The Weekend State TOP 25 Scoreboard is being replaced this weekend by two scoreboards that will present details and quick reactions from the Friday and Saturday CIF regional championships. The big winners on Friday were De La Salle of Concord (D1-AA), Lincoln of San Diego (D1-AA), McClymonds of Oakland (D2-AA) and Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista (D2-AA).
Note: CIF state championships will be staged next week (Friday & Saturday) for Open Division, D1-AA, D1-A, D2-AA and D2-A at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. All other CIF state finals will be at home sites in the north.
(Thanks to Northern California correspondent Daniel Poulter for providing writeups of the NorCal regional games.)
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North: De La Salle of Concord (NCS Open) 17,
Folsom (SJS D1) 14
The Spartans (No. 9 in last week’s State TOP 50) won’t be denied a chance for a state title for the second straight season, as the Spartans snapped a two-game losing streak to Folsom with a 17-14 victory over the Bulldogs on Friday evening. Both sides were without their top playmakers, as De La Salle was down Notre Dame bound tight end Cooper Flanagan and Folsom was without fellow Fighting Irish commit Nico Flores. Greco Carrillo, however, has made a name for himself this season making game changing plays for the Bulldogs and the San Jose State University commit once again had the early answer for Folsom. Carrillo scooped up a fumble in the first quarter and returned it 45 yards for the score. De La Salle would answer back with 17 unanswered points, with Fresno State bound Charles Greer scoring the eventual game winning score on a six-yard burst after a Jonathan Guerrero interception before the half. The Spartans (9-3) will now look to win their 8th state title and first ever CIF state final not in the Open Division and will take on Lincoln of San Diego. Folsom, which will drop from being No. 5 in the state last week, had a 12-2 season in which the other loss was to No. 3 Serra of San Mateo.
South: Lincoln of San Diego (SD Open) 37,
Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (CIFSS D2) 14
The reaction among many we know in the L.A. area was one of shock when looking at this score since all they knew was looking at the score of Lincoln’s loss to Alemany of Mission Hills compared to Sierra Canyon beating that same team 42-0. The details painted a different story, however, and the visiting Hornets were a dominant winner. The Trailblazers led 7-3 in the second quarter on a TD run by sophomore Dane Dunn, but Lincoln took a 10-7 lead at halftime and took control in the third quarter with a 27-0 blitz. A 72-yard TD pass from K.J. Chatham to Corey Thompson-Miller got the roll going. Running back Roderick Robinson then took over. He ended with 16 carries for 170 yards and four touchdowns, including TDs from 47 and 74 yards. The Hornets improved to 12-1. Sierra Canyon ended the season at 10-5. This is the second straight win by the CIF San Diego Section Open Division champion in this game over the CIF Southern Section D2 champion.
North: McClymonds of Oakland (Oak Sec) 49,
Lemoore (Central Sec D2) 35
The visiting Tigers of the Central Section hung tough for a half, but McClymonds will be heading to its sixth straight state title appearance with a 49-35 victory. Mack found itself behind 7-0 after the first quarter, but the Warriors leaned on three-star prospect Jaivian Thomas. The senior running back scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 41-yard breakaway run and finished with nearly 300 yards on the ground. Ty Chambers did all he could in defeat, as the Lemoore quarterback had over 450 yards of total offense for the game. McClymonds (11-1 with one forfeit win) will now head down to Saddleback College to square off with Mater Dei Catholic. The Tigers finished 12-2 with their only other loss coming to Clovis West. The only loss for Mack has been to Pittsburg.
South: Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista (SD D1) 22,
Downey (CIFSS D4) 21
After last week’s 34-29 win against Mission Hills for the CIF San Diego Section D1 title that came on a TD pass play with three seconds left, the Crusaders (10-4) did it again with a comeback win. It was a different type of win, though. They scored this time with 3:54 left to go in front 22-21 on a 4-yard TD run by Anthony McMillan. The defense then stood up and came up with a pass interception to seal it. McMillan also scored one of the other touchdowns on a 1-yard run. Mater Dei Catholic also will now get to try to win a second straight CIF state title in the same division. And if the CIF had not put Liberty of Bakersfield in the south, the team likely would have been in D1-A and not D2-AA. Downey took a 21-0 lead in the first half behind the play of Oregon State-bound QB Aiden Chiles. He ended 17 of 28 for 217 yards and two TDs. The Vikings wrapped up their season at 12-3.
North: Grant of Sacramento (SJS D3) 36,
El Cerrito (NCS D3) 7
The host squad from El Cerrito opened up the scoring in the first half on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Michael Vanhook to Kamani Jackson to take a 7-0 lead, but these would be the last points a stout Grant (Sacramento) defense would allow. The storied Pacers’ program would strike back with 36 unanswered points in the 36-7 thumping of formerly undefeated El Cerrito (12-1*). Grant did most of its damage in the second quarter, as the Pacers (11-2) pushed across 22 points. The turnaround has been impressive for Grant, as the program suffered a 1-8 season last year. Most around the state know the Pacers for their play in the late 2000s, including their legendary win over Long Beach Poly in 2008 for the CIF Open Division state title.
South: San Jacinto (CIFSS D6) 49,
University City of San Diego (SD D3) 45
After an insane first half in which San Jacinto put up 42 points and was leading the Centurions 42-28, the teams settled down a little bit in the second half. University City was never able to come all the way back and saw its season ended at 11-3. The Tigers are now 13-2 and also are just 33 points away from scoring 700 for the season. Dereun Dortch also continued his remarkable play as the San Jacinto QB. He had TD runs of 51, 1 and 43 yards and he threw TD passes of 65, 4 and 46 yards. Dillon Gresham had an interception to cement the win and caught his 28th TD pass of the season. He’s now tied the Inland Empire record and will look next week to become just the sixth player in state history to catch 30 or more TD passes. The state record is 34. Samuel Cooper led University City (11-3) by rushing for a pair of scores and catching a touchdown pass.
North: Escalon (SJS D5) 42,
Pleasant Valley of Chico (Northern Sec D2) 20
After nearly falling to top 50 side Buchanan (Clovis) 41-40 in overtime earlier this season, we knew there would be a solid shot that Escalon (11-3) would be back in a state title game and the Cougars breezed to the 4-AA title game with a 42-20 victory over Pleasant Valley (Chico). Donovan Rozevink connected on a 18-yard touchdown pass to Owen Nash and Escalon never looked back in the blowout. Bryson McFall had the best play for Pleasant Valley before the halftime break by returning a kickoff for a score, but the Vikings still trailed 21-7 at the break. Escalon will be looking to win its third CIF state title. PV had avenged two losses to win its second title so its final record of 8-5 is misleading.
South: Northwood of Irvine (SSD8) 10,
Kennedy of Delano (Central Sec D3) 7
A fourth down stop with 2:23 left and then Adam Harper running out the clock with first downs secured the victory for the Timberwolves, who had to go to Kern County for the game and next week will be heading all the way to San Joaquin County to play Escalon for the state crown. Harper also had Northwood’s only TD on a 15-yard run. Karim Yowkeem accounted for the other points by booting a 37-yard field goal. Harper also finished among the leading tacklers in the game and rushed 21 times for 130 yards. Northwood (14-1) lost in a regional game last season and is still looking for the school’s first CIF state title. Kennedy’s lone score came on a 4-yard TD run by Gamiez Helm. The Thunderbirds wrapped up a 11-3 season.
North: Hughson (SJS D6) 32,
Ripon Christian (SJS D7) 28
After three quarters of play, it appeared that Ripon Christian had done enough to pull off an upset over Hughson, as the Knights had a 28-10 lead. But Hughson scored 21 unanswered points in the final 6:35 to pull off the stunning 32-28 comeback victory. The Huskies forced a punt with 2:56 to play and quickly found themselves in a do or die fourth and 20 with 1:16 remaining. Quarterback Robert McDaniel scrambled to his right and zipped a pass over midfield to Malakai Sumter to convert the fourth down and continue the drive. Alex Villarreal then secured the victory with a 1-yard punch in with 11 seconds remaining. It will be the first CIF state title for Hughson (11-2) if it can win next week. Rival schools from the Trans Valley League that already have won state titles include Ripon, Escalon and Hilmar. Ripon Christian’s effort at what would have been an upset ended its season at 11-3.
South: Muir of Pasadena (CIFSS D10) 33,
Palo Verde Valley of Blythe (SD D4) 7
In all of their long history, the Mustangs have never won a CIF state title in football and they moved one step closer with surprisingly lopsided triumph against the Yellow Jackets. Jachai Pulley led the way with 201 yards and three TDs. The Muir defense also shut down a Palo Verde offense that was averaging 48 ppg. Th key part of the game came when it looked like the Yellow Jackets were going to cut the score to 12-6 or 12-7 in the first half. They were stopped and then Muir went on a 99-yard scoring drive. Head coach Lance Mitchell’s squad improved to 9-6 and traveled 220 miles to the Imperial Valley to pick up the win. Palo Verde ended 13-2.
North: Santa Teresa of San Jose (CCS D4) 30,
Palo Alto (CCS D5) 20
In an all-Central Coast Section matchup, it was Division 4 Santa Teresa that picked up a 30-20 victory over Division 5 champion Palo Alto on Friday evening. Santa Teresa also earned its first region title with the victory. The Saints traded the lead back and forth all evening, but eventually took the lead for good earlier in the fourth quarter when Joshua Reyes punched in a 5-yard touchdown to put Santa Teresa up 24-20. The Saints pushed their season record to 9-5. Paly finished at 7-7.
South: Classical Academy of Escondido (SD D5) 34,
Lancaster (CIFSS D12) 14
The Caimans hosted their first-ever SoCal regional contest and despite coming from the lowest division of the San Diego Section took out the D12 winners from the Southern Section. Life Pollard was the top standout for the victors as he scored on an interception return, kickoff return and a run from scrimmage. Both of Lancaster’s TDs came on TD passes from Cedric SaMarion to Chowlyn Hughes. Classical Academy pushed its record to 9-4 while the Eagles will be shown with a final season record of 9-6.
Note: The D7-A SoCal game between Whittier Christian of La Habra (10-4) and Crenshaw of Los Angeles (6-7) at Crenshaw was initially announced by the CIF as a Friday game, but earlier this week it was moved to Saturday. The winner will play next Saturday at Lincoln of San Francisco (9-3).