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December 8, 2013

NCP Bowl Projections

The five regional bowl games will be announced on Sunday and while most decisions played out smoothly on the field, Division II should provide some drama. Enterprise, Miramonte and Manteca lead a crowded field with no clear cut No. 1.

Here's who the NCP staff thinks should extend their season.

Open Division: De La Salle (13-0) vs. Folsom (14-0) This matchup has been expected since last year's Open Division regional bowl game won by De La Salle. Both teams capped undefeated runs to section titles on Saturday night to earn Open Division bids. With both teams finishing undefeated with section titles, this is an easy choice.

Division I: Del Oro (12-2) vs. Serra (11-2) Del Oro completed a 19 point fourth quarter comeback to stun Elk Grove 20-19 for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title. Serra scored the game's final 21 points to beat Mitty 21-7 for the program's first Central Coast Section Open Division title. It is the second win of the year over Mitty. Another easy choice for the committee.

Division II: Enterprise (12-0) vs. Miramonte (12-2) This is the toughest decision for the committee by far and it was made harder with Miramonte upsetting previous unbeaten Casa Grande 41-28 in the North Coast Section Division II finals on Saturday night. The Matadors have wins over Clayton Valley Charter and the Gauchos, both of which were ranked in the NCP Top 20 at the time. They also have a win over NCS Division IV finalist St. Mary's-Berkeley with losses to NCP Top 20 programs Marin Catholic and Campolindo. Enterprise is undefeated in dominating the Northern Section. The Hornets have two wins over Paradise and a win over NS Division II champion West Valley. They also beat Oakdale to begin the year.

The team left out is Manteca, which finished 13-1 with a SJS Division III title. The Buffaloes have wins over Oakdale, Inderkum and Sacramento with a lone loss to CCS Open Division participant Wilcox. They have zero wins against NCP Top 20 teams.

Division III: El Cerrito (12-2) vs. Sacred Heart Prep (12-1) El Cerrito clinched a spot after rolling past unbeaten Marin Catholic in the NCS Division III finals. The Gauchos have won 10 in a row after starting the year 2-2 and are playing their best football in navigating a difficult playoff bracket. Sacred Heart Prep gets the second spot after winning the CCS Division IV. The Gators' only loss was to Terra Nova, which went undefeated in the regular season. They beat 11-2 Pacific Grove in the finals.

The odd team out in Division III is West Valley, which went 12-1 with a loss to Enterprise.

Division IV: Central Catholic (13-1) vs. McClymonds (10-2) We will get a rematch in Division IV between Central Catholic and McClymonds. The Raiders won the 2012 regional bowl en route to the program's first state title. They also won the regular season meeting. Central Catholic beat 13 win Hilmar for the SJS Division IV title while McClymonds rolled to another Oakland Section title. Undefeated Le Grand is in the dreaded No. 3 spot.

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