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2014 CIF State Bowl Game, Open Division: De La Salle runs past Centennial


Antoine Custer and Andrew Hernandez combine for more than 400 yards and seven touchdowns as the Spartans overcome offensive juggernaut Centennial to win their sixth bowl title.

Thumbnail image of this articles writer: Mitch Stephens


CARSON, Calif. — De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) gave up more points in a football game than it has since legendary Bob Ladouceur took over the program in 1979.

It didn't matter.

The highest-scoring offense in school history bailed out the Spartans against the magnificent offensive powerhouse that is Centennial (Corona, Calif.).

Antoine Custer and Andrew Hernandez combined for 448 yards rushing and seven touchdowns as the Spartans won the CIF State Open Division Bowl championship with a vastly entertaining 63-42 victory Saturday before more than 12,000 fans at StubHub Center.

The game featured five ties, four lead changes and more than 1,100 yards of offense in the highest-scoring, most-yardage Open Division game in state history. It was a fitting way to close a high octane 2014 high school football campaign throughout the country.

While Centennial marched up and down the field behind its tandem quarterback duo of Nate Ketteringham and Anthony Catalano, the dynamic speed and quickness of running back J Taylor and explosive wide receiver Javon Mckinley, the Spartans chewed up yards at will on the ground while winning their sixth bowl championship in nine tries.

De La Salle finished with 559 rushing yards on a staggering 69 carries and finished with a state bowl record 595 yards overall.

It was the third De La Salle victory over Centennial in four games between the perennial national powers. It was a huge game for Custer, who missed most of last year's 20-14 bowl game loss to St. John Bosco due to an ankle sprain on the opening kickoff. On Saturday, he was everywhere.

"Winning this game sure feels a whole lot better than losing," De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said. "This team and this group of seniors really deserved it. But Centennial made us work. Man, they made us work."

Custer finished with 31 carries for 268 yards and four touchdowns on runs of 9, 5, 20 and 73 yards.

"It was so hard sitting last year and watching us lose," Custer said. "This was much more like it."


De La Salle, ranked third nationally by MaxPreps, finished 14-0, while Centennial finished 12-3. The Huskies can take some satisfaction in scoring three more points than Bellevue (Wash.), which racked up the most points against a De La Salle team in 2004.

Even though the offenses put on a show, it was a pair of interceptions by linebacker Cameron Lissarrague and fumble recovery by Jonathan Lopez that proved decisive on three consecutive possessions starting late in the third quarter.

"We just needed to make a stop or two for our offense," Lissarrague said. "I'm glad I could make a couple of plays."

The offensive fireworks started immediately and Centennial's had a little more flash.

The Spartans took the opening kickoff and traveled 80 yards in five plays, capped by a 15-yard touchdown run up the middle by Hernandez. It came one play after Custer ripped off a 23-yard gain on the edge.

As easy as the Spartans made it look, the Huskies made it look even easier.

Catalano faked inside on two handoffs, broke right for runs of 25 and 35 yards, the latter a touchdown run to tie it at 7-7 with 8:50 left in the first.

An 89-yard kickoff return by Custer set up a 3-yard touchdown keeper by Chris Vanderklugt and De La Salle was back up for seven plays. A 25-yard run by super scat back JJ Taylor (14 carries, 133 yards) set up a 16-yard TD run by Centennial's other QB Ketteringham, tying the game at 14 midway through the first quarter.

De La Salle actually had to punt on its next possession and Centennial looked that it would too after a Boss Tagaloa sack. But on third-and-17 from the 13, Catalano threw a quick out to superb wideout McKinley, who sidestepped a couple De La Salle defenders and raced 87 yards for a touchdown.

In three series, De La Salle had given up 210 yards, more than it allowed on average per game.

"We didn't handle what they were doing very well in the beginning," De La Salle defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said. "We were sort of shell-shocked. We were hoping to hold them in the 24 to 28-point range. We didn't do that. But we had some gritty kids make some plays in the second half. The offense definitely bailed us out this year. Other times we've bailed them out.

"I'll say this. The people got their money's worth with that game."

The Spartans took a more methodical route on their next drive, going 86 yards on eight plays capped by a Custer 9-yard TD run. But a bad snap led to a failed PAT and Centennial held a 21-20 lead.

The Huskies increased it to 28-20 on a 29-yard strike to McKinley, who was covered perfectly but the 6-2 receiver tipped the ball to himself. The eight-point deficit was the biggest for DLS since last year's state bowl game, one it lost 20-14 to St. John Bosco.

No matter. The Spartans motored right downfield with a 39-yard run by Custer and 23 more by Hernandez, who eventually somersaulted into the end zone on a 3-yard TD run. After his 2-point conversion, the game was tied at 28 with 6:23 left in the half.

De La Salle's defense stiffened and held Centennial on its final two possessions of the half. Meanwhile, Custer capped a 64-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run and De La Salle went into halftime ahead 35-28.

By half, Centennial had 331 yards and De La Salle 307. Custer had 151 yards rushing and Hernandez 124.

The fireworks continued to start the third quarter. Sammonte Bonner got into the act with a 6-yard TD run, to tie the game at 35.

Custer broke off a 20-yard TD run after a beautiful pitch from Vanderklugt, but McKinley ripped off an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, tying it at 42, the game's fifth tie.

Once again Custer responded, breaking off the right side, breaking a tackle, then scooting 73 yards for a touchdown for DLS to go up 49-42. Alumbaugh had a good feeling Custer was going to have a good game.

"The kid always has a smile on his face, but this week he's been real serious," Alumbaugh said. "I barely recognized him today before the game because he was so serious. He meant business."

Lissarrague made the first big defensive play of the game, intercepting a Ketteringham pass at midfield. After a De La Salle personal foul, Vanderklugt made a great read and rambled 52 yards, setting up Hernandez's third touchdown run, a 2-yard one, giving the Spartans their first two-score lead, 55-42 with 1:58 left in the third.

It was Lissarrague, a 6-2, 226-pound linebacker, who did it again on Centennial's next possession with a leaping interception. De La Salle didn't score on the possession, but chewed up enough clock to hang on.

Devin Asiasi, one of the nation's top junior tight ends and defensive ends, punctuated the win with an 11-yard run with 1:31 left. He was forced into play at quarterback after Vanderklugt injured his hand three minutes earlier.

Taylor said there was no shame in losing to De La Salle.

"Nobody thought we were even going to get here," Taylor said. "We proved a lot of people wrong."

De La Salle 63, Centennial 42

De La Salle  14  21  20  8  — 63
Centennial  21    7  14  0  — 42

First quarter
DLS — Hernandez 15 run (Rodriguez kick), 9:12
C — Catalano 35 run (Jake Perez kick), 8:50
DLS — Vanderklugt 2 run (Rodriguez kick), 7:22
C — Ketteringham 16 run (Perez kick), 5:41
C — McKinley 87 pass from Catalano (Perez kick), 1:45

Second quarter

DLS — Custer 9 run (rush failed), 10:54
C — McKinley 25 pass from Ketteringham (Perez kick), 8:42
DLS — Hernandez 3 run (Hernandez rush), 6:23
DLS — Custer 5 run (Rodriguez kick), 1:55

Third quarter
C — Bonner 5 run (Perez kick), 9:18
DLS — Custer 20 run (Rodriguez kick), 5:20
C — McKinley 92 kickoff return (Perez kick), 5:07
DLS — Custer 73 run (Rodriguez kick), 3:58
DLS — Hernandez 2 run (Rodriguez kick), 1:55

Fourth quarter

DLS — Asiasi 12 run (Custer run), 1:31

Individual statistics
DLS — Custer 31-273, Hernandez 26-175, Vanderklugt 5-64, Anderson 4-27, Asiasi 3-25. C — Taylor 14-133, Catalano 12-89, Ketteringham 8-77, Bonner 1-5.

DLS — Vanderklugt 3-4-0-35, Fulton 1-1-0-1. C — Catalano 5-10-1-172, Ketteringham 5-9-1-52, Bankehead 1-1-0-6.

DLS — Hernandez 1-19, Mayer 1-8, Phillips 1-8, Harvey 1-1. C — McKinley 6-153, Bankehead 2-62, Taylor 2-9, Ketteringham 1-6.

DLS — Wiley 10, Lissarrague 8, Brown 7. C — Brambaugh 20, Ulloa 10, Bynum 8, Stewart 8.

Team statistics
First downs: De La Salle 30, Centennial 23
Rushing attempts-yards: DLS 69-559, C 35-304.
Passes: DLS 4-5-0, C 11-20-2
Passing yards: DLS 36, C 230
Total yards: DLS 595, C 534
Fumbles-lost: DLS 2-0, C 1-1
Penalties: DLS 9-71, C 4-43
Possession: DLS 33:14, C 14:40

2014 CIF State Bowl Game, Division I: Record-breaking Folsom breaks down Oceanside


The Bulldogs run wild and quarterback Jake Browning ties national mark for TD passes in a season after 68-7 Division I Bowl Game championship win.


Thumbnail image of this articles writer: Mitch Stephens

CARSON, Calif. — The Folsom (Calif.) football team took a legitimate shot in the face, then delivered a tornado.

The nation's fifth-ranked team completed a record-smashing season with a simply smashing — sorry Austin Powers — performance in a 68-7 victory over Oceanside (Calif.) in the Division I California State Championship Bowl game at StubHub Center on Friday night.

The Bulldogs (16-0) piled up 567 yards, scored on nine consecutive possessions after trailing 7-0 and set a state bowl game record for points in a game, breaking the mark of 66. Their 915 points for the season is No. 3 all-time nationally and first in California, and for a 16th consecutive game they forced a running clock (35 points or greater margin).

This against an Oceanside team that was 14-0 coming in, a Southern California champion and a program with a rich and deep tradition.

"We just let it fly and played our butts off," Folsom co-head coach Kris Richardson said.

Their headliner, Jake Browning, finished off his prep legend with another sterling performance, completing 27 of 35 for 445 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 91 for the season and 229 for his career. He also rushed for a touchdown. His career mark is an ongoing national record and his season total tied the national mark.

What was a such a perfect swan song for the Washington-bound quarterback is he completed touchdown passes to six different receivers, sort of repaying his teammates for a brilliant career that featured a 44-2 record and undefeated mark against everyone not named De La Salle.

The finals numbers for his senior year were 360 of 524 for 5,796 yards, 91 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His career numbers are 1,191 for 1,708 with 16,781 yards, 229 TDs and 40 interceptions.

One of his TD passes went to Cole Thompson, who broke the state mark with his 34th TD catch of the season.

"It was cool, every starting skill player got a touchdown," Browning said. "It's just how it happened. I wasn't trying to force any matchup. Whoever was getting the ball was because they got open.

"This was just a perfect ending. ... The only word I can think of is indescribable." 

Said Richardson: "Jake is pretty incredible, but our offensive and defensive line really set the tone. If you give Jake that much time, he's going to have success. He's the greatest high school quarterback I've seen."

Folsom broke the 900-point mark on the season with just more than 3:40 remaining on a 62-yard catch and run by Bryan Weldy. To top off the nearly perfect win, Bailey Laolagi picked up a fumble and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the game to punctuate a remarkable game and season.

The last two scores didn't sit really well with Oceanside. There was some barking by players and coaches after the game, but legendary coach John Carroll took the high road to the press.

"Yes, they were very good," he said. "We were a beat-up team and played a superior opponent. I liked the way we started, but clearly they were better than us."

On the last play, Laolagi, who earlier scored on a 1-yard run and is the team's starting middle linebacker, snuck into the game just to be on the field for the last play, he said.

When the ball sprung loose, he said he instinctively picked it up and ran toward the goal.

"I wasn't trying to run it up, I just ran toward our end zone," he said. "It's probably a moment I'll never forget. My last time on the field together with my brothers running down the sideline for a touchdown. We just all played our hearts out tonight."

The only number Browning or his teammates really cared about was one – their first CIF state title (second in school history, the other was 2010) after losing two straight lopsided games in the regional final to De La Salle.

"Those losses made us 10 times better. .... 100 times better," Browning said. "The first year we realized we had to get stronger and we lifted and conditioned so much harder. After the second loss we continued to work in the weight room and added more things on offense. It all paid off."

Indeed it did, with one of the most dominant years in California history. Not only did Folsom score all those points, but an overpowering defense allowed just 166.

In this group's first showing on the state's biggest stage, the Bulldogs flexed all their muscle and showed all their skills in a fabulous display of power and precision football. And they did it all against an undefeated Oceanside team that took its opening drive, marched 68 yards and scored on a weaving 8-yard TD run by quarterback Matthew Romero.

The proud Pirates, winners of two previous state championships, looked like they were prepared to go toe to toe with a team that came in with 15 straight running clock victories.

Instead, they became victim No. 16 as Folsom displayed all of its weapons and featured a hard-hitting defense after trailing 7-0 because of Oceanside's opening drive.

The onslaught began with a Browning 4-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven, which the score remained at the end of one quarter.

Folsom then rattled off 34 straight points in the second quarter, starting with touchdown passes of 22 yards to Jake Morgado and 23 to Josiah Deguara. After Laolagi scored on a 1-yard run, Tre Green rushed for a score and then hauled in a 6-yard TD pass from Browning after he caught a 48-yard halfback pass from Weldy.

Just like that, this game was torn to shreds and Folsom led 41-7 at halftime.

The victory left many wondering if this was the top team ever out of the Sac-Joaquin Section. Richardson took it a step farther, and most tended to agree.

"It's been an incredible ride," Richardson said. "It's pretty awesome. I think the records will show that this team wasn't just one of the best teams in the section history, but perhaps California state history." 

Taylor said the Bulldogs were special for multiple reasons.

"It's pretty much been the perfect storm," he said. "You have a deep-rooted group of guys that were humble, worked hard, and completely unselfish. No one complained about game time or who got the ball."

Said senior 6-3, 285-pound two-way lineman Cody Creason: "We were so motivated coming into this game. Many of us have played together since we were young. We told each other how great it would be to end on a great note. And we did."

Folsom 68, Oceanside 7

Folsom        7  34  14  13  — 68
Oceanside  7   0     0    0  —   7

First quarter
O — Matthew Romero 8 run (Caleb Ramirez kick), 8:01
F — Jake Browning 4 run (Calderara kicks), 4:39

Second quarter
F — Jake Morgado 22 pass from Browning (Calderara kick), 8:31
F — Josiah Deguara 23 pass from Browning (Calderara kick), 8:11
F — Bailey Laolagi 1 run (Calderar kick), 5:13
F — Tre Green 9 run (kick failed), 2:18
F — Green 6 pass from Browning (Calderar kick), 0:12

Third quarter
F — Jake Jeffrey 35 pass from Browning (Calderara kick), 10:49
F — Cole Thompson 1 pass from Browning (Calderara kick), 1:35

Fourth quarter
F — Bryan Weldy 62 pass from Browning (Calderara kick), 3:46
F — Laolagi 62 fumble recovery (no PAT attempted), 0:00

Individual Statistics
F — Wedy 5-44, Laolagi 3-23, Green 4-22, Browning 5-(-15). O — Josh Bernard 15-47, Davione Taylor 2-1, Johnny Arzola 1-(-1), Grumbling 1-(-13), Romero 14-(-20).

F — Browning 27-34-0-445, Deguara 1-1-0-48. O — Romero 15-26-1-166

F — Jeffry 8-99, Deguara 6-82, Thompson 4-66, Green 4-62, Laolagi 2-80, Weldy 2-73, Morgado 2-31. O — Grumbling 4-22, Bernard 4-18, Malavi Taylor 2-54, D. Taylor 2-15, Arzola 1-39, Martinez 1-11, Paopao 1-7.

F — Tyler Crandall 11, Jerod Nooner 9, S. Whittingham 9. O — Isia Paopao 7, Nikko Mageo 6, Roman Roberson 6.

Team statistics
First downs: Folsom 25, Oceanside 16
Rushing attempts/yards: Folsom 17-74, Oceanside 33-14
Passing: Folsom 28-35-0, Oceanside 15-26-1
Passing yards: Folsom 493, Oceanside 166
Total yards: Folsom 567, Oceanside 180
Fumbles/lost: Folsom 0/0, Oceanside 3/3
Penalties-yards lost: Folsom 6-68, Oceanside 4-55
Third-down conversions: Folsom 8-8, Oceanside 4-12
Sacks by-yards loss: Folsom 7-41, Oceanside 2-22

2014 CIF State Bowl Game, Division II: Redlands East Valley escapes Clayton Valley Charter

Redlands East Valley wins over Clayton Valley Charter with help from a late fumble and a blocked extra point.

Thumbnail image of this articles writer: Leland Gordon


CARSON, Calif. -- Each team in the Division II CIF State Championship Bowl Game accomplished what it wanted to Saturday in terms of dictating the flow of the game. Clayton Valley Charter (Concord, Calif.) continually pounded the ball on the ground with workhorse Miles Harrison and Redlands East Valley (Calif.) consistently got its speedy receivers in space to use their speed.

One wasn't going to be able to get what it wanted in terms of the victory. That unfortunate team was Clayton Valley, which lost 34-33 at the StubHub Center.

The story of the well-played game full of mutual admiration came down to an unconverted extra point and a backbreaking fumble in the red zone for the Ugly Eagles. It left many a Clayton Valley player in tears with a stunned look afterwards, but it also featured an organic display of appreciation and respect after the final whistle, with nearly every player from each team gathering in a massive prayer circle afterwards.

"Throughout the whole game, they weren’t like other teams being cocky and talking mess and whatnot. They respected us, we respected them and we all played ball, that was it," said Malik Lovette, an Oregon commit who led the Wildcats with nine catches and 154 yards and a touchdown, plus 35 rushing yards and two more scores.

"We respect each other a lot. We both played our hardest," added Harrison, who set a Bowl Games record with 50 carries and finished No. 2 on the rushing yardage list with 323.

Nobody ever led by more than seven points in the contest, a back-and-forth affair with contrasting styles. Those two aforementioned mistakes proved huge for Clayton Valley in the end.

After Harrison wowed the crowd with a 41-yard touchdown run with 3:23 left in the third quarter, Clayton Valley saw Daniel Ferrell's point-after try clang off the upright, keeping REV in the lead at 28-27. That missed extra point lost a bit of significance after REV's Khris Vaughn caught a 19-yard score from sophomore Armando Herrera with 1:08 left in the third and Mason Biggerstaff missed the PAT to make it 34-27.

Then came the backbreakers. Clayton Valley got a 17-yard scoring run from quarterback Nate Keisel with 7:39 left in the game and all that the Ugly Eagles needed was the extra point to tie it up. It didn't happen, though. Jaelan Phillips blocked the kick and preserved his team's 34-33 advantage.

The Ugly Eagles immediately got a gift when the ensuing kickoff was fumbled back to them and they went to work with Harrison, as he ran six times in a row for 25 yards. It almost looked like it was going to be the backbreaker for REV. Then tragedy happened for Clayton Valley, starting at the 3-yard line.

Keisel and Harrison didn't hit their timing right on a read-option play in the backfield, and the ball slipped away from their grasps and onto the ground. Phillips was in the right place at the right time (again) and grabbed possession back for his team at the 8-yard line.

"I think it was one of those bad exchanges. He was trying to carry out his fake in the option and he pulled a little too much but it slipped out. The ball was supposed to go to me and he said it slipped off," said Harrison, who netted three rushing scores and also caught his only pass for a jaw-dropping 40-yard touchdown.

"(Harrison) was really tired at the end and couldn’t quite hang on to the ball. I don’t know what happened," said Ugly Eagles coach Tim Murphy. "We had four downs to (score) and I thought we rested a little bit. (Harrison) nodded his head and I thought we were good to go. A little exchange problem at the end is a tough one to swallow."

The Wildcats had the ball with 4:14 left with one goal in mind: Grind out the clock and win the game, not always an easy task for an offense that gets the bulk of its yardage through the air. Yet they were able to convert two first downs using strictly run plays and then on a third-and-15 from their own 43, the Wildcats got the big play that shut down any chance of Clayton Valley winning the game.

Herrera checked out of a certain pass play and instead hit Lovette for a 27-yard connection up the seam on a different one.

"It was cover 3 and when the corner came up, I knew the seams would be open. I had Malik or Khris (Vaughn), and I just read the safety. He went to Khris so I knew Malik would be there," said Herrera, who missed some section playoff games with an injury and finished Saturday 22-for-38 with 290 yards and two scores.

All it took from there was a couple kneeldowns and the Wildcats had a state title.

"We were jittery and dropped a lot of balls, which we never do. Malik dropped more balls than he dropped all season but he also made a lot of plays," said Wildcats coach Kurt Bruich. "It’s a big atmosphere here but the goalposts are the same height and the field is the same width."

He lauded his players' effort, yet also took the time to talk about Murphy, whom he coached against in the past. And Murphy talked about the Wildcats and their great play.

And Murphy also gave just as much praise to his own squad.

"They're great kids and hard workers and they fought. In the end that's all you can really ask. If they had given up at any point that would be a different story."

Notes: Redlands East Valley went for it on fourth down seven times and converted on six of those occasions ... Clayton Valley Charter threw the ball just four times ... It was a 21-all tie at halftime ... Taimon Faimalo scored a rushing touchdown for REV.

2014 CIF State Bowl Game, Division III: Campolindo storms back to defeat El Capitan


The spirit of former freshman coach helps lift Campolindo to stunning comeback victory over El Capitan.


Thumbnail image of this articles writer: Mitch Stephens


CARSON, Calif. — Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) co-captain Adam Remotto had no words for it. With the game tied and less than a minute to go in the state championship game, there the ball sat on the StubHub Center turf and 85 yards of clear sailing in front of him.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior, called the "Funk Factor" affectionately by his coaches for his uncanny ability to make big plays, scooped up a fumble forced by Tiger Garcia and raced the distance untouched, completing the greatest comeback in CIF State Bowl history.

The Cougars scored 28 uanaswered points in the final 12 minutes, 45 seconds to pull off a nearly miraculous 35-28 Division III win over El Capitan (Lakeside, Calif.).

"It's just shocking to think a game like this could come down to a play like that," Remotto said. "I'm still at a loss to explain it."

Campolindo coach Kevin Macy did.

"I have to thank Bob Wilson for that fumble. There was some intervention definitely taking place," he said.

Wilson, the school's longtime athletic director and freshman coach, died Wednesday after a long bout with cancer. Macy never told the team to win the game for Wilson, who coached most of these Cougars, "but to play with his spirit."

Coming back from a 28-7 deficit against a bigger and more physical El Capitan (14-1) team took more than a little spunk.

Quarterback Jack Stephens (19 of 32, 291 yards, four touchdowns), Remotto (five catches, 121 yards, two TDs), Tyler Petite (seven catches, 102 yards) and Max Flower (two TD catches), along with an bend-but-don't break defense, led the Cougars (16-0) to the first state title by a Contra Costa County team not named De La Salle.

"We definitely played in the spirit of coach Wilson," Stephens said. "Down 28-7, we weren't going down without a fight. We've won, fought and failed together before. But this, … this was just the greatest game I've ever been a part of."

It wasn't that Campolindo was just down. It was the manner in which it fell behind. A blocked field goal and 80-yard return by Sam Melero put El Capitan up 21-7 and on the next possession, a bad punt snap led to a 13-yard scoring drive for the Southern California champs on run by Isaiah Capoocia.

The two scores came 1:08 apart and Campolindo looked like it was going down to defeat in Carson for the second time in four years.

"I pulled them together and just told them to play for personal pride," Macy said. "I thought we might scrap and score a time or two. Never imagined this."

It was fitting that the unlikely Remotto led the charge. He scored the first two touchdowns in the burst on passes of 38 and 13 yards from Stephens, before Flower hauled in a 14-yard TD score with 4:30 left to tie it at 28.

The 38-yarder to Remotto kickstarted it all on a beautiful throw-back screen.

"We put that play in just for this week," Stephens said. "We threw the entire playbook at them. They were really, really good, especially their corners and safeties."

El Capitan didn't waver and drove down to what looked to be at least a game-winning field goal attempt. But on second down, Garcia, who last week had two interceptions, knifed in and stripped the ball from Isaiah Copoocia in the middle of the field.

The rest was Remotto. Or maybe something else.

"Adam Remotto – what an incredible player," Macy said. "I've been telling people all year he's the best player on the field. And he scores a touchdown like that. Sweet justice."

Not so for El Capitan, which took its big lead despite a severe ankle injury late in the first half to quarterback Brad Cagle, who accounted for 3,200 yards and 37 touchdowns heading into the game. He played well in the second half but the dual threat wasn't much of a running concern late.

"We're San Diego and Southern California champions and no one can take that away from us," El Capitan coach Rob Burner said. "But this is heartbreaking. Their guys made a hell of a play to strip it. It's what we try to teach our players." 

Campolindo took a 7-0 lead on its second possession, driving 68 yards in nine plays, capped by a beautiful leaping 10-yard TD catch by Flower in the left corner of the end zone.

Stephens completed three passes to USC-bound Petite on the drive, then lobbed a pretty 50-50 ball that the 6-3 Flower went up and pulled down under heavy duress.

El Capitan, which came up empty on two deep drives earlier, tied it at seven on a 3-yard slant pass from Cagle to Joseph Lachappa with 4:32 in the half. A 30-yard completion from Cagle to Capoocia set up the score that came on third-and-goal.

Cagle hurt his ankle on the next possession and sat out the rest of the half.

Whoever patched him up at halftime deserves a game ball, because he completed a pretty 24-yard touchdown pass to Frankie Lima. Conner McNally had superb coverage and even tipped the laser to the left corner of the end zone.

That made it 14-7 with 6:32 in the third quarter.

The game completely changed over the next four minutes.

Campolindo drove 62 yards to the El Capitan 19, but a 36-yard field goal attempt by Matt Blair was blocked by Capoocia, teammate Melero scooped it up and sprinted 80 yards untouched to complete a 10-point swing and give the Vaqueros a 21-7 lead.

The play seemed to shock Campolindo and after going three-and-out, a bad punt snap and tackle by the ever-present Melero gave El Capitan the ball at the Campo 13. On the next play, Capoocia sprinted into the end zone untouched and the Vaqueros were up 28-7 with 2:32 left in the third.

It looked over.

But Campolindo, 50-4 over the last four seasons, didn't get to Carson by accident. The Cougars went 80 and 79 yards on their next two possessions and took five and six plays, respectively, to get to the end zone. Both times Stephens found the team's heart and soul.

After Flower's second TD tied the game, El Capitan showed great resolve and looked in great position to win. But Garcia's strip turned the outcome.

"We worked so hard to drive downfield and were going for the win," Burner said. "It's hard because our quarterback could barely move. He's a scrambling quarterback. We were limited. But our hats are off to Campolindo. We were ahead 28-7 in the third quarter and they fought back."

Said Macy: "In a game like that you hate to see a loser. Both teams played their guts out and left everything on the field."

Campolindo 35, El Capitan 28

Campolindo 7   0  7  21  -  35
El Capitan    0  7 21   0  -  28

First quarter
C — Flower 11 pass from Stephens (Blair kick), 1:00

Second quarter
EC — Lachappa 3 pass from Cagle (Takota Curo kick), 4:32

Third quarter
EC — Lima 24 pass from Cagle (Curo kick), 6:32
EC — Melero 80 blocked kick return (Curo kick), 3:40
EC — Capoocia 13 run (Curo kick), 2:32
C — Remotto 38 pass from Stephens (Blair kick), 0:46

Fourth quarter
C — Remotto 13 pass from Stephens (Blair kick), 9:11
C — Flower 14 pass from Stephens (Blair kick), 4:30
C — Remotto 85 fumble return (Blair kick), 0:52

Individual statistics
C — Nick Fadelli 13-56, Stephens 4-8, Cassidy 1-7, McNally 2-7, Remotto 3-5. EC — Dennis Smith 17-80, Capoocia 10-41, Melero 1-22, Cagle 6-17, Z. Cagle 1-(-2), Smith 2-(-6).

C — Stephens 19-32-1-291. EC — Cagle 7-13-0-89, Smith 3-4-0-12.

C — Petite 7-102, Remotto 5-121, Flower 5-52, Whalen 1-9, Farrand 1-7. EC — Lima 3-31, Lachappa 3-19, Capoocia 2-37, Z. Cagle 1-13, Smith 1-1.

C — Jack Shurtz 10, Todd Blakely 9, S. Strother 5. EC — Smith 9, Jarred Turner 8, Melero 7.

Team statistics
First downs: Campolindo 23, El Capitan 13
Attempts-net rushing: Campolindo 27-61, El Capitan 37-152
Passing: Campolindo 19-32-1. EC 10-17-0.
Yards Passing: Campo 291, EC 101
Total yards: Campo 352, EC 253
Fumbles/lost: Campo 1-1, EC 2-2
Penalties: Campo 3-15, EC 4-39

Records: Campolindo 16-0, El Capitan 14-1

2014 CIF State Bowl Game, Division IV: Central Catholic overpowers St. Margaret's for third-straight

Raiders earn third-straight state title with lots of rushing, but some passes thrown in as well.



Thumbnail image of this articles writer: Leland Gordon


CARSON, Calif. --  Fans got to see more of the same in the Division IV State Championship Bowl Game Friday, and as a bonus they got to see something a bit new.

The new wrinkle was seeing a losing team celebrating like it had won the game. And the same old-same old was Central Catholic (Modesto) winning the Division IV State Championship Bowl Game.

The Raiders earned their third title trophy in a row with a 31-19 triumph over St. Margaret's (San Juan Capistrano), a victory at the StubHub Center that wasn't as close as the final score dictated. In their typical fashion, they showed up in Carson with a burly attack and used that strength to punish yet another Southern California opponent en route to a sizable lead.

Two years after setting a Bowl Games record with 521 rushing yards, Central Catholic used the pass a bit more in Friday's victory, utilizing the height of Jared Rice to the tune of six catches and 73 yards with two touchdowns.

"We saw a little opportunity with their secondary. We know we can throw, but we've run the ball so well. It's not about style points, it's about moving on. We played in the rain (last week) so why throw the ball?," said Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa. "I'm not about style points. I want wins."

Now he has three of them, with major thanks going to Rice, a 6-foot-5 senior who did damage as a tight end and as a safety. His two touchdowns on offense were each registered mostly because of his sizable height advantage over the Tartans' defensive backs. He snagged a 20-yarder from Hunter Petlansky to make it 14-0 with 9:51 left in the second quarter and then changed the score to 31-6 with 5:46 remaining in the third, simply reaching above a disadvantaged St. Margaret's defender for the scoring grab.

And on defense, his two interceptions were registered because of lightning-quick instinct. The first one came with 6:29 left in the first half and the second killed a St. Margaret's drive at the goal line with 2:45 left in the third.

"Their corners were on the smaller side, so me and coach wanted to take advantage of that," said Rice, who finished his season with eight interceptions and his career with three state titles. "This (title) definitely stands out."

The Raiders may have ended their season in the same fashion, yet the road to the title featured more adversity than they are used to. They were bumped up to the Valley Oak League (with teams that played in Divisions II and III in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs) and ended up finishing third, instead of dominating a conference filled with smaller schools.

Those losses weren't all that bad, it turned out.

"This one was different because we had three losses and moved up in the league and people were counting us out and we hung tough. The last loss to Oakdale was probably good for us, because we were going into the playoffs. We didn't play great and they beat us. It woke us up and we practiced that Saturday and we strapped it up," Canepa said.

They strapped it up Friday right from the start, forcing a three-and-out and then moving 68 yards before Petlansky's quarterback sneak for a touchdown. The teams traded punts and then Rice scored his first TD of the evening, and it became 21-0 with 4:54 left in the half when Montell Bland ran in from 3 yards out.

That information encompasses the expected, or the repeated. What came as a bit of a surprise was how St. Margaret's ended the night.

Charlie Beall caught a 9-yard touchdown from George Krantz on the final play of the game and his entire team sprinted down to the end zone and held a celebration. Central Catholic players started their own revelry on the opposite side of the 50-yard line, and as the squads each met to shake hands afterwards, Tartans players joyously celebrated the fact that they had played for a state title.

"We've been underdogs the last four weeks, nobody but this team believed that we could get to this point. We never quit," said St. Margaret's coach Stephen Barbee, who took over as head coach during the week of the team's first game. "It doesn't matter how many seconds are left. We're still not going to stop trying. If we have one play left we are going to go for it, and it's a credit to the team to be able to respond like they did.

"A lot of teams would have taken a knee or run out the clock - that's not our style. We've got 48 minutes to play, and we are going to play all those 48 minutes."

Turns out that Beall's touchdown had more to it than just finishing strong. He's committed to Stanford as a kicker and with his commitment came a retirement from playing wide receiver. But that final play was his time to shine, and he rose to the occasion, to the delight of his teammates.

"Just to get this opportunity to play here was amazing. We put our faith in coach Barbee and we stuck behind him. We went out not exactly how we wanted to, but pretty darn good. We're proud, we're happy," Beall said.

St. Margaret's also got a 4-yard touchdown from Krantz to Nick Shanks to make it 21-6 in the second quarter and a 23-yard run from Oscar Gomez jr. with 15 seconds remaining in the contest. An onside kick enabled Beall's big catch, which actually followed another catch by him.

As happy as the Tartans were, the Raiders had more reason to smile. And as the second team ever to win three Bowl Games in a row, they've earned a spot in state lore - and maybe a designated parking spot for the team bus in Carson and familiar waves from hotel staff.

"The same people are working at everywhere we go, that makes it nice. The first time we came down here we didn't know where to park, now we're professionals," Canepa said. "The kids make a business trip."

Notes: Central Catholic star running back Justin Rice exited the game at halftime after rushing for 50 yards on seven carries. The team's leading rusher eclipsed 300 yards in the Regional Bowl. ... Raiders kicker Bryce Wade nailed a 32-yard field goal to finish the first half ... Krantz finished with 260 passing yards.

Central Catholic 31, St. Margaret’s 19
Central Catholic  7  17   7  0   — 31
St. Margaret’s     0   6    0 13  — 19
First quarter
CC – H. Petlansky 1 run (Bryce Wade kick), 5:36
Second quarter
CC – Jared Rice 20 pass from Petlansky (Wade kick), 9:51
CC – Montell Bland 3 run (Wade kick), 4:54
SM – Nick Shanks 4 pass from George Krantz (kick failed), 2:37
CC – FG, Wade 32, 0:00
Third quarter
CC – Rice 26 pass from Petlansky (Wade kick), 5:46
Fourth quarter
SM – Oscar Gomez 23 run (Charlie Beall kick), 0:15
SM – Beall 9 pass from Krantz (no kick attempted), 0:00
Individual statistics

CC — Kalhiel Dillard 13-83, Petlansky 8-54, Justin Rice 7-50, Bland 13-49, Jared Rice 2-2, Miguel Hernandez 1-2. SM — Gomez 6-34, Shanks 1-0, Krantz 7-(-26).
CC — Petlansky 11-19-0-168. SM — Krantz 17-27-1-260, Shanks 0-1-1-0.
CC — Rice 6-73, Ryan Vierra 3-58, Jacob Days 1-25, Alex Padilla 1-7, Jared Rice 0-5. SM — Fernando Delgado 5-63, Shanks 4-60, Taylor Freitas 4-39, Beall 2-49, Auston Locke 1-26, Gomez 1-23.
CC — Jared Rice 7, Austin Escobar 5, James Simmons 3, Hernandez 3, Josh Frowein 3. SM — Dalan Cragun 11, Delgado 8, Ryan Cragun 7, Taylor Freitas 7, Nick Amoukhteh 7. 
Team statistics
Rushing attempts-yards: CC 44-241, SM 14-8
Passing yards: CC 168, SM 260
Total offense: CC 409, SM 268
Funbles/lost: CC 1-1, SM 2-0
Turnovers: CC 1, SM 2
Penalties: CC 9-79, SM 8-55
Third down: CC 10-14, SM 1-7

CIF looks to expand state bowl games from five to 13, giving 51 section champions berths to regional

December 23, 2014

The California Interscholastic Federation continues to seek ways to increase fan and school interest in its state championship football bowl games, with the latest effort an expected increase in the number of teams participating in bowl games in 2015.


A proposal working its way through the 10 sections would increase the number of championship bowl games to 13 from its current five and give 51 schools that win section titles an automatic berth to regional bowl games.


"We will have games across the state," Roger Blake, CIF executive director, said that would be the case if the bowl proposal is approved.

The proposal would allow City Section schools in Division II and Division III to participate in bowl games for the first time.

Matchups would be decided by competitive balance, which should help prevent mismatches. The Open Division selections would be the only schools with a bye to the championship game.


The CIF has awarded the Open Division bowl game from 2015 through 2017 to Sacramento State, which will replace StubHub Center in Carson, the venue for the last nine years for all championship bowl games. Blake said the CIF will save about $80,000 the first year of its new three-year deal. The challenge will be to inject a "wow factor" at the new venue, Hornet Stadium, similar to StubHub Center.

Hornet Stadium seats 21,195 and has an all-weather field.

"What are we going to do when you walk out of the tunnel, 'Wow, this is the state championship game,' " he said.

Next year's championship bowl games are scheduled for Dec. 18-19.

Blake also has begun discussions on how to move up the sports calendar and perhaps begin the football season earlier than the last week of August. California and Texas are among the few states still playing football the weekend before Christmas.

"I think we need to look at all sports calendars and move them up," he said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

CIF State Bowl Football Championships moving to Sacramento State for 3 years

December 23, 2014

Posted: 12/19/14


The CIF State Bowl Football Championships are moving to Northern California beginning next season, the CIF State office announced Friday.

Cal State Sacramento’s Hornet Stadium will serve as host for the CIF State Bowls for the next three seasons, marking the first time since the CIF Bowls were established in 2006 that they are leaving Southern California.

“The CIF is pleased to bring the State Football Championship Bowl Games to Sacramento State,” CIF Executive Director Roger Blake said in a statement. “We are excited to be holding this event at a facility which has hosted events such as the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships and will allow for a memorable experience for our student-athletes.”


Chaminade coach Ed Croson ‑ whose team captured the CIF State Division II crown last season ‑ said he was not opposed.

“It’s fair,” Croson said. “Personally I think they ought to alternate it or pick a place in the middle, but if the game sells out, maybe it should be up there.”

Sacramento State has a 21,195-seat capacity and features an artificial playing surface, which could combat any kind of inclement weather. The StubHub Center in Carson ‑ which has hosted the event since its inception ‑ has a natural grass surface that can get torn up in rainy weather.


Sacramento State has also hosted its share of big events, including CIF Regional Football Championship Bowls in 2012 and 2014, the 2014 USATF National Championships, the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials and the NCAA Track and Field Championships in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The San Fernando Valley has had five teams play in Bowl games ‑ the 2006 Oaks Christian team, the 2006 Canyon team, the 2011 Sierra Canyon team and the 2013 Chaminade team won titles. The 2006 Westlake team lost in its only appearance.



“I think whoever gets selected is going to go. They’re not going to say no,” Croson said. “But it was nice for us to wake up and just go down the street so to speak.

“The Northern teams have had to come here. It’s only fair (the Southern teams) have to travel too,” Croson said. “That’s the difficult part with the state being so long. It can be a 10-hour drive for teams. It’s always going to be an inconvenience for somebody. (Redding) Enterprise, it was tough on them, a big expense. It was tough on Folsom the last time they came down.


“We’ll just see how it flies.”

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