheim Katella (14-2) 33

There was no monster comeback this time for Katella as the Huskies won the second CIF state title in three years for Humboldt County after St. Bernard’s of Eureka in D-6AA two years ago.

The host Knights were down 35-7 in their SoCal regionl final to Monte Vista of Spring Valley but won 36-35. This time, Fortuna began to run the ball effectively in the second half behind what the locals have been calling the Ka-Chunk offense. Head coach Mike Benbow’s team outscored Katella 26-6 after halftime.

Fortuna was playing once again with thoughts of senior Bailey Foley, who suffered a stroke in the team’s first game and is still hospitalized in Oakland. The team visited him on the way down to Orange County.

Katella kept it close behind QB Nathan Arrington, who passed for 240 yards and five TDs.

MVP Zac Claus. Maybe because it’s almost Christmas, we’ll give the nod to Claus. He threw for three Fortuna TDs in the first half and threw for a fourth in the second half despite dealing with a rib injury. Joey Pontes also shined with 10 carries for 91 yards rushing and two TDs. And the team’s best all-around player, JB Lewis, took a lot of snaps at quarterback in the second half.

Strathmore senior Joseph Garcia provides a stiff-arm to defender from Orange High during CIF D6-AA state final played last Saturday at Orange. Garcia capped outstanding career by leading Strathmore to 31-29 win. Photo: Mark Bausman/SoCalSidelines.com.

Division 6-AA
Strathmore (15-0) 31,
Orange (13-3) 29

The Spartans lost in the final six seconds in last year’s D6-A state final to St. Patrick-St. Vincent of Vallejo, but this time got the title in the next highest division. With under two minutes left and clinging to a two-point lead, Strathmore put the ball in the hands of running back Joseph Garcia on a fourth-and-4 play. Garcia ran for five yards, the first down was picked up and after that the Spartans ran out the clock.

Orange QB Jason Wilkinson had another top-notch night. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 225 yards with two TDs passing and one TD rushing. The Panthers had to chase conversion points all night long, however, and in the end lost on two conversion points.

MVP Joseph Garcia. He had been a beast for Strathmore for several seasons and closed out his career in a state final with 43 carries for 211 yards and four TDs. Garcia also put his final season totals at 2,837 yards rushing and 49 TDs.

Division 6-A
San Francisco Galileo (11-2) 38,
Calexico Vincent Memorial (12-3) 20

After enduring a 10-hour bus ride that covered 600 miles and ended just one mile of the U.S-Mexico border, the Lions celebrated in Imperial County and then came home with the first CIF state football title ever won by a San Francisco school.

To say San Francisco Section teams didn’t fare well in the first two years of the 13-division state football format would be an understatement. Those first two were just blown out in NorCal regional play-in games.

Galileo broke through, however, with a 24-0 blitzkreig in the third quarter. Vincent Memorial had to play most of the game without prolific QB Eduardo Valenzuela, who went out wth an injury in the second quarter. The highlight for the Scots with a long kickoff return touchdown in the fourth quarter.

MVP Ronald Fox. This pick probably was the closest of all 13 divisions, but Fox scored two of the three TDs for the Lions in the third quarter that broke the game open on runs of 35 and 10 yards. QB Adrian Poot, who is only 5-foot-3, and sophomore standout Yarvell Smith also turned in outings that were hard to miss.

Predictions, Predictions
For the second straight year, our picks for each of the 13 CIF divisions ended up with nine correct (based in winnning team) and four wrong. Worst pick was Shasta over Bishop Diego; the best probably was Steele Canyon over Half Moon Bay. We also were 9-4 last year and have gone 28-11 since the CIF switched to 13 divisions in 2015. We had a few followers submit picks, but no one went 9-4. The best was Tommy Hintz at 8-5. The CalPreps.com computer projections also were 8-5. While our biggest misses were at the bottom (Fortuna, Strathmore & Galileo) the computer missed on Narbonne, Crenshaw and Steele Canyon in addition to two of the ones we missed on.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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8 Comments

  1. Josh Barney
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    That picture is not of Scott Longerbone from steele canyon. That picture is of the principal

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 20, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Sorry. I will fix.

      • Josh
        Posted December 24, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        No worries. just wanted to give you a heads up. You guys do an awesome job and we appreciate your coverage. It was an amazing year for our kids.

  2. Tommy
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I bombed the Shasta game as well, I may have been little bias towards the North, but those are the schools I know. Thanks again Mark for the great coverage all season long.

  3. Randy Rowe
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Kudos for the 69% prediction success for the last 2 years and 72% overall!

  4. James Riso
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mark
    Not that it makes any difference the score of the De La Salle and Mater Dei game was 52-21 not 56 like last years game.

    ps: Love what you do for High School sports, thank you.

  5. RedBird
    Posted December 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Division 3-AA – Not to be picky but…Grace Brethren beat Bishop Diego in double-overtime.
    MVP John Harris was 21 yards away from breaking Napoleon Kaufman’s (UofW/Raiders) Santa Barbara County career rushing record (5146).

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      And if there had been a few lucky bounces along the way, Napoleon’s team at Bishop O’Dowd would have played Bishop Diego in the state final we just had. Now that would have been something.

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