Top stars, best performances of CIF Bowl Game weekend in Northern California high school football (Dec. 2-4)

Even though only 12 Northern California high school football teams played last week, we still had no trouble finding a plethora of big-time performances among NorCal football stars. Last week, every game that took place was a CIF State Regional Bowl Game, which is both a regional championship and a state semifinal.

As the first week of games each season is known as “Week Zero”, the weekend of Dec. 2-4 was officially Week 15 in California high school football. Here’s a quick look at some of the top stars and individual performances from Week 15 throughout NorCal.


Aiden “Ponyboy” Taylor, Central Catholic RB/LB: Taylor led the Raiders to a 44-41 win over Bullard with 24 carries for 281 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for 105 yards, and was second on the defense with five tackles and a sack.

Additionally, Julian Lopez ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns for Central Catholic, and Jericho Machado led them with six tackles and two sacks.

Kemauri Glenn, Wilcox RB/DB: Glenn lifted the Chargers to a 35-21 victory against Manteca 18 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns, three catches for 103 yards and another tub, a 36-yard punt return, a 20-yard kick return, and five tackles.

Wilcox also got a 15-tackle (eight solo) effort from Daniel Escorza. Armand Johnson completed seven of ten passes for 137 yards and a touchdown (zero interceptions), and ran four times for 39 yards and another TD. Andrew Palacios chipped in 79 yards and a touchdown rushing.

Blake Nichelson, Manteca RB: Despite the loss, Nichelson dominated running the ball with 31 carries for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

Ryan Osborne, Fall River QB/LB: In a 42-21 win over LeGrand, Osborne completed 11 of 17 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, ran 16 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns, and made seven tackles.

Also coming up big for the Bulldogs were Evan Bidwell (51 rushing yards, two touchdown runs, 55 receiving yards) and Cannon Oilar (33 yards and one TD receiving, one interception). Evan Dobson added a touchdown and a two-point conversion rushing, and Isaiah Wortman recorded two sacks.

Jalen Hankins, Liberty (Bakersfield) RB: While we normally have Kern County teams listed in the SoCal post, Liberty is in the NorCal post this week since it played Pittsburg in a CIF Northern Region Bowl Game. In the Patriots’ 35-7 win, Hankins ran for 127 yards and a touchdown, and had five catches for 58 yards.

Jason Oliver, Liberty (Bakersfield) WR/DB: Oliver caught for 57 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, registered four tackles and two pass break-ups on defense, and recorded 83 punt return yards.

Grant Buckey, Liberty (Bakersfield) DE: Buckey finished with nine tackles and team-highs of three tackles for loss, two sacks, and two QB-hurries, plus a forced fumble.

Liberty also got major contributions from Carson Woods (14 completions on 19 attempts for 149 yards, three TDs, one interception) and Luke Wattenberger (11 tackles, one TFL).

Jakobe Harmon, Pittsburg LB: Despite the loss, Harmon led the game with 12 solo tackles and 16 total tackles, plus one TFL and one sack. Kai Green also had a solid night running the ball for the Pirates.

Tre Dimes, Vanden QB: Dimes led the Vikings to a 56-28 win over Windsor with 252 yards and five touchdowns passing on 12-20 completion.

Jamai East, Vanden WR/DB: East caught for a 64-yard touchdown and also had a 45-yard pick-six. Additionally, Amarion York had two receiving touchdowns. Kyren Jackson-Davis added an interception and a 31-yard touchdown run as well, and Orion Null went off for four sacks.

Damian Escarcega, Windsor RB/LB: Escarcega was still able to have a standout game with 89 yards and three touchdowns rushing, 31 receiving yards, six tackles, an interception, and 183 all-purpose yards.

Jaivian Thomas, McClymonds RB: Thomas dominated in a 40-21 win against Campolindo running for three touchdowns and 239 yards on only 11 carries.

Campo came up short, but Dashiell Weaver (315 passing yards) and Robbie Mascheroni (134 yards, one touchdown receiving) had strong nights on offense.

Charles Williams, Marin Catholic RB: Williams ran for all three of MC’s touchdowns in a 21-14 win over Escalon.

Owen Nash, Escalon WR/DB: Nash led the Cougars with 122 receiving yards and an interception.

Andrew Latu, Sacred Heart Prep RB: In a 20-0 win against University Prep, Latu caught for 80 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for 26 yards and another tub.

Mat Bucher, Sacred Heart Prep LB/TE: Bucher exploded for 17 tackles and three TFLs on defense, and had a 19-yard reception. Shay O’Kelly also had 17 tackles for the Gators.

Nicholas Fontanilla, Salesian College Prep QB: Fontanilla led The Pride to a 36-28 win over Aragon by completing 16 of 23 passes for 145 yards and four touchdowns, and running for 98 yards.

Devin Quinn, Salesian College Prep RB/DB: Quinn ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and recorded a key interception.

Justin Guin, San Marin RB: Guin ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns as the Mustangs cruised past Sutter 35-7.

Ray-John Spears, Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep QB: Spears led SHCP to a 31-7 win against Chico with three touchdown passes.

Beau Davis, Argonaut QB/LB: Davis led the Mustangs past St. Vincent de Paul 42-12 with a team-high 11 tackles (nine solo), 61 passing yards on 2-4 completion, and nine carries for 78 yards and three touchdowns.

Mateo Flores, Argonaut RB/DB: Flores ran for 147 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and made six tackles.

Argonaut also got strong performances from Colby Eckhart (94 yards of offense, five tackles) and Caleb McElfish (38 yards and two touchdowns rushing, seven tackles). Dante Antonini had a solid game for St. Vincent with three carries for 52 yards and a touchdown, seven tackles, and three TFLs.

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