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December 12, 2013

Regional Bowl Preview

Five regional bowls will be played out on Friday and Saturday with a shot at a state title on the line. Del Oro and Serra square off in Division I and Manteca goes up against Enterprise in Division II as the most competitive games on the weekend.

Division I: #5 Del Oro (12-2) vs. #6 Serra (11-2) 7:30 PM at San Jose City College It is the second straight year the Sierra Foothill League and the West Catholic Athletic League will meet up in the Division I regional bowl game. Del Oro overcame a 19-0 fourth quarter deficit to beat the Thundering Herd 20-19 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game. Del Oro boasts a physical zone running attack behind senior Dylan Kainrath and efficient quarterbacking from Michael Moore. The Golden Eagles are very good on the lines with Tyler Meteer leading the defense. Serra has transitioned to a spread offense this year, but can still run the ball effectively with Kava Cassidy and quarterback Matthew Fa'aita. The Padres also boast two-way standout Hamilton Anoa'i, who was named league co-Player of the Year. Defensively, they have good speed and swarm to the ball in holding Mitty to just two plays of more than 10 yards last week. This will be the most competitive game of the weekend. Del Oro wins 24-21

Division IV: Central Catholic (13-1) vs. McClymonds (10-2) 7:30 PM at Lincoln-Stockton HS Central Catholic won this matchup in the 2012 regional bowl and in the regular season this year to go into this one as a favorite. After graduating its running attack, Central Catholic boasts Matt Ringer and his 2,260 rushing yards. He has also scored 33 touchdowns. The Raiders haven't given up more than seven first half points in their four game playoff run. Its latest win was a 24-10 victory against previously unbeaten Hilmar in the SJS Division IV finals. McClymonds rolled to its fourth straight Silver Bowl title behind 142 rushing yards and two touchdowns from junior Lavance Warren. The Warriors fell to Central Catholic 38-24 early in the season and Central Catholic head coach Roger Canepa told the Modesto Bee after the win, "We haven't seen speed like that and we just came from playing St. Mary's. Nothing against St. Mary's, but these guys are faster." Central Catholic wins 35-21

Saturday

Open Division: #1 De La Salle (13-0) vs. #2 Folsom (14-0) 7:30 PM at Diablo Valley College The prep football community has been waiting for this game for a year and this season's version will be played out at DVC. The Spartans' run game has been excellent once again with John Velasco and Antoine Custer leading the way. While line play has always been a major strength for the Spartans, the group has even better size this year. Look for Sumner Houston, Larry Allen Jr. and Kahlil McKenzie as some of the standouts. Folsom's passing attack has reached new statistical heights in 2013 led by junior quarterback Jake Browning. Senior Troy Knox is the most reliable receiver, but there are plenty of options for Folsom on the outside. The Bulldogs' are improved on defense this year, but will need to prove it can hold up against the power running game of De La Salle. Keys to watch are whether Folsom can establish a ground game and if De La Salle can get pressure on Browning with just its front four. De La Salle wins 49-28

Division II: Enterprise (12-0) vs. Manteca (13-1) 7:30 PM at Lincoln-Stockton High School There will be pair of standout running backs at Lincoln on Saturday night. Enterprise brings in junior Isaiah Matthews, who rushed for 1,767 yards and 25 touchdowns including 230 yards in the section final against Paradise. Quarterback Bobby Luken is completing 65 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns. Brandon Evers leads a good group of linemen and Nick Tomasin has tallied a team high 144 tackles. The Buffaloes counter with Alex Laurel, who has rushed for 1,799 yards and 34 touchdowns, while Joe Menzel has been very steady at quarterback. They have scored at least 35 points in each win this year and lost to Wilcox 28-27. Expect this game to be won on the lines in a physical back and forth contest. Enterprise wins 35-28

Division III: #9 El Cerrito (12-2) vs. Sacred Heart Prep (12-1) 7:30 PM at De Anza High School El Cerrito has won 10 in a row since a 2-2 start and is playing its best football of the year. Adarius Pickett, Derik Calhoun and Jalen Harvey are all headed to the Pac-12 and the Gauchos are coming off a dominating 54-38 win over Marin Catholic in the North Coast Section Division III finals. The Gauchos' defense has been very good in the second half of the year. For Sacred Heart Prep, Andrew Segre had a career night with 361 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the section finals against Pacific Grove. The Gators' defense has been stout during their back-to-back section title run. They are surrendering less than 10 points per game this year, but face a tall task on Saturday. El Cerrito wins 35-14


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