State championship previews for Sac-Joaquin Section teams
Sunday, the CIF selected the bowl matchups for the state high school football championships after a lengthy process weighing all of the section champions throughout California.
The Selection Committee, comprised of the 10 CIF Section Commissioners selected teams to compete in games Friday-Saturday, Dec. 17-18, at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Three Sac-Joaquin Section teams made the list in Folsom High, Escalon and Brookside Christian.
“I was impressed with the Selection Committee,” said Event Director Ken Gunn. “They showed depth of knowledge, thorough evaluation of all potential entrants and worked exceptionally well together.”
Division II: Folsom vs. Serra (Gardena)
Folsom (13-1, 5-0) qualified as the Sac-Joaquin Section D-I champion. The Bulldogs, who won the Delta River League, are coached by Kris Richardson. Serra (14-0, 5-0) earned a bid after winning the Southern Section Western Division title. The champions of the Mission League are coach by Scott Altenberg. Folsom is a first timer in the State Bowl Games. Still, the Bulldogs are far from lacking notoriety. After falling to perennial power Grant of Sacramento 49-14 in their season opener, the Bulldogs earned revenge with 41-20 win over the Pacers in the SJS D-II title game. The Bulldogs also have a 13-game winning streak, including a win over SJS D-I champion Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove.
Serra seeks a second straight state football title after winning the D-III game last season. The Cavaliers also have the longest current winning streak in the state at 29 games and probably has more Division I college prospects than any other team in Southern California, including Servite.
Division III: Escalon vs. Madison (San Diego)
Escalon (13-1, 6-0) represents the Sac-Joaquin Section as its D-IV champion. The Trans Valley League champion Cougars are coached by Mark Loureiro. They face Madison (12-1, 5-0, which won the San Diego Section D-IV title. The representatives of the Western League, the Warhawks are guided by coach Rick Jackson.
Escalon’s magical season thus far was highlighted with a 22-20 victory over Calaveras in the SJS-D-IV final. The Cougars have won 11 straight, including a victory over Central Catholic of Modesto, which was ranked No. 1 in some Division IV media polls.
Madison’s hallmark is defense. The Warhawks allowed only 47 points in league play and 35 in the playoffs. They fell to Olympian of Chula Vista 28-17 on Oct. 15. But bounced back and avenged the loss with a 48-7 win over Eagles in the San Diego Section semifinals.
Division IV: Brookside Christian (Stockton) vs. The Bishop’s School (La Jolla)
Brookside Christian (12-0, 5-0) came out of the Sac-Joaquin Section, winning the D-VI title. The winners of the Central California AA League, the Knights are coached by LaTe’f Grim. The Knights’ opponents will be the Knights of The Bishop’s School (13-0, 4-0), the winner of the San Diego Section Division V championship. The Southern California Knights won the Coastal League and are coached by Joel Allen.
Brookside Christian (12-0, 5-0) knows how to score points. The Knights have won 12 games scoring at least 28 points or more. One of their wins was over Bradshaw Christian of Elk Grove, which was the two-time defending section champion.
The Bishop’s School enters the game with a perfect record thanks to a prolific offense, too. Three times the Knights earned wins with 50 points or more and four times their defense limited their opponents to 10 points or less.