Oceanside and El Capitan forged a Division I & III parlay into the state championships with convincing victories in the Southern California regional playoffs but now will take on two, explosive 15-0 teams this week in Carson.
Oceanside (14-0) ran Central Section champion Fresno Edison off the field, 30-6 at halftime, and cruised, 37-22, last week, while El Capitan (14-0) overcame a slow start with 28 second-quarter points in a 41-0 victory over Paso Robles of the Southern Section.
Both San Diego teams can put up points, El Cap averaging 38 and Oceanside 33, but they’ll be facing almost unprecedented firepower.
Moraga Campolindo of the North Coast Section, which averaged 46.7 points and scored 701 total, will meet El Capitan in D-III Saturday at Noon at the StubHub Center.
The Bulldogs scored 847 points, averaged 56.5 (San Diego observers saw a preview in a 55-10, opening-game Honor Bowl victory over Cathedral), and rolls with quarterback Jake Browning, who has thrown for 85 touchdowns.
That’s 85 for the year, not his career.
Browning’s three-season total is 223 and he’ll be aiming for at least a tie for the national record of 91 in one season, set by Corey Robinson of Lone Oak High in Paducah, Kentucky, in 2010.
With apologies to Johnny Cash and his 1956 hit, “Folsom Prison Blues,” Oceanside is going to “hear the train a comin'”, but coach John Carroll’s seasoned and tough Pirates make this game the attractive as any of the weekend.
Folsom ranks third and Oceanside fifth in Cal-Hi Sports‘ latest ratings. The computer service calpreps.com gives Folsom a 71 rating and Oceanside 65.9.
Cal-Hi‘s No. 1 (13-0 Concord De La Salle) and 2 (12-2 Corona Centennial) teams will meet in the Open Division championship.
North Coast champion De La Salle has a 71.3 calprep.com rating. Centennial is at 76.8 but has a 43-42 loss to national No. 1 Las Vegas Gorman and 28-18 defeat by Santa Ana Mater Dei, which the Huskies topped in a Southern Section playoff rematch, 27-24.
Division II pairs the Southern Section’s Redlands East Valley, 14-1 with a 51.2 calpreps.com grade, against the North Coast’s Concord Clayton Valley, 15-0 and 54.9, respectively.
San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret, which eliminated Christian, 48-21, in the regional last week, takes a 15-0 record and 31.8 computer rating against Modesto Central Catholic, 11-3 and 41.4 in D-IV.
Central Catholic won a division mismatch in 2012, routing Santa Fe Christian, 66-7.
Oceanside was the unanimous choice of 19 voters as the No. 1 San Diego Section team in the final UT-San Diego poll.
The Pirates are fifth in Cal-Hi Sports‘ state rankings with a state playoff game against Fresno Edison this week and potentially a State Division I championship game in two weeks.
The Pirates were helped in the Cal-Hi poll when some teams ahead of Oceanside throughout the season were toppled in their respective section playoffs.
Conversely, Oceanside played a tough intersectional schedule, waded through 13 opponents without a loss, and could move higher in the season’s final two weeks.
Other San Diego Section teams in the top 25 were El Capitan, now 17th after moving up from 20th, and Helix, now 24th, down from 21st. Mission Hills, Cathedral, and St. Augustine enjoyed, if that’s the right word, “On the Bubble” status.
El Capitan, second to Oceanside locally, plays Paso Robles, and Christian, eighth locally, plays Capistrano St. Margaret in other state playoffs.
|#||Team (1st place votes)||W-L||Points*||Previous|
*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. NR–Not ranked.
Others receiving votes: The Bishop’s 17; San Marcos, 6; Hoover, Torrey Pines, Ramona, 2 each; El Camino, 1.
That’s the way pairings shook out for San Diego Section teams today when CIF state commissioner Roger Blake announced that three area squads will host games in the first round of the state playoffs.
Officially titled the 2014 CIF Regional Championship Bowl games, the schedule calls for two games here Friday night, Dec. 12, and one on Saturday, Dec. 13.
The Southern Section’s San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret (14-0) will be at Granite Hills High for a Division IV game to take on Christian (13-0) Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Oceanside (13-0) will play host to Fresno Edison (12-1) of the Central Section in a D-I contest at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
El Capitan (13-0) is home on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Paso Robles (13-1) of the Southern Section.
San Diego teams have never numbered three in the state playoff series. The area was represented by two teams each in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
Games were played at the Home Depot/Stub Hub Center in Carson.
|Cathedral||Stockton St. Mary’s||2008||II||37-34|
|Francis Parker||Modesto Christian||2009||IV||40-44|
|Oceanside||San Jose Bellarmine||2009||I||24-19|
|The Bishop’s||Stockton Brookside||2010||IV||40-14|
|Helix||Loomis Del Oro||2011||II||35-24|
|Madison||Kentfield Marin Catholic||2012||III||37-34|
|Santa Fe Christian||Arcadia Rio Hondo @Del Norte||2012||South IV||30-28|
|Santa Fe Christian||Modesto Central Catholic||2012||IV||7-66|
|Mission Hills||Bakersfield||2013||South I||28-35|
Edison, second oldest school in Fresno, having opened in 1906, has sent a number of players to the NFL, but never has visited this area.
(Fresno High pulled out of a scheduled game with San Diego in 1946 and Fresno Sunnyside defeated Torrey Pines, 22-21, in 2009).
The Edison Tigers won the County Metro League championship this season, with only a 15-14 loss to Sanger.
Edison defeated Bakersfield Liberty, 21-14, to get here and also holds a 15-14 win over Bakersfield, last year’s state D-I champion.
Oceanside won state championships in 2007 and in 2009 before advent of the Southern California regional bracket.
El Capitan had not been to a San Diego Section championship game in 51 years, much less win and host a state playoff.
The Paso Robles Bearcats, who’ve been around since 1901, will make a 331-mile journey South and hope for some clear skies.
The far North Southern Section team advanced by defeating Newbury Park, 13-10, on a muddy field at the Paso’s Flamson Middle School park, the gridiron of which is natural grass.
Cathedral topped 11-3 Newbury Park, 42-28, on the road in Week 5.
The Bearcats’ only loss was on the road in Week 10, 28-18, to 10-3 Atascadero.
St. Margaret, which opened in 1979, has faced many small school teams in the San Diego Section, but this is its first meeting with Christian.
The Tartans will face a Patriots team that has won 20 games in a row and still smarting, somewhat, from the administrative politics which prevented them from competing in the state event in 2013.
Coach Matt Oliver’s team was an enrollment fit for Division IV but was considered only for a D-III bid which it did not receive.
John Carroll hasn’t won 247 games for nothing.
Thrown off by Helix’ speed and quick start, Carroll, coaching from the Southwestern College press box, went to a no-huddle offense late in the third quarter and Oceanside scored the game’s last 17 points to put away Helix, 20-13, in the San Diego Section Open Division final.
“We had the up-tempo in the game plan the whole time,” Pirates quarterback Matt Romero told John Maffei of the Union-Tribune. “I’m not sure why we didn’t use it in the first half, but we came out second half and did it and it was successful.”
Warhorse Josh Bernard gouged out 84 yards in 18 carries and made 13 tackles on defense for the Pirates.
Nate Stinson had Helix looking good after a 76-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave the Highlanders a 10-0 lead.
Carroll now is 6-2 against Helix in the finals.
This was Oceanside’s 15th section championship, dating to the first won by Herb Meyer’s 1963 squad.
EXTRA DOES IT
The St.Charles Borromeo Church was filled to its football-field-sized capacity Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, as family members and friends said goodbye to Elena Casanova Cota, who accomplished much in her 94 years.
Mrs. Cota raised five sons and a daughter and three of those sons created an athletic legacy at St. Augustine High.
Eldest son Paul was a standout half-mile runner at St. Augustine and San Diego State. Paul and younger brothers Ron and Richard helped their designer father, a civil engineer, assemble the track and field facilities at the school.
Richard was the Eastern League mile champion at 4:26.8 in 1964 and was a member of outstanding teams at Mesa College and San Diego State, where he lowered his best time to 4:12.
Ron was a first-team all-San Diego Section linebacker on the 1961 Saints team that posted a 6-1-1 record. Ron also played at Cal Poly (Pomona). His son, Stephen, was a second-team all-section choice as a linebacker and played on the 13-0 Point Loma team of 1987.
Stephen ‘s nephew and Ron’s grandson lettered in football on Point Loma’s 2013 squad.
“Above all, our mother was always there, for all of us,” said Ron.
The San Diego Section could get as many as three teams and as few as none in the upcoming state football playoffs.
Oceanside, now ranked fifth in Cal-Hi Sports’ top 25 (the highest a San Diego Section team has been since the ‘Side finished third in 2009), is a probable lock for a Division I berth if it can get past Helix in the San Diego Open final.
The Pirates (12-0) struggled in the semifinals, falling behind Mission Hills, 28-14, before overcoming the Grizzlies, 38-31.
Helix (10-2) defeated Cathedral (10-2), 27-5, reversing an early-season loss to the Dons.
Oceanside would take a 13-0 record into the state playoffs if it knocks off Helix, No. 21, according to Cal-Hi Sports, but the Pirates aren’t a candidate for the State Open Division.
The South opponent for the North’s Concord De La Salle will be the winner of the Southern Section Open final between Bellflower St. John Bosco and Corona Centennial. Those teams rank 1-2 in Southern California. Oceanside is third.
With two losses, 9-7 to Cathedral in September and 27-17 to El Capitan in the Grossmont Hills title game, Helix could beat Oceanside but not advance.
Oceanside is making its 23rd trip to the finals, Helix its 16th. The teams have met in the championship seven times in the last 14 seasons, coach John Carroll’s Pirates leading, 5 games to 2.
Kickoff is Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at Southwestern College, site for all five championships.
Helix 24, Oceanside 17.
No less than seven teams still alive in the San Diego Section playoffs haven’t been this far in at least 10 years.
Sixteen teams are preparing for eight semifinal games this week, with the computer-oriented seeding process playing out well, but not much differently than when it was with coaches hollering and screaming on Selection Saturday.
El Capitan, the 24th-ranked team in the state, has not been to the semifinals since 1991. Morse is making its first foray since 1996, followed by El Camino and Hoover (2000), Mater Dei (2003), and Castle Park and Rancho Bernardo (2004).
Pairings-wise, the Open Division is perfectly aligned with No. 1 Oceanside (11-0) acting as host to No. 4 Mission Hills (9-2) and No. 2 Cathedral (10-1) welcoming No. 3 Helix (9-2).
The stars also are positioned in D-II with 1 El Capitan (11-0) at home to 4 Brawley (9-2) and 3 Rancho Bernardo (9-2) at 2 San Marcos (10-1). Same for D-IV, with 4 Castle Park (8-3) at 1 The Bishop’s (11-0) and 3 El Centro Central (6-5) at 2 Mater Dei (6-5).
There were some quarterfinals surprises.
Actually, a big surprise when 11 Morse (6-6) shut down 3 Sweetwater’s run-crazy Wing T offense and ushered the Red Devils out, 12-0, ending their winning streak at 19 consecutive games.
D-I No. 7 El Camino (7-5), a loser of 4 in a row at the end of the regular season and outscored 106-28 during that span, won its second straight playoff, edging 2 Steele Canyon, 34-33, on a field goal by Antonio Garcia with six seconds left.
The Wildcats face 5 St. Augustine (6-5) while 4 Madison (8-3) visits 1 La Costa Canyon (7-5).
Morse now tries again against No.2 Christian (11-0) in D-III, while 5 Granite Hills (9-2) goes to 1 Hoover.
FORMER STAFFERS MEET
In surviving a game which saw six lead changes in the second half and 31 fourth-quarter points, El Camino coach John Roberts forged an interesting matchup.
Roberts was on the staff of Richard Sanchez’s at St. Augustine before taking over the Oceanside school’s program this season.
The real racing in the San Diego Section playoffs, including competition in the Open Division, begins tonight with quarterfinals games on fields drying out from recent rain.
Teams with championship hopes also have their sights set beyond, to the state playoffs which begin in three weeks, following section championships.
Oceanside is seventh in Cal-Hi Sports‘ Top 25 for the third consecutive week, with Cathedral 17th, and El Capitan 24th.
Oceanside is fifth in Division I South, El Capitan first in D-III South, and Christian first in D-IV South.
Cathedral is 13th in D-I South, while Helix, Eastlake, and Mission Hills tread cautiously on the bubble.
San Diego’s Open Division champion, be it Oceanside or Cathedral, likely will get strong consideration for a berth in the State D-I playoffs.
Oceanside would be a longshot for a state Open invitation, logically because Southern Section contenders for the Open would have gone through a competitively much tougher playoff run.
Cathedral would not be considered even if it won San Diego’s Open. The Dons would not be able to live down the 55-10, season-opening loss to Folsom.
El Capitan would be favored for a D-III state playoff berth should it win out in D-II in San Diego. Christian, because it has less than 500 students, would drop from D-III to D-IV if it gets that far.
Rancho Bernardo, Sweetwater and San Marcos rank 8, 9, and 10 respectively in D-III South.
State playoff divisions are determined in part by enrollment, “competitive equity” (good wins vis-a-vis bad losses, strength of schedule), and politics.
Sixty-four playoff teams became 32, but the action was more like an 11th regular-season game, everyone awaiting the real postseason.
It all should change this week, with Open Division competition beginning in the quarterfinals and with some decent offerings.
Eastlake (7-3), seeded fifth in the Open, visits No. 4 Mission Hills (8-2).
Division I sends 6 Vista (6-5) to 5 St. Augustine (5-5).
D-IV has 4 University City (7-4) at 5 Castle Park (7-3), and 3 Classical (9-1) goes to 2 Calexico Vincent Memorial (9-1) in D-V.
–What’s with Oceanside, averaging a touchdown less a game in its last three, after averaging 37 points in its first seven? The ‘Side labored in a 28-14 win over Carlsbad in Week 8 and take on the Lancers again.
–Can 9 seed Francis Parker pull off the longest of long shots against 1 seed Hoover in D-III? Always low in numbers, the Lancers, struck by a veritable tsunami of injuries, morally forfeited a mid-season game to Morse. They bounced back and were impressive in a 41-21 win over 8 Monte Vista.
–Will Scripps Ranch have another kookie comeback up its sleeve when the No. 11 Falcons take on almost-neighbor Rancho Bernardo, the 3 in D-III? Coach Joe Meyer’s birds of prey were out of it, 20-0, at 6 Valley Center, then scored 27 points in the final 8:47 to win, 27-20.
–Can Madison run the table after 3 losses to start the season? The Warhawks have won their last seven and take on Point Loma, which they rousted, 36-14, for the Western League championship two weeks ago.
–Is 9-1 San Marcos to be discounted or is Mission Hills that good? The Knights took a 55-13 shellacking from the Grizzlies two weeks ago and now meet 6-5 Lincoln, whose Hornets are up and down but pack a sting.
Favorites won 70 per cent of first-round games, 14 of 20. Seeds 1 through 5 escaped disaster. Most significant reversals were by Scripps Ranch and Morse, which topped 6 Bonita Vista, 14-7, in overtime in another 6-11 game.
Buying or selling? No. 5 Granite Hills (8-3) at No. 4 Fallbrook (7-3) in D-III. The East County Eagles have scored 159 points in their last three game and are averaging 38.8.
Buying or selling? No. 10 La Jolla (6-5) at 1 Christian (10-0) in D-III. The Vikings look overmatched against the powerful Patriots, but La Jolla has scored 121 points in its last two games and is averaging 39.
The computer and the writers, broadcasters, and administrative honchos are in agreement. The elite, top 10 teams in the UT-San Diego poll won’t be asked to mingle with the proletariat in the first round of the Division I-V postseason.
The CIF’s computer-based seedings byed each team, from Oceanside to San Marcos. The top 10 clubs have a combined, 89-11 record.
The poll vote after Week 11:
|#||Team (1st place votes)||W-L||Points*||Previous|
*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes: Madison, 18; Ramona, 15; The Bishop’s 10; Hoover, 5; Torrey Pines, 4; Steele Canyon, 3; West Hills, 2; Bonita Vista, 1.
Nineteen sportswriters, sportscasters, and CIF representatives from throughout San Diego County vote in the weekly poll: John Maffei, Kirk Kenney, UT-San Diego; Terry Monahan, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff (UT-San Diego correspondents); Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com); Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions); John Kentera, Ted Mendenhall, Bob Petinak, (The Mighty 1090); Jerry Schniepp (CIF San Diego Section); Rick Willis, Brandon Stone, (KUSI-TV); Bruce Ward (San Diego City Schools); Rick Smith (partletonsports.com); Steve (Biff) Dolan, Rick (Red) Hill (Mountain Country 107.9 FM); Bodie DeSilva (Sandiegopreps.com); Drew Smith (sdcoastalsports.com).
Why not Mar Vista?
The Mariners were 6-4 but were unable to crash the D-III lineup, which included five teams with 5-5 records and another with a 4-6.
Tyler Arciaga’s team won two intersectional games and played undefeated Sweetwater to a 24-13 loss.
The computer wasn’t impressed.
EL CAP 10-0 BUT IN D-II
Ron Burner’s Vaqueros became the unexpected kings of the East County after beating Helix, 24-17, for Grossmont Hills championship.
Why wouldn’t El Capitan go into the Open Division, what with its victory over Helix and that Helix is a No. 3 seed in that alignment?
Because teams were slotted by a formula which weighed their overall success during the previous five years (see Mar Vista, but that doesn’t make sense; the Mariners were 35-22 from 2009-13).
The five-year rule was established in 2013, not to overwhelming approval.
WHY LA COSTA CANYON NO. 1 IN D-I?
It couldn’t be that the computer also was affected by the perceived bias of the North County media? Could it?
La Costa Canyon finished with a 5-5 record and won the top seed, over Madison (7-3), Steele Canyon (7-3), and St. Augustine (5-5).
The Mavericks biggest win I suppose was 21-13 over Rancho Bernardo, the No. 3 seed in D-II.
La Costa Canyon defeated lower-level Orange County squad Trabuco Hills, 34-7, and came up soft against Newport Beach Corona Del Mar, 38-0, and Oceanside, 35-6.
St. Augustine and Madison played much tougher schedules.
Off the five-year comparisons!
CAN YOU TOP THIS?
Don Carlos Stafford was an all-San Diego Section fullback at St. Augustine in 1962, but Stafford took a backseat to his nephew last week.
Torrey Pines wide receiver, Jack Bailey, headed to San Diego State, one-upped his uncle and caught 4 passes for 217 yards in the Falcons’ 13-0 victory over La Costa Canyon. Included was a 70-yard touchdown and gains of 74, 12, and 61 yards.