Joe Davidson

Oakdale, Cathedral Catholic and Sierra Canyon claim CIF football crowns

The Central Coast Section of the CIF has for decades been touted as a football-proud region, steeped in tradition with great players, teams and coaches.

The CCS continues to produce a stellar product but the trophy cases remain strikingly devoid of the ultimate prize.

Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth capped a 16-0 season with a 42-40 victory over Serra of San Mateo for the CIF State Division II-A championship on Saturday afternoon at Sacramento State, dropping the CCS to 1-9 in state finals since the CIF implemented the concept in 2006. The West Catholic Athletic League, one of the state’s most heralded conferences and of which Serra is a member, is 0-6 in state bowls. This was Serra’s first CIF final in football.

Bobby Cole rushed for 220 yards on 30 carries and four touchdowns for Sierra Canyon, which won its second state title since 2011.

Dual-threat quarterback Leki Nunn passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 109 and three touchdowns for Serra (10-5), which started the season 0-4 before winning 10 straight. The winning streak started when Willie Walsh, the 8-year-old son of Serra coach Patrick Walsh, started coming to practice decked in a “Star Wars” Chewbacca costume. He wore it at Sac State, too.

Cathedral Catholic 38, St. Mary’s 35 (OT) – Liam King drilled a 20-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Dons of San Diego to the CIF State Division I-AA title and held off the Rams of Stockton late Friday at Sac State.

Cathedral Catholic (15-0) rallied to force overtime, including a 46-yard interception return by Morrison Mirer, son of retired NFL quarterback Rick Mirer.

Tate Haynes passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns for the Dons. Jake Dunniway passed for 411 yards and four TDs for St. Mary’s (14-2), which played the final 3:36 of regulation and overtime without leading rusher Dusty Frampton (foot injury). The Dons are coached by Sean Doyle, who was born in Sacramento and graduated from Sac State. St. Mary’s, which beat Folsom 56-25 earlier in the playoffs, is deemed by Cal-Hi Sports as the best prep football team in the history of Stockton.

Oakdale 47, Bishop’s 0 – Will Semone rushed for 219 yards and six touchdowns, four in the first half, to power the Mustangs of the Sac-Joaquin Section past the previously unbeaten Knights of La Jolla in the CIF State D-III-A game at La Jolla High. It is the first state title for the Mustangs, coached by Oakdale alum Trent Merzon.

Semone set a Stanislaus District single-season record with 2,851 yards, and he had 34 touchdowns this season.

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