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Sac-Joaquin Section boasts 4 in regional bowl games

Nevada Union's Jake Berger looks for some room on a kick return against Del Oro. Del Oro is in the Division I NorCal Regional Bowl Game.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

Let the battles for Northern California begin.

The prep football section champs have been crowned, and now it’s time for the California Interscholastic Federation Regional Bowl games.

The Sac-Joaquin Section boasts four teams in the regional bowl games, more than any other section in Northern California.



Open Division




De La Salle (13-0) vs. Folsom (14-0)

De La Salle enters the contest as the reigning California Open Division champion and coming off its 22nd-straight North Coast Section Division-I championship. The Spartans are currently on a 39-game win streak and are ranked fifth in the nation. De La Salle is led by senior running back John Velasco with 1,853 yards and 24 touchdowns. As a team the Spartans have rushed for 364.5 yards per game this season and scored 69 rushing touchdowns.

Folsom is powered by the pass with junior quarterback Jake Browning setting the stage and all kinds of prep records. Browning has Folsom out to a 14-0 record, including an overwhelming 49-14 win against Oak Ridge in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I final. The junior quarterback has thrown for a state record 76 touchdowns to go with 5,393 passing yards. Folsom is ranked No. 16 nationally.

The last time these two teams met was in the 2012 Regional Bowl where De La Salle beat Folsom 49-15.

The Spartans battle the Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.

Division I

Serra (11-2) vs. Del Oro (12-2)

Del Oro is the Sierra Foothill League champs, the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II champs and will now look to be NorCal champs if it can get past Serra.

The Golden Eagles slipped by Elk Grove in the section championship 20-19, scoring all 20 points in the fourth quarter. They are led by their senior running back Dylan Kainrath (1,657 yards, 23 touchdowns) and quarterback Michael Moore (2,217 yards, 17 touchdowns).

Serra comes into the contest as the Central Coast Section Open champion and, like Del Oro, has two losses on the season, one of which came at the hands of De La Salle. Serra, the school that produced Tom Brady, is actually more proficient on the ground with junior Kava Cassidy leading the way with 1,414 yards on the ground and 16 touchdowns.

The Golden Eagles and the Padres kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at San Jose City College.

Division II

Manteca (13-1) vs. Enterprise 12-0

Manteca is rolling after its 49-6 throttling of Sacramento in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship, and is currently on a 12-game win streak.

The Buffaloes run the ball well behind Alex Laurel (1,799 yards, 34 touchdowns), but can also air it out with quarterback Joe Menzel (1,826 passing yards, 25 touchdowns).

Like Manteca, Redding likes to grind it out, averaging 277 yards on the ground. Leading the Hornets run game is Isaiah Mathews with 1,767 yards and 25 rushing scores. Redding is not without a pass game though with Bobby Luken hitting on 65 percent of his passes for 1,632 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Redding is the only Northern Section winner to get a regional bowl bid.

The Buffaloes and Hornets tangle at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln High School in Stockton.

Division III

El Cerrito (12-2) vs. Sacred Heart Prep (12-1)

El Cerrito hung 56 points on the board on its way to its very first North Coast D-III championship. The Guachos are 25-3 in the last two seasons and have big wins over previously unbeaten Campolindo and Marin Catholic.

Sacred Heart enters the regional bowl as Central Coast Section champs in D-IV. The Gators rush the ball well and with multiple backs. Ricky Grau (955 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Andrew Segre (987 yards, 13 touchdowns) lead an offense that averages 263 yards on the ground and has tallied 40 rushing touchdowns.

The Gators and the Gauchos get started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at De Anza High School in Richmond.

Division IV

McClymonds (10-2) vs. Central Catholic (13-1)

Central Catholic is looking to defend its state title in D-IV and that starts with McClymonds. The Raiders get the bid for the regional bowl on the heels of their 24-10 win over previously unbeaten Hilmar in the Sac-Joaquin Section D-IV title game. The Raiders are talented on both sides of the ball and rely heavily on running back Matt Ringer. The stud running back has 2,260 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns this season, including a 38-rush, 243-yard, two-touchdown performance in the section title game.

McClymonds enters as the Oakland Section champions. The Warriors beat Oakland 44-16 for the crown. McClymonds has two losses this season, one of which was to Central Catholic, a 38-24 defeat Sept. 13.

The Raiders and the Warriors kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lincoln High School in Stockton.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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