With all championship games complete in San Diego, Southern, L.A. City and Central sections, here is a quick recap of the CIF bowl game lineup for the Southern California region as announced on Sunday by CIF state office. The CIF didn’t have to use San Joaquin Memorial from the Central Section due to a team already opting out from the north.
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Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 13-1
CIF Southern Section Open Division champion after win vs. St. John Bosco on Friday. Opponent in two weeks will be either De La Salle (Concord), Folsom or Liberty (Brentwood), but strong odds is will be DLS.
Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 10-1* vs. Narbonne (Harbor City) 10-3
San Diego Sec Open Division champion & L.A. City Open Division champion. At Cathedral Catholic, Friday. Likely was a tough call to have Upland in this game. Still, it was what we’d have done. Narbonne just wasn’t at full strength yet early in the season when it lost those three games. These two teams played two years ago in this division. Cathedral Catholic won and then beat St. Mary’s (Stockton) for state crown.
Upland 12-2 vs. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 11-3
CIFSS D2 champion & CIFSS D3 champion. At Upland, Saturday. Upland won title on Saturday by knocking off previously unbeaten and top seed Rancho Verde. The Mustangs were without standout RB Xzavier Ugorji and freshman QB A.J. Duffy due to injuries. Sierra Canyon won its title on Friday against Cajon of San Bernardino. Lawndale, the CIFSS D5 champion, actually has a head-to-head win over Sierra Canyon and therefore will be higher in state rankings. For these games, though, the CIF and CIFSS tend to want to put the CIFSS divisional champions on the board in order (1-13) as much as possible.
St. Augustine (San Diego) 10-3 vs. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) 12-2
San Diego D1 champion & CIFSS D4 champion. At Cal Lutheran University, Friday.It looks like CIF just replaced Helix’s spot with Saints after they won last night. Grace Brethren defeated top seed and higher ranked Corona del Mar on Saturday. The Lancers lost in the D2-A state final last year to St. Francis (Mountain View).
Lawndale 12-2 vs. South Hills (Covina) 14-0
CIFSS D6 champion & CIFSS D6 champion. At Covina District Stadium, Friday. Lawndale has win over Sierra Canyon, but as mentioned earlier CIF and CIFSS prefer placements of CIFSS teams according to division placement. South Hills, meanwhile, got past Oxnard on Saturday night to remain unbeaten. Don’t really see any other teams below these two being higher any way you look at it.
Lincoln (San Diego) 10-3* vs. Culver City 11-2
San Diego D2 champion vs. CIFSS D7 champion. At Culver City, Friday. We had unbeaten San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno on the south board and in this spot, but the Panthers were missing in CIF’s Sunday lineup. It would seem the CIF had an extra spot to play with, only took two from the Central Section instead of three and will use SJM in the north for next week’s board. We had speculated on Saturday night that a Tulare-SJM matchup might be in this spot on South board. That matchup could still happen, but for the north. With SJM not used, Lincoln would have been the next team coming up on our board as well.
Eisenhower (Rialto) 14-0 vs. Kaiser (Fontana) 13-1
CIFSS D10 champion & CIFSS D8 champion. At Kaiser, Saturday. Ike only had a 135 computer ranking this week, but just beat an unbeaten Highland of Palmdale squad that was in the 70s and also was 13-0. We had Kaiser one spot lower in D4-AA, but again with that extra spot freed up above that presented an opportunity for these two Inland Empire teams to play each other. Makes sense.
Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 11-2 vs. Morse (San Diego) 9-4
Central Sec D4 champion & San Diego Sec D3 champion. At CVC, Friday. It was a great weekend for the San Diego city schools as Lincoln, Morse and San Diego High all won section titles. Morse topped previously unbeaten Central (El Centro) for its title. Computer rankings say this is a good matchup, but from covering CVC for many years still seems too high. Plus, we wouldn’t have sent a San Diego team on this far of a trip or vice versa. It’s not as if CVC vs. Garfield (much closer trip) would have made a difference competitively.
Garfield (Los Angeles) 12-1 vs. Kennedy (Delano) 13-1
L.A. City Open Division runner-up & Central Sec D5 champion. At Garfield, Saturday. Is the L.A. City Open Division that bad in that its second-best team behind Narbonne can be matched up against a legit small school team from Central Sec D5? Kennedy also is about 60 spots lower in its computer ranking compared to Garfield. Kind of think the Thunderbirds got a bad draw for this division. Definitely should have been lower.
San Gorgonio (San Bernardino) 11-3 vs. Western (Anaheim) 13-1
CIFSS D9 and CIFSS D11 champions. At San Gorgonio, Friday. This might look odd given the division numbers these two teams just won, but San G is at 190 with its computer ranking and Western is just a few spots behind at 200. We had this matchup on our board last night but that was without knowing extra spot was going to be freed up by SJ Memorial not being there. At the mininum, we would have had San G up against Garfield and Western playing Kennedy (Delano).
San Diego 10-2 vs. Linfield Christian (Temecula) 13-1
San Diego Sec D4 champion & CIFSS D12 champion. At San Diego, Saturday. Linfield was dominant in winning its crown. We’ve had Shafter opposite Linfield for a few weeks and didn’t think it would change with Kennedy winning. Still, there was an extra spot filtering down the list to deal with so San Diego moving up to play Linfield is not a surprise.
Strathmore 11-1 vs. Adelanto 13-1
Central Sec D6 champion & CIFSS D13 champion. At Strathmore, Friday. Adelanto emerged out of the same bracket that we were previously listing El Monte and Orange Vista as the representative. Strathmore also moves up from where we had them with that extra spot vacated by San Joaquin Memorial above. The Spartans can now defend the state title they won last year so putting them in D6-AA became an easy call.
Orange Glen (Escondido) 9-3 vs. Locke (Los Angeles) 9-4
San Diego Sec D5 champion & L.A. City D2 champion. At Orange Glen, Saturday. We had Locke-Strathmore, but there ended up only one team on D7-AA board for south instead of two so Orange Glen moves up from D7-AA.
D7-AA State Championship
Denair 11-1 & Santee (Los Angeles) 13-1
Sac-Joaquin Sec D7 champion & L.A. City D3 champion. Technically, Santee is actually a few spots higher in the computer rankings than Locke, but we didn’t think it was enough to flip them and the CIF didn’t either. Denair won its section title on Saturday so it could play next week against Santee. Winning the D6-A title would be harder, but this 7-AA matchup was deemed necessary also with Fall River (McArthur) opting not to be in the field after winning Northern Section D5 title on Saturday over a Chester team that did the same thing last season. With Fall River off and Denair off of next week’s NorCal board, there became room to have four Central Section teams in the north instead of three and there’s still room for the NCS to have all of its teams entered as well.
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