Weekend Regional FB Scoreboard (Saturday)

Los Gatos head coach Mark Krail holds CIF NorCal D2-A title trophy during team photo after team defeated El Cerrito on Saturday. Photo: Mark Tennis / Cal-Hi Sports.

It’s a second straight stunning loss for a top San Diego Section team, this time as St. Augustine falls on the final play to St. Bonaventure of Ventura in D1-A South final. Folsom beats Pitt in the NorCal game while Los Gatos and Central Valley Christian won in the 2-A games in completely different ways. Unbeatens Woodland Christian & Colusa win in small school divisions.


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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: Folsom (SJS D1) 28, Pittsburg (NCS D1) 25

The visiting Pirates played Folsom a couple of times before the pandemic and were a few plays short each time of getting a win. It was the same on Saturday night at Prairie City Stadium as the Bulldogs handed Pitt its first loss of the season. Usually, a team coming out of the CIF North Coast Section Open/D1 bracket has at least one loss, but the Pirates didn’t get the No. 2 seed despite being 10-0 since San Ramon Valley only had an overtime loss to De La Salle. Pitt then topped SRV in last week’s D1 section final. The Pirates (13-1) had a 16-14 lead at halftime and increased it to 18-14 on a safety in the third quarter. Folsom grabbed a 21-18 lead on a 15-yard TD pass from sophomore phenom Ryder Lyons to Jameson Powell with five minutes left. The Pirates were looking to answer when they had to turn the ball over on a fourth down play that appeared to be a first down according to some reports but officials marked the ball short. Lyons then added a 9-yard TD run with 1:13 left. Folsom (12-2) will now be looking to win its fifth CIF state title next weekend on Saturday at Saddleback College. Pitt has a squad loaded with juniors that will be one of the leading teams in Northern California next season.

South: St. Bonaventure of Ventura (CIFSS D3) 21, St. Augustine of San Diego (SD D1) 20

One night after CIF San Diego Section D2 champion Del Norte lost on the last play of the game, the same heartbreak happened to the Saints. They were leading the entire night until the end when Max Peters took a pitch on a halfback option and instead of running he threw a 5-yard TD pass to Kayin Booker with no time on the clock. George Mann then booted the PAT for a one-point win. Koen Glover scored the other two TDs for St. Bonaventure on a 27-yard pass from Anthony Wolter and on a 8-yard run. Wolter also completed a pass to the 4-yard line and spiked the ball with two seconds on the clock that set up the final game-winning play. Isaiah Hasten caught a 24-yard TD pass from Brady Palmer to give Saints and early lead and later he had a 5-yard TD catch that made the score 20-7. St. Bonaventure (12-3) won CIF state titles in 2007 and 2008 in the old three-division format but hasn’t been back to the state finals since then. Next Saturday’s game will be at Saddleback College. St. Augustine (10-5) will be one of the top preseason ranked teams next season in the CIF San Diego Section with a number of top players slated to return.


North: Los Gatos (CCS D1) 14, El Cerrito (NCS D2) 6

With the CIF Central Coast Section now getting its second-best team into the regional playoffs by virtue of a split D1/Open Division format, it’s an opportunity that the Wildcats are more than happy to take advantage of. After they rolled to their section title last week over league rival Wilcox of Santa Clara, they slugged it out and got past an El Cerrito team that entered the game with just a 31-12 loss to juggernaut De La Salle on its ledger. Head coach Mark Krail’s team could do very little in the first half against El Cerrito’s defense. The Gauchos scored on their first series on a 18-yard pass from Michael Van Hook to Kamani Jackson but missed the extra point. They had another drive just before halftime that reached the 6-yard line but missed a field goal and didn’t get any points. Los Gatos (12-2) finally broke through on its second series of the second half with a 52-yard drive that ended with a 11-yard TD pass from A.J. Minyard to Jaylen Thomas. The PAT by Sam Pearman was good for a 7-6 lead. A holding penalty then pushed El Cerrito into a tough spot on its next series, which ended in a punt. Los Gatos then scored again. This time, Boxer Kopscak-Yeung finally found some running room. He scored on a 11-yard run with 6:20 left. El Cerrito (11-2*) had one last chance with 1:34 left, but Van Hook threw three straight incompletions after getting two first downs and then on fourth down the win was iced for the Wildcats on an interception by Nate Goldsbury. This will be the first ever trip to a CIF state final for Los Gatos, which has a great football history that goes back more than 100 years and includes more than 600 wins (one of the highest totals in state history). Next week’s game on Saturday will be at Pasadena City College.

South: Central Valley Christian of Visalia (Central Sec D2) 55, Simi Valley (CIFSS D5) 38

The complete opposite of what was going on at Los Gatos — low scoring, grind-it-out — was what was going on in Visalia. The host Cavaliers (14-1), who also have not won a CIF state title in their history but did get to a state final before, were racing up and down the field and took a 40-14 lead early in the third quarter. But almost as soon as people on the Los Gatos sidelines were thinking CVC the game flipped. Simi Valley (9-6) started scoring quickly and it was soon a 49-38 margin with enough time for a comeback. That didn’t happen, but the response showed a lot of heart for the Pioneers. Head coach Jim Benkert’s team just had no answer for CVC running back Bryson Donelson. He took the opening kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown and then he rushed for five scores. The Fresno State recruit also had 327 yards rushing on 27 carries. He also upped his state-leading scoring total to 55 total touchdowns on the season. Brice Hawkins led Simi Valley with three touchdowns. Next week’s game on Saturday will be at Pasadena City College.


North: Marin Catholic of Kentfield (NCS D3) 35, McClymonds of Oakland (Oakland Sec) 28

The Wildcats won their first CIF state title two years ago after losing in their first two appearances and will now get another crack to win a second title after they outlasted the Warriors. They will play Mayfair next Saturday night at El Camino College. Head coach Mazi Moayed’s squad (13-1) took advantage of McClymonds getting out to a slow start since it hadn’t played a competitive game since September. Marin Catholic led 14-0 and was up 21-6 at halftime. Charles Williams led the way with 171 yards rushing. Mack (8-3*) had one last gasp to tie the score at the end, but the passes were incomplete. The loss was a tough one for those on the Warriors’ sideline looking to send out retiring head coach Michael Peters with his fifth CIF state title. Peters also led Mack to CIF state title appearances last year and in 2019.

Mayfair head coach Derek Bedell holds CIF SoCal D3-A title plaque with Roudric Curtis, another football coach at the school. Photo: Twitter.com.

South: Mayfair of Lakewood (CIFSS D7) 52, Mt. Miguel of Spring Valley (SD D4) 21

The Monsoons had everything in their offensive arsenal working well in a surprisingly one-sided triumph over the Matadors. They will now go to their first CIF state championship game next Saturday night at El Camino College. Louis “CJ” Johnson and Ryan Heredia both rushed for a pair of touchdowns while QB Jeremiah Calvin completed 14 of 23 passes for 208 yards and two scores. Mt. Miguel, which had a terrific turnaround season under first-year head coach Verlain Betofe, ended the season with a 12-2 record. Mayfair improved to 11-3.


North: Palma of Salinas (CCS D3) 31, Hughson (SJS D6) 21

With Soquel winning on Friday, Serra (San Mateo) in the Open Division and Los Gatos also winning on Saturday, the Chieftains made it four from the CCS that will be going to a state final next week. They also are similar to Los Gatos in that they’ve won a bunch of section titles but have never been to a state final. In fact, Palma (10-4*) is the first-ever state finalist from Monterey County heading into next Saturday’s game at Pasadena City College. The Chieftains showed they can play at a high level by going to Hughson to defeat the Huskies (10-4), who won the CIF D4-AA state title last season. Freshman Eli Dukes scored on a 6-yard run with 2:55 left to give Palma a two-score lead. He earlier scored on a 30-yard TD run. QB Thomas Nunes also rushed for two TDs for Palma. Hughson junior QB Robert McDaniel flashed his skills on a couple of TD passes, but the defense couldn’t get the stops they needed in the second half.

Players from Palma of Salinas are shown after they won their CIF Central Coast Section title. Photo: @PalmaSchool / Twitter.com.

South: Mission Oak of Tulare (Central Sec D3) 29, Rio Hondo Prep of Arcadia (CIFSS D9) 14

Kenny Jackson returned the opening kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown to make the Kares play uphill all night long in this regional championship. Rio Hondo Prep was on the verge of taking the lead late in the game, but allowed a 4-yard TD run by Isaiah Rivera of Mission Oak with 4:23 remaining. The Hawks (10-5) added an insurance touchdown with 1:09 left on a 9-yard run by Jackson. Two big plays — a 72-yard TD pass from Alex Mustain to Nate Curtis and a 63-yard TD pass from Mustain to Curtis — kept the Kares (13-2) not just close but capable of going ahead. Mission Oak will be playing in its first-ever CIF state final. The game vs Palma will be Saturday at Pasadena City College.


North: Woodland Christian (SJS D7) 28, Orland (Northern Sec D3) 0

We joked last week when the pairings came out by the CIF how bizarre it seems to us as longtime followers of high school football in the state (more than 45 years) that Banning of Wilmington was playing La Jolla Country Day (which was playing 8-man football not long ago) in a regional football title. And now next week it will be Woodland Christian (14-0) playing the Pilots on Saturday at El Camino College (not far from Banning). The Cardinals took all the momentum they had from last week’s big win over Ripon Christian up 1-5 to Orland and shut out the defending state champions in this division. Woodland Christian will be making its first-ever trip to a state final.

South: Banning of Wilmington (LA City D1) 41, La Jolla Country Day (SD D3) 21

The Pilots usually are one of the top LA City Open Division teams so slipping down to D1 this season and now finding themselves in D5-A for the CIF state playoffs could be a recipe for an easy state title. It wasn’t too tough for them playing the Torreys in this game. Banning (9-6) scored on all seven of its offensive possessions and will now be playing in its first-ever state title. The game vs Woodland Christian will be Saturday at El Camino College. Ryan Deangelis led the way with 28 carries for 181 yards and one TD. QB Robert Guerrero also rushed for two scores. La Jolla Country Day (11-4) had scored 73 points in its section final and had only limited success vs the Banning defense.


North: Colusa (Northern Sec D4) 42, South San Francisco (CCS D5) 6

It’s been a great story the last few weeks about South City (12-2) going on a CCS playoff run and having a great regular season in just two years after not even being able to field a team. The run came to crashing halt against the Redhawks, who are still unbeaten at 13-0 and now going to their first-ever CIF state final next Saturday at El Camino College. Colusa’s defense only allowed 150 yards of offense. Aiden Selover was one of the offensive standouts with 111 yards rushing and two TDs. Isaiah Travis also hauled in a pair of touchdown catches.

Xzavier Crews is one of three 1,000-yard rushers this season at Sweetwater. Photo: SDFNL Magazine.

South: Sweetwater of National City (SD D5) 47, St. Monica of Santa Monica (CIFSS D13) 27

Xzavier Crews chewed up 140 yards rushing on 11 carries and scored twice as the Red Devils used their ground game to post an impressive win over the Mariners. Sweetwater as a team (8-6) actually has three 1,000-yard rushers and one of the other three along with Crews has been Izell Wright. He had 16 rushes for 126 yards and two scores on the night. The Red Devils are another playing in their first-ever CIF state final. They also are the only CIF San Diego Section team playing this week since the other four who had regional finals this weekend all lost. Next week’s game will be Saturday at El Camino College and not Saddleback, which would be a lot closer for Sweetwater fans. St. Monica (11-4) receiver Joshua Barnes had a big night with TD catches of 16, 67 and 66 yards from freshman QB Bradley Cassier.


North: Strathmore (Central Sec D5) 41,
Lincoln of San Francisco (SF Sec) 15

Head coach Jeromy Blackwell guided the Spartans to a 16-0 record and CIF state title in 2017 and then the team had to step up in divisions the following season and lost in a state final to Hilmar. Strathmore (11-4) is in a lower division this time and will now try to win its second state title next week against Bell Gardens on Saturday at Pasadena City College. In the home win on Saturday, Roman Hernandez did something ususual as he ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown and then he lined up and kicked the PAT. Jacob Poole threw a 45-yard TD pass to Isaiah Colunga with just 12 seconds on the clock before halftime and in the second half he ran for two scores. Jamelle Newman led Lincoln with 80-yard and 56-yard touchdown runs. The Mustangs (9-4) also were the defending state champion in this division.

South: Bell Gardens (CIFSS D14) 28, Jordan of Los Angeles (LA City D3) 8

Jordan’s David Sandy has been one of the state’s most prolific rushers over the last nine weeks with more than 2,200 yards by the running QB. He didn’t get much against the Lancers (12-3). They will now be looking to win their first-ever CIF state title next Saturday at Pasadena City College. Sean Allen’s 61-yard interception return TD was a back-breaker with five minutes left. Daniel Tovar had the team’s second and third TDs on short runs. The Bulldogs finished 11-4 overall.

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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  1. Sergio Vargas
    Posted December 4, 2023 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Folsom 28 – Pittsburg 25 the score in your story in inaccurate. Pittsburg scored with very little time on clock. And were unsuccessful on their onside kick.

  2. Sammy
    Posted December 4, 2023 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    El Cerrito’s regular-season loss to De La Salle was 31-12, not 21-0.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 5, 2023 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Mixed up Mack’s score vs DLS and El Cerrito’s. Fixed.

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