Weekend Regional FB Scoreboard (Friday)

Players & coaches from St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma gather around the CIF NorCal D6-AA title plaque they received after two-point win vs Palo Alto. Photo: @SVHS_FB / Twitter.com.

One of the most incredible finishes to a game you’d ever see and three unbeaten teams that all lost were just some of the storylines for the CIF regional championships that were played on Friday night. We’ll have a similar scoreboard on Sunday morning after all of the games played on Saturday for D1-A, D2-A, D3-A, D4-A, D5-A, D6-A and D7-A.


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CIF State Championship games will be played next week at three junior college sites in Southern California — Saddleback (Mission Viejo), El Camino (Torrance) and Pasadena.

The CIF has announced all sites on Sunday, but already announced that the Open Division championship (in which there are no regional games beforehand) will be next Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. at Saddleback between state No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana (12-1) and state No. 4 Serra of San Mateo (12-0).

All other game sites were released on Sunday morning by the CIF. The key to which games are at Saddleback seems to be the CIF’s TV broadcast partners. The only game from last year not at Saddleback this year is D2-A with Los Gatos vs Central Valley Christian (Visalia) at Pasadena City College. It’s been replaced at Saddleback by Acalanes vs Birmingham, which are playing in the D3-AA championship.


North: De La Salle of Concord (NCS Open) 41, Clovis North of Fresno (Central Sec D1) 0

We’re not sure if anyone saw a Spartans’ rout coming, similar to the ones they administered to many previously unbeaten teams they played in their winning streak years from 1992 to 2003, but that’s what they did to the Broncos. The ground game with QB Toa Faavae, RB Derrick Blanche and RB Dominic Kelley (all juniors by the way) drove the field for two early TDs sandwiched around a 3-and-out for the Broncos and never let up. They led 33-0 at halftime and there was a running clock in the fourth quarter. Faavae finished with two TD runs and a 10-yard TD pass to tight end Landon Cook. Blanche had two scores, Kelley one and Jalen Jefferson took a backwards pass for an 81-yard TD run in the third quarter. DLS (11-2) advanced to its 16th CIF state championship game since the event re-started in 2006. The Spartans haven’t won one, however, since 2015. They didn’t have to play St. John Bosco or Mater Dei last year, but lost to San Diego Lincoln. The game next week vs Mission Viejo will be Friday night at Saddleback College. Clovis North finished 13-1 and just didn’t have it after stepping outside of the Central Section for a game for the first time this season. The Broncos got their big win in September vs JSerra of the Trinity League on their home field.

South: Mission Viejo (CIFSS D2) 49, Granite Hills of El Cajon (SD Open) 21

Suffering a somewhat similar fate as previously unbeaten Clovis North in the NorCal matchup in this division was the Eagles. They had won their first-ever CIF San Diego Section Open Division title two weeks ago with an overtime win by one point over defending CIF D1-AA state champ Lincoln and that was after an overtime win by one point in the semifinals against Carlsbad. There was no overtime this time. It looked good for Granite Hills (12-1) in the first quarter as a trick play helped the team get out to a 14-0 lead on a pair of 1-yard runs by Max Turner and Pablo Jackson. Mission Viejo (12-3) turned the tide not long after that and then went up 28-14 on the third play of the second half, which was a pick six by Jeron Jones. A forced fumble by Jaden Williams then led to another score and by the time Granite Hills finally scored the Diablos had gone on a 49-0 run. Sophomore Luke Fahey finished with two TD passes and one TD run. Mission Viejo had a four-year stretch of playing De La Salle from 2004 to 2007 and went 2-2 in those games, winning in 2004 and 2005 but losing in 2006 and 2007. The two schools haven’t played since then. Former head coach Bob Johnson was always glad to say that he didn’t have a losing record against the Spartans. Granite Hills also had a 21-game win streak snapped, which was the longest current win streak in the state. The Diablos also will basically have a home game at nearby Saddleback next Friday vs De La Salle.


North: Grant of Sacramento (SJS D3) 41, Rocklin (SJS D2) 14

For the second straight week, Grant’s 1-2 punch of RBs Wayshawn Parker (Washington State) and Devin Green (UNLV) just got downhill too much with two touchdowns each, but this time the Pacers (12-2) raced past a Rocklin team that was 12-1 with a win over an Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills squad that had a win over Grant early in the season. Parker and Green have only been rolling like this for just over five or six games. Green’s 49-yard run in the fourth quarter made it a 34-14 game. He had 1-yard run in the first quarter. Parker had a 28-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and another 1-yard run. Kingston Lopa (Oregon recruit) had another huge game for the Pacers. He picked off a pass and ran it back for a 33-yard TD to give Grant its first lead at 13-7 in the second quarter, he later caught an 18-yard TD pass and he had another interception in the second half. Rocklin (12-2) cut the lead to 20-14 in the third quarter on a touchdown pass by Reeve Sloan, who also scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the game, but the Thunder defense couldn’t contain both running backs and the passing of QB Luke Alexander. Grant will now look to win a second straight state title (last year D3-AA) next Friday at Saddleback College vs La Serna.

Devin Green is about to break a tackle for Grant of Sacramento during Friday’s CIF NorCal D2-AA title game at Rocklin. Photo: Jordan Georgeson / Gold Country Media.

South: La Serna of Whittier (CIFSS D4) 49, Orange Vista of Perris (CIFSS D5) 32

This was a rather stunning win for the Lancers since they fell behind 32-22 early in the fourth quarter, but scored four straight touchdowns after that for a 17-point victory. Recovering an onside kick helped fuel the surge and in fact it was a touchdown run by Adrian Castro after getting the onside kick that gave La Serna (12-3) a 36-32 lead. Two big runs by QB C.J. Ceron then set up the third score and he scored the final touchdown of the game himself. Head coach Andy George will now try to get La Serna its first-ever CIF state title next Friday at Saddleback College. Ceron had a massive outing directing the offense. He ended with 184 passing yards and two TDs and he had 104 yards rushing. Orange Vista (11-4) was hindered in the second half with the absence of Arizona State linebacker recruit Sire Gaines, who suffered a hip injury. Gaines had two TD runs in the first half after he rushed for five TDs in his previous game vs Newbury Park. The Coyotes still had some success throwing the ball with Khalil Abdul-Azziz. He ended 18 of 32 passing for 289 yards and three TDs. He also scored on a 43-yard run.


North: Acalanes of Lafayette (NCS D4) 49, Escalon (SJS D4) 14

At last June’s CIF state track meet, Acalanes was second in the 4×100 meter relay and it was a group with football players who are part of this team. Cal-bound football recruit Trevor Rogers had the play of the game against Escalon when he stepped in front of a pass after the Cougars had driven down the field on their first possession and raced back the other way for a 98-yard pick six. Escalon had a similar drive on its second series, but again no points, which was followed by couple of plays that put the Dons back in the end zone. The Cougars (12-2) weren’t really close the rest of the way. The Dons (10-4), who knocked off previous 12-0 San Marin of Novato to avenge an early loss, also were led on the night by QB Sully Bailey, who passed for 210 yards and one TD and scored three times on short runs. Deonte Littlejohn also had a pick six for Acalanes to close out the scoring. Joshua Graham had a 2-yard TD run and Donovan Rozevink had a TD pass for Escalon, which won the D4-AA state title last year and has three state titles in its history. Acalanes will be going for its first. Its game vs Birmingham will be Saturday at Saddleback College.

South: Birmingham of Lake Balboa (LA City Open) 30, Del Norte of San Diego (SD D2) 28

What a heart-breaker for the Nighthawks and what a win for the Patriots was about all one could say after a miraculous last-second, no-time-left-on-the-clock Hail Mary pass switched the outcome of this contest. Del Norte (11-3) had taken a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter on a 75-yard kickoff return for TD by Ty Olsen and had two field goal attempts by one of the top kickers in the state, Trey Coleman, that could have lengthened the lead. Both kicks missed. The second one came with 28 seconds left, but that gave Birmingham a chance. The Patriots (12-2) got into place for one play from their own 48-yard line. Kingston Tisdell escaped some pressure and got a pass down to around the 10-yard line. The pass seemed to be deflected almost simultaneously by Birmingham’s Peyton Waters and a Del Norte defender. The ball landed in the arms of Birmingham’s Devyn Jackson, who caught it in stride and scored a stunning winning touchdown. It was the third TD pass of the game for Tisdell. Dreyon Fowles also rushed for 154 yards on 28 carries for the Patriots. QB Jack Schneider had another great outing for Del Norte. The last CIF L.A. City Section Open Division team to win a CIF state title was Narbonne of Harbor City in 2017 in D1-A. The game vs Acalanes will be Saturday at Saddleback College.

The skill players from Acalanes of Lafayette are shown after they defeated San Marin of Novato to with the CIF North Coast Section D4 championship. Photo: Twitter.com.


North: Soquel (CCS D2) 42, Casa Roble of Orangevale (SJS D5) 14

One week after winning their first CCS title, the Knights (11-2) added their first NorCal title and now they’ll look to make it a first ever CIF state title next Friday at Pasadena City College. The visiting Rams (12-2) had their chances, but fumbled on the 5-yard line in the first half and then after cutting the score to 21-14 in the third quarter on a touchdown run by QB Connor Campbell they gave up a 6-yard TD run to Soquel’s Justice Grauel. It wasn’t long after that when Grauel powered down the field for a 64-yard touchdown that put the game out of reach.

South: Jurupa Hills of Fontana (CIFSS D8) 41, Torres of Madera (Central Sec D4) 14

Jordan Ruiz passed for three TDs and Jordan Pernillo rushed for 127 yards on 13 carries and scored twice as the Spartans surged past the Toros from the CIF Central Section. Ruiz threw two of his TD passes to Jaylen Ephraim, who was our SoCal Defensive Player of the Week for what he did in the CIFSS title game. Torres (11-4) was still within striking distance to start the third quarter at 20-6 when Ruiz hit on a 18-yard TD pass to Ephraim. Neither Jurupa Hills (9-6) or its opponent in next week’s CIF state final to be played Friday night at Pasadena City College, Soquel (near Santa Cruz), has ever won a CIF state title before.


North: Pleasant Valley of Chico (Northern Sec D2) 31, Miramonte of Orinda (NCS D5) 12

Lucas Benson was all over the place for the Vikings in the first half of this game. He had a TD run, TD pass and intercepted a pass on defense to help them take a 17-6 lead. Miramonte scored first in the third quarter on a TD pass by Carson Blair (his second of the game), but Pleasant Valley (10-3) answered with a scoring drive of its own capped by a Benson 9-yard run. Disaster then struck for the Matadors (9-4) as they fumbled on their own 7-yard line. That led to another Vikings’ touchdown and put the game out of reach. PV will go for its second CIF state title Friday at El Camino College.

South: Ramona of Riverside (CIFSS D11) 21, Torrance (CIFSS D10) 16

The Rams pulled in front 21-13 in the second half on a 18-yard TD run by QB Jeremiah Acosta and only gave a field goal the rest of the way. Royce Mendoza led the Ramona defense with a pair of interceptions. Sincere Tolbert scored the other two touchdowns on short runs. Ryan Young was a standout for the Tartars, who ended 10-5 overall, He ended with 148 yards rushing and one TD, according to a game report by the Riverside Press-Enterprise. Ramona (10-5) will be looking to win its first-ever CIF state title next week on Friday at El Camino College.


North: St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma (NCS D6) 28, Palo Alto (CCS D4) 26

After two previous attempts to win a NorCal title, the Mustangs (12-2) came through with a home win over a team from the same league as Los Gatos and Wilcox (two CCS D1/Open Division teams). Head coach Trent Herzog’s team won it by stopping a two-point conversion try by the Vikings after they scored on a touchdown pass with 1:48 left in the game. Joseph Edwards was credited with an interception on the play. Palo Alto ended the season at 7-7. The Mustangs will go for the state title Friday at Pasadena City College.

South: Wasco (Central Sec D3) 7, Cerritos (CIFSS D12) 6

A conversion situation also was the difference in the SoCal D6-AA championship. In that game, a blocked PAT by the Tigers (9-5) after the Dons scored in the first half on a 1-yard TD plunge by Josh Park ended up being the winning play. Wasco scored its only touchdown in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by Noah Lopez but its PAT kick was through the uprights. Cerritos (9-6) had more than one chance to go in front in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers’ defense was up to the challenge and never gave up the lead. Wasco’s game next week will be Friday at Pasadena City College.


North: Ferndale (NCS D7) 32, Portola (Northern Sec D5) 7

After an up-and-down regular season that saw Ferndale drop four games, including two to Arcata, the Wildcats have put it all together in the postseason. They won their first-ever NorCal title with a dismantling of a Portola team that came into the night with a 12-0 record. All three unbeaten teams that played on Friday, in fact, lost in regional finals so Portola was not alone. Ferndale (10-4) has won 15 section titles, but most of those were before the CIF went to state/regional games in 2006. The Wildcats will kick off the schedule at El Camino College on Friday.

South: Fairfax (LA City D5) BYE

There had to be one team from the south to get a bye due to the uneven number of teams on each side of the CIF board and that went to the Lions (10-4). They won in the CIF L.A. City Section D5 final, 20-14, over Chatsworth. Fairfax is facing Ferndale on Friday for the state title at El Camino College.

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.

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