SAN JOSE, Calif. —
The school with large star power finally won its first large division Central Coast Section title Friday night under a freezing rain at San Jose City College. Serra (San Mateo)
, with alums such as Tom Brady, Lynn Swann and Barry Bonds, scored three touchdowns in the final 12 minutes and 31 seconds to score an emotional 21-7 CCS Open Division victory over West Catholic Athletic League rival Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) Hamilton Anoa'i
, who didn't practice all week with a bad knee, hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Fa'aita
just before the end of the third quarter to tie it.
Anoa'I, who had three touchdown catches in a 31-7 regular season win over Mitty, made a fine catch over the middle, spun away from a couple of defenders before leaping into the end zone.
Then after Vince Camp
intercepted sophomore quarterback Sam Serra's pass and returned it to the 11, Fa'aita snuck it over from the 1 to give the Padres (11-2) their first lead with 10:52 left. Kevin McGee
added some insurance with a 2-yard TD plunge with 5:33 left, vaulting the Padres into a likely CIF Northern California Division I regional game. The decision, made up of the 10 CIF commissioners, will be announced Sunday.
On Friday, coach Patrick Walsh just wanted to enjoy the overdue victory and hard-earned title. The Padres had knocked on the door of Open Division titles often the past 13 years. He brought in two new coordinators to start the season and that led to the landmark season and victory.
"I knew we couldn't just keep what we were doing," Walsh said. "I'm just so proud of these guys."
They couldn't keep sputtering on offense like they did during a scoreless first half, so Walsh had Fa'aita open up the passing game. Twice he drove the Padres into the red zone, but twice Mitty held, the second time, the Monarchs (11-2) scored immediately on its first play on a 78-yard scamper down the Mitty sideline by Dakari Monroe
, making it 7-0 with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
Mitty played without starting quarterback Trent Scharrenberg
, who broke his non-throwing hand in a first-round victory. He played last week with a cast, but doctors insisted he have surgery this week to prevent permanent damage.
The Padres played without starting safety Kavapele Maka
, out with a neck injury.
"We just had to say calm and believe in ourselves," said Fa'aita, who threw for 210 yards in the second half. "I knew we would come back. We always do."
Said Walsh: "We talked about keeping our cool and composure. That's what these guys did. The WCAL prepares you for all of this. It's a grind every year, but it makes you better."Division IMilpitas 37, San Benito (Hollister) 23 —
At Rabobank Stadium in Salinas, Boise State-commit Squally Canada
rushed for three touchdowns and added a 41-yard catch and run from quarterback Ronnie Reed
as second-seed Milpitas (11-2) won its third CCS title and turned around a 36-28 loss to San Benito in last year's final. … Zach Hicks
had three touchdown runs for San Benito, which finished 7-6. Division IIIAptos 41, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 35 — Alex Joh
threw four touchdown passes as Aptos (11-2) won its second CCS title over a never-say-day St. Ignatius squad, which got four touchdown runs by Elijah Dale
and recovered two onside kicks late to almost pull out an improbable victory. … Louie Demicell scored on a 18-yard run to put Aptos up 41-21 with 3:51 remaining, before Dale scored his fourth TD on a 5-yard run with 1:29 left. … After recovering an onside kick, St. Ignatius (closed to 41-35 on a remarkable 15-yard catch and run by Joe Lang
with 24.5 seconds remaining. … Again, SI recovered an onside kick, but a desperation pass by Ryan Hagfeldt was intercepted and Aptos captured its first crown since 2003 and prevented St. Ignatius from a third straight title. … Joh set the tone with a 78-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Nicholson
to open the scoring. … Dale scored on runs of 4, 6 and 13 yards before his five-yarder late.
Sac-Joaquin SectionDivision IIDel Oro (Loomis) 20, Elk Grove 19 —
one thing to be down 19-0 in the fourth quarter, but in a driving
rain?. … Somehow Del Oro managed to put it all together on three
fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Michael Moore
, the last one to Dylan Kainrath
with 1:06 left to win it. … Moore connected on TD passes of 10 and 11 yards to Trey Udoffia
to pull within 19-13 and 5:35 left. … Del Oro then recovered a fumble
near midfield to set up the game-winning drive. … Del Oro will likely
face Serra in the Division I Northern California regional championship
next week. Division IIIManteca 49, Sacramento 6 —
According to the Sacramento Bee
, Alex Laurel
rushed 22 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the lopsided
victory over Sacramento (11-3), which committed four turnovers and was
penalized 10 times. … Lonny Powell
had 116 yards rushing for Sacramento, which won its first three playoff games to reach the title game. … Michael Gonzalez
rushed for TD runs of 15 and 56 yards and Hector Soto
added a 30-yard TD run for Manteca (13-1), which made a strong case into the Northern California Division II game. … Enterprise (Redding)
(12-0), from the Northern Region, is a likely choice as is Casa Grande (Petaluma)
(13-0) if it beats Miramonte (Orinda)
Saturday. But if Casa Grande loses – the game is a tossup – then Manteca has a very good shot.NORTH COAST SECTIONDivision IIIEl Cerrito 54, Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 38 —
It took Adarius Pickett
two plays to make a huge impact on this monumental game, going 69 yards for a touchdown run. He didn't stop running, finishing with 256 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the third-seeded Gauchos (11-2) turned around a 31-28 loss to Marin Catholic in last year's title game and won their first NCS crown in the process. … Keilan Benjamin
was also brilliant throwing three touchdown passes to his twin Keith Benjamin
as El Cerrito raced to leads of 41-3 and 48-10 before the top-seeded Wildcats (12-1) finally showed why it came in the top Division III team in the state. … The Benjamin twins hooked up on TD passes of 10 and 35 yards to go up 19-3 before Pickett scored again on a 20-yard run just before halftime. … When Arizona State-bound Jalen Harvey
returned a fumbled pitch 36 yards to start the third quarter this one was basically done, but Marin Catholic gamely came back behind Morgan Mahalak
(21 of 34, 302 yards, three TDs), Andrew Celis
(7 catches, 114 yards, two TDs) and Sam Kilpack
(90 yards rushing, two TDs). … "When I have the ball in my hands sometimes I feel unstoppable," Pickett said. … Said El Cerrito coach Kenny Kahn: "We've had a lot of guys play in college and the NFL, but nobody has ever done this at the school. It feels great." ... El Cerrito will almost assuredly be picked into the regional game where it will face one of at least a trio of teams, including Northern Section champion West Valley (Cottonwood)
(12-1). Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton)
(11-1) and Hilmar
(13-0) will be strong candidates with victories Saturday.