Prep football: CIF state championship bowl games preview

It’s the final weekend of high school football season and five CIF State Championship Bowl games will be played Friday and Saturday at Saddleback College, with the rest in Northern California. Here are some of the best matchups:


Bellflower St. John Bosco (12-1) vs. San Mateo Serra (13-0) at Saddleback College, 8 p.m

Serra is faster, more experienced and more confident than it was a year ago when it was defeated in Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Open Division championship game. The Padres have a top junior quarterback in 6-foot-4 Maealiuaki Smith and a standout junior linebacker in Jabari Mann. However, St. John Bosco set themselves apart from the rest of the teams in the state with one of the best defenses of all time. It’s hard to find fault with the speed, size, and depth of the Braves. It’s the last high school game for quarterback Pierce Clarkson, who seems motivated and focused. The choice: St. John Bosco.

Granada Hills (12-2) at Novato San Marin (12-2), 6pm

The Highlanders are 0 for 7 on passing attempts this season. No problem. They run and run after Dijon Stanley, who averages 12.4 yards per carry. This 4-A final appears to be an offensive shootout and it’s up to San Marin to figure out the Highlanders’ double wing attack. The choice: San Marin.

Crenshaw (7-7) v San Francisco Lincoln (9-3) at Kezar Stadium, 1 p.m

The Cougars were unable to play in last year’s playoffs when not enough players were eligible due to COVID-19. Now they are playing in the 7-A final. Coach Robert Garrett formed a young team led by quarterback Donce Lewis and running back Andrew Wynn. Crenshaw played Concord De La Salle in the 2009 Open Division State Finals. A drop in enrollments left the Cougars reeling and struggling to regain relevance. Running back Jamelle Newman breaks down Lincoln. The choice: Lincoln.

Laguna Hills (14-1) vs. San Jose Bellarmine (8-6) at San Jose City College, 6 p.m

In this 3-A final, Bellarmine must succeed against Hawks running back Troy Leigber, who has rushed for nearly 2,500 yards and 42 touchdowns in the US. The choice: Laguna Hills.

The remainder of the state championship bowl schedule:


(at Saddleback College)

Division 2-AA: Chula Vista Mater Dei (10-4) v Oakland McClymonds (12-1), 4 p.m

Division 1-AA: San Diego Lincoln (12-1) vs. Concord De La Salle (10-3), 8 p.m


(at Saddleback College)

Division 2-A: El Cajon Granite Hills (12-2) vs. Danville San Ramon Valley (12-2), noon

Department 1-A: Bakersfield Liberty (12-2) vs. Pittsburg (12-2), 4 p.m

Remaining games, Saturday 6pm unless otherwise noted

Division 3-AA: San Jacinto (13-2) at Sacramento Grant (11-2)

Division 3-A: Laguna Hills (14-1) vs. San Jose Bellarmine (8-6) at San Jose CC

Division 4-AA: Northwood (14-1) at Escalon (12-3)

Division 5-AA: Muir (9-6) at Hughson (12-2)

Division 5-A: Shafter (11-4) at Orland (14-0)

Division 6-AA: Escondido Classical Academy (11-3) at San Jose Santa Teresa (9-5)

Division 6-A: San Gabriel (11-3) at Atascadero (10-4)

Division 7-AA: Pinole Valley 34, Mendota 21 (played December 3) Prep football: CIF state championship bowl games preview

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