The battles for Northern California prep football supremacy played out over the weekend, and to the surprise of few, De La Salle emerged as the Open Division champion.
Joining the Spartans in NorCal glory and advancing to the state championship bowl games were Del Oro in Division I, Enterprise in Division II, Sacred Heart Prep in Division III and Central Catholic in Division IV.
De La Salle 45, Folsom 17
The Spartans (14-0) did something no other team had done this season — stop the Folsom pass game.
De La Salle’s defense held Folsom to a season-low 17 points and slowed state record-setting quarterback Jake Browning to just one throwing touchdown.
Coming into the game, Folsom was averaging 55 points per game, and Browning had completed 74 passing touchdowns this season.
The De La Salle offense held up its part as well with 383 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. The Spartans were led by John Velasco’s 144 yards and four rushing scores and Antoine Custer’s 150 yards.
De La Salle, ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 4 in the nation by MaxPreps.com, will take on St. John Bosco (15-0), ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the nation, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson for the Open Division California state title.
Del Oro 28, Serra 20
The Golden Eagles have been feeding senior running back Dylan Kainrath the ball all season, and it has worked beautifully. They weren’t about to go away from that with a bid to the state title game on the line.
Kainrath ran the ball 30 times for 233 yards and a touchdown as they slipped past Serra in the NorCal D-I title game. Del Oro also got a pair of passing touchdowns from senior quarterback Michael Moore and a punt return for a touchdown from sophomore Trey Udoffia.
Del Oro (13-2), ranked No. 22 in the state, will face Bakersfield (12-2), ranked No. 7 in the state, at 8 p.m. Friday at the StubHub Center in Carson for the Division I California state title.
Enterprise 27, Manteca 21
The Hornets fell behind Manteca 14-0 in the first quarter but scored 21 points in the second and added a touchdown in the third to forge their way into the Division II state bowl game.
Manteca looked to be headed into the end zone for the equalizer in the fourth quarter, but the diving Buffalo back Alex Laurel fumbled as he approached the goal line, and the ball rolled out of the end zone, giving Enterprise the ball on the 20-yard line. Manteca would have two more cracks at tying the game or taking the lead, but both efforts fell short.
Enterprise (13-0), ranked No. 26 in the state, will face Chaminade (13-2), No. 5 in the state, at 4 p.m. Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson for the Division II California state title.
Sacred Heart Prep 42, El Cerrito 7
The Gators from Sacred Heart Prep grabbed a 21-0 halftime lead and never looked back as they blew out El Cerrito in the NorCal Division III bowl game.
The Gators did it on the ground, amassing 319 yards rushing and five rushing touchdowns. Junior Ben Burr-Kirven led the Gators with 163 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries. Andrew Segre added 96 yards and a score in the win. Sacred Heart threw the ball only three times, but one of those passes went for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Sacred Heart Prep (13-1) takes on Corona del Mar (15-0) at noon Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson for the Division III California state title.
Central Catholic 17, McClymonds 14
The Raiders from Central Catholic will be able to defend their D-IV state bowl title after knocking off McClymonds in the NorCal title game.
Central Catholic’s star running back Matt Ringer (2,348 yards, 33 rushing touchdowns) was held to just 88 yards and no touchdowns, but the Raiders got 135 yards passing and a touchdown from sophomore Hunter Petlansky, a rushing touchdown from Donovin Townsend and stellar defense to claim the title.
Central Catholic (14-1) will take on Bakersfield Christian (12-2) at 4 p.m. Friday at the StubHub Center in Carson for the Division IV California state title.
All stats provided by MaxPreps.com.