Granite Bay, Folsom earn berths in NorCal football Regionals

Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C

The best of the Sac-Joaquin Section is about to take on the best of the Bay Area.

And in one instance, the best of all time, if winning streaks, accolades and pedigree mean anything.

Granite Bay, the two-time defending section Division I champion, will play St. Ignatius of San Francisco on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Sacramento State in the first-ever Northern California Regional large-school game for a shot at a CIF State D-I title the following weekend in Carson.

On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Hornet Stadium, the NorCal Open game will feature section D-II champion Folsom against De La Salle, the decades-long national power from Concord, fresh off a state-record 21st consecutive North Coast Section D-I title.

The Open is considered the elite division. Folsom (14-0) has emerged as a state power, including a CIF D-II State Bowl win in 2010, under coaches Kris Richardson and Troy Taylor with its prolific spread offense and record-setting passers.

Under coach Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle (13-0) has been named the mythical national champion seven times; once peeled off a 12-year, national-record 151-game winning streak; and is unbeaten against NorCal foes since 1991, a run of 236 games.

The Spartans are considered the most celebrated and accomplished high school football team in the land. They grind down teams with their vaunted veer run game and smother offenses with swarms of tacklers.

"We're very well aware of how great De La Salle is and what they're all about," Richardson said. "We're peaking at the right time, too. It's what you hope for: two great programs going for it."

Granite Bay and St. Ignatius each have three losses to powerful programs.

Both come in hot, pulling upsets en route to section titles.

Granite Bay (11-3) has won 10 consecutive games with its potent offense, piling up 606 yards in its 35-23 victory over Oak Ridge for the D-I section title.

The Wildcats (10-3) of the West Catholic Athletic League beat rival Bellarmine of San Jose 13-10 in overtime to take their first Central Coast Section Open Division title and avenge an earlier loss to the Bells.

The Grizzlies of the Sierra Foothill League have five section titles under coach Ernie Cooper since 1999 and seek their first state bowl bid.

After Granite Bay's victory over Oak Ridge on Friday, Cooper told his team: "We're going to do the same thing (in preparing for next week). I'll look at the schedule, but we are who we are. … I think we're the greatest football team in the history of Granite Bay High School."

REGIONAL PAIRINGS

All games 7:30 p.m.

OPEN DIVISION

• North: Folsom (14-0) vs. De La Salle-Concord (13-0), Saturday at Sacramento State.

• South: Narbonne-Harbor City (14-0) vs. Centennial-Corona (13-1), Saturday at Cerritos College, Norwalk

DIVISION I

• North: St. Ignatius-San Francisco (10-3) vs. Granite Bay (11-3), Friday at Sacramento State

• South: Long Beach Poly (11-3) vs. Clovis North (12-1), Friday at Long Beach City College

DIVISION II

• North: Clayton Valley Charter-Concord (12-1) vs. Oakdale (13-1), Saturday at Lincoln High School, Stockton

• South: Serra-Gardena (12-2) vs. Edison-Huntington Beach (13-1), Saturday at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa

DIVISION III

• North: Marin Catholic- Kentfield (13-1) vs. Sutter (13-0), Saturday at Harrison Stadium, Oroville

• South: Madison-San Diego (12-1) vs. Monrovia (12-2), Saturday at Monrovia High School

DIVISION IV

• North: McClymonds-Oakland (9-3) vs. Central Catholic-Modesto (12-2), Friday at Lincoln High School, Stockton

• South: Santa Fe Christian-Solano Beach (10-3) vs. Rio Hondo Prep-Arcadia (12-1), Friday at Del Norte High School, San Diego

Source: cifstate.org

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