We take what the CIF has announced on Sunday for next week’s NorCal and SoCal regional championship games and enhance them with which title each team won plus win-loss record plus any notes or comments that we immediately noticed. State title games will be played in Open, D1-AA, D1-A, D2-AA and D2-A the following week at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. All other state finals will be at Northern California home sites.
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Note: All of the state finals for the AA divisions will be on Friday of the following week. All of the state finals for the A divisions will be on Saturday for the following week.
Serra of San Mateo (CCS D1) 13-0 vs. St. John Bosco of Bellflower (CIFSS D1) 12-1
Comments: Game set at Saddleback College Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8:00 p.m. Serra lost to Mater Dei, 44-6, in last year’s game. St. John Bosco has won CIF Open Division state titles in 2013, 2016 and 2019, all under head coach Jason Negro.
North: De La Salle of Concord (NCS Open) 9-3 at Folsom (SJS D1) 12-1
South: Lincoln of San Diego (SD Open) 11-1 at Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (CIFSS D2) 10-4
Comments: Both games Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Matchups were as expected, but we were kind of surprised that the San Diego team is on the road again after Cathedral Catholic had to play Orange Lutheran last year in this division as a road game. Lincoln should have been home. De La Salle will be trying to do to Folsom what Folsom did to the Spartans last year and that’s lose in the regular season but come back and win in the NorCal final.
North: Manteca (SJS D2) 12-1 at Pittsburg (NCS D1) 11-2
South: Liberty of Bakersfield (Central Sec D1) 11-2 at Yorba Linda (CIFSS D3) 14-0
Comments: Both games Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. s we said, never know what the CIF is going to do with Central Section teams. We had Liberty in the north like last year, with Lemoore in south. The CIF went for Liberty in the south and Lemoore in the north. Manteca also moved up from where we had them, which is possible with Liberty in the south. Recruiting fans will love the Manteca-Pitt matchup with Florida State-bound Blake Nichelson leading Manteca and Florida-bound Jaden Rashada leading the Pirates. Yorba Linda is the only team still going with a chance to tie the all-time state record by going 16-0 in a undefeated season.
North: Lemoore (Central Sec D2) 12-1 at McClymonds of Oakland (Oak Sec) 10-1*
South: Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista (SD D1) 9-4 at Downey (CIFSS D4) 12-2
Comments: Both games Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. D2AA can now be defended by Mater Dei Catholic (also because of Liberty Bak being D1A in south). The Crusaders facing QB Aiden Chiles (Oregon St) & team at Downey. Lemoore being north instead of south put it here as well. If Lemoore is north, Tigers at McClymonds (we had Mack D2AA) would have been expected.
North: Marin Catholic of Kentfield (NCS D4) 13-0 at San Ramon Valley of Danville (NCS D1) 11-2
South: Etiwanda (CIFSS D5) 9-5 at Granite Hills of El Cajon (SD D2) 11-2
Comments: Both games Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. Etiwanda at Granite Hills would have been projected by us as well if Liberty (Bak) was not up there in D1-A and pushed others down the SoCal board. Marin Catholic facing San Ramon Valley became more possible with SRV beating Campolindo in its final. The two teams were just a few positions apart the last time we checked the computer rankings.
North: Grant of Sacramento (SJS D3) 10-2 at El Cerrito (NCS D3) 12-0*
South: University City of San Diego (SD D3) 11-2 at San Jacinto (CIFSS D6) 12-2
Comments: Both games Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. University City at San Jacinto was projected and is happening. Grant playing El Cerrito also was projected and is happening. Pacers looking to win first state title since they won in Open Division in 2008 over Long Beach Poly.
North: Vanden of Fairfield (SJS D4) 12-1 vs. Bellarmine of San Jose (CCS D1) 7-6 at San Jose City College
South: Laguna Hills (SSD7) 13-1 at Birmingham of Lake Balboa (LA City Open) 9-4
Comments: Both games Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. The Vanden-Bellarmine matchup also was projected by us and is taking place. The Bells have never won a CIF state final, but have won two NorCal titles. We made a mistake in our projections and had Laguna Hills as D8 and Northwood as D7 from the CIFSS but it is the other way around. This the same division in which Birmingham won in the regional, but was dominated in the final by McClymonds.
North: Pleasant Valley of Chico (Northern Sec D2) 8-4 at Escalon (SJS D5) 10-3
South: Northwood of Irvine (SSD8) 13-1 at Kennedy of Delano (Central Sec D3) 11-2
Comments: Both games Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. This seems like a good spot for Northwood (lot higher computer ranking than Kennedy of Delano) to go far. It will be hard for that team to potentially win at Escalon, however, which also will be true for Pleasant Valley.
North: Menlo School of Atherton (CCS D3) 8-5 at San Marin of Novato (NCS D5) 11-2
South: Granada Hills Charter of Granada Hills (LA City D1) at Laguna Beach (CIFSS D9) 11-3
Comments: Both games Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. We had both of these matchups projected and they are happening. San Marin is a returning state champion from last year but in the next division lower (D5-AA).
North: Ripon Christian (SJS D7) 11-2 at Hughson (SJS D6) 11-2
South: Muir of Pasadena (CIFSS D10) 8-6 at Palo Verde Valley of Blythe (SD D4) 13-1
Comments: Both games Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Ripon Christian should not have been paired with Hughson. We get the travel, but RC has a loss to Orestimba & Hughson beat Orestimba. RC should have been one division lower. Orland vs Hughson was much better, but Orland-Clear Lake for D5-A does work better for travel, too. For the south, we had the Muir-Palo Verde Valley matchup projected and it is happening.
North: Clear Lake of Lakeport (NCS D7) 12-1 at Orland (Northern Sec D3) 13-0
South: Shafter (Central Sec D4) 9-4 at Walnut (CIFSS D11) 11-3
Comments: Both games Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. All four of these teams beat teams that were seeded higher or ranked higher in their section finals (Clear Lake over St. Vincent de Paul, Orland over University Prep, Shafter over Caruthers and Walnut over Bellflower).
North: Santa Teresa of San Jose (CCS D4) 8-5 at Palo Alto (CCS D5) 7-6
South: Lancaster (CIFSS D12) 9-5 vs. Classical Academy of Escondido (SD D5) 8-4
Comments: It’s still TBA for where the South game will be played. Both will be Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. 6-AA South Lancaster is where we thought it would be but Classical Academy (SD Sec D5) is higher. It’s okay, though, looking at computer ranking. Putting Santa Teresa and Palo Alto together from the CCS makes some sense if the CIF doesn’t want those two bigger schools facing small schools like Clear Lake and Orland.
North: Atascadero (Central Sec D5) 9-4 at Colusa (Northern Sec D4) 10-2
South: Kennedy of Granada Hills (LA City D2) at San Gabriel (CIFSS D13) 11-3
Comments: Both games Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. A difference from our projections is that we had Atascadero (Central Sec) in the south with CIF putting it in the north. The Greyhounds will be on the road but favored for D6-A vs Colusa.
DIVISION 7–AA State Championship
Pinole Valley of Pinole (NCS D6) 8-4 at Mendota (Central Sec D6) 9-4
Comments: Game will be Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. In some years, in a one gamer like this, the teams have played on the same weekend as the other state finals. Instead, this will be a one-game championship.
North: Lincoln of San Francisco (SF Sec) 9-3 has a bye
South: Whittier Christian of La Habra (CIFSS D14) 10-4 at Crenshaw of Los Angeles (LA City D3) 6-7
Comments: South game will be Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Winner will head to S.F. for the state final the following week. Lincoln also has a far superior computer ranking to the other two teams. We had Lincoln with the bye but in a higher division. No other teams in the state opted out of the CIF bowl games other than Fall River of McArthur (the CIF Northern Section D5 champion).