State championship appearances are on the line this week for high school football teams in Southern California. Following Sectional championship matchups last weekend, CIF-State bowl games will take place on Friday and Saturday to determine regional champions who will go on to play for state titles. Scorebook Live California reporter Connor Morrissette makes his CIF-State bowl game predictions below.
Sierra Canyon is well coached and disciplined. After making a state championship last season, they’ve given themselves a chance to return in 2019 following their Southern Section Division 2 championship win over Chaminade. Helix has been without star running back Elelyon Noa for weeks due to injury, but still took the San Diego Open Division. This one is a coin flip. I’ll take the home team.
The pick: Helix
CDM’s offense will be too much for Oceanside to handle. Quarterback Ethan Garbers and receiver John Humphreys are incredible high school talents.
The pick: Corona del Mar
San Juan Hills hasn’t lost since September and Aquinas hasn’t lost since August. These are two red hot teams. Aquinas better cover San Juan Hills receiver Joey Hobert. He’s caught 18 touchdowns in 2019. I think he’ll be the difference maker Friday.
The pick: San Juan Hills
Birmingham had a great run winning the City Section Open Division, but Pacifica has too much talent.
The pick: Pacifica
El Camino has six losses, but they’ve put up 35 points or more in their last four games. Their offense is rolling, will Temecula Valley be able to keep up?
The pick: El Camino
Bakersfield Christian has senior tight end and defensive end Ben Yurosek, a Stanford commit. He’ll be an x-factor. Cal Preps has Bakersfield Christian winning 28-27.
The pick: Bakersfield Christian
Selma is 8-0 away from home this season. The Bears love to travel.
The pick: Selma
Marina runs the ball well and plays great defense. Pharoah Rush and Brantt Riederich have combined for over 2,000 yards on the ground in 2019 and the Vikings have allowed 10.1 points per game in their last seven games. That’s a recipe for success.
The pick: Marina
Talk to people in San Diego and they’ll tell you that Serra has punched above its weight class all year. They blew out everyone they faced in the San Diego Section Division 4 playoffs. El Monte has run the ball exceptionally well this season, but they haven’t faced a team as talented as Serra.
The pick: Serra
Esperanza’s Walter Gooding leads the Southern Section in rushing yards with 2,632. He’s a difference maker.
The pick: Esperanza
Canoga Park’s defense made game-winning plays to halt a furious Franklin comeback in the LA City Section Division 2 championship game last weekend. Their defense will lead them to a win again Friday.
The pick: Canoga Park
It’s tough to go on a state run coming from Division 3 in the LA City Section. Last year’s Division 3 champion, Santee, lost 42-14 in their state bowl game.
The pick: Francis Parker