Week 11 of the high school football season saw the Central Coast Section (CCS) conclude its regular season while the Academic Athletic Association (AAA) played its penultimate week. Playoff berths and league championships were up for grabs in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, and The Standard has your weekly recap of local action, including the scoop on St. Ignatius’ 35-14 win over Riordan to secure the Gil Haskell Trophy.
Nifae Tinofili recovered two fumbles and Dontae Allen-Wilson ran for a pair of short second-half touchdowns as Balboa (4-5, 3-2 AAA) topped the Bears to secure a playoff berth and lock in the four teams for the AAA semifinals, which will be played on Nov. 17 and 18. Mission (2-6, 2-3) sits one game behind both Balboa and Lowell, but would lose out on a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Bears will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The teams combined for more penalty yards (209) than yards of total offense (164), and were called for a combined 28 infractions.
Bellarmine (4-6, 3-4 West Catholic Athletic League) trailed 19-7 early in the third quarter after Marcel Leggett Jr.’s 67-yard touchdown run, but fired back with 21 straight points to close the third quarter and scored the final 30 points in all to beat the Warriors for a second consecutive year. Jake Hanson gave the Bells the lead with a 90-yard fumble return touchdown, and Parker Threatt scored the final two TDs. Valley Christian (1-9, 0-7) went winless in WCAL play for the first time since joining the league in 2002.
Ricky Underwood and Andre Petrilli each ran for two touchdowns as Lincoln (7-3, 6-0 AAA) clinched an outright regular season title and won its 24th straight regular season AAA game. Burton (0-6, 0-5) scored on two Rodrigo Bermudez touchdown passes to Robby Alvarez, with one covering 59 yards and the other going 29.
Gavin Barry-Smith ran for two touchdowns and Teddy McCarty recorded three sacks as Lowell (3-5, 3-2 AAA) won on Senior Day. The Cardinals officially clinched a playoff berth a day later when Balboa beat Mission. Galileo (0-9, 0-5) led for the first time all season and scored multiple touchdowns in a game for the first time since Oct. 16, 2022. Nate Chynoweth ran for one score for the Lions and threw for the other, connecting with Jeovany Diaz on a 14-yard touchdown. Chynoweth’s two-point conversion to Sidney Pratt put the Lions up 15-14, but Angelo Ornelas threw a 26-yard strike to Shawn Hill 57 seconds later to put the hosts back on top.
There would be no playing spoiler on Saturday for Sacred Heart Cathedral (6-4, 4-3 WCAL) as Serra (10-0, 7-0) rolled past the Fightin’ Irish to finish a perfect regular season. The Padres scored three times in seven minutes in the second quarter, with Jaden Green running for a 44-yard touchdown and intercepting a trick play during that span. Maealiuaki Smith threw touchdowns to Jayden Weber, Seamus Gilmartin and Joey Villaroman, Jabari Mann ran for a 1-yard touchdown and Michael Perazzo threw a 60-yard halfback pass to Grant McGovern for a score on the Padres’ first play from scrimmage. SHC avoided the shutout on a Jerry Mixon Jr. touchdown pass to RL Miller after a Jabari Ryan fumble recovery.
Sophomore Kingston Keanaaina ran for 190 yards as St. Francis (7-3, 6-1 WCAL) closed the regular season with a sixth consecutive win. The Lancers led 28-7 at halftime and got two touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Aaron Knapp, who made his second straight start. Mitty (7-3, 4-3) got a 50-yard touchdown pass from Wills Towers to Danny Scudero to cut the lead to 21-7 in the second quarter.
The Wildcats won the Gil Haskell Trophy for a fifth consecutive season and won what was effectively a play-in game for a CCS playoff berth. St. Ignatius (4-6, 3-4 WCAL) led 28-0 in the second quarter after dominating on special teams, with Cooper Lucey’s punting and kickoffs setting up the first two scores. Gus Parker added a 60-yard punt return touchdown, and Soren Hummel’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Moe Barnum made it a four-score margin. Riordan (3-7, 1-6) scored early in the third quarter on Michael Mitchell Jr’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Jackson, and Mitchell’s 26-yard pass to Zachary Jones in the final minutes rounded out the scoring.
Much of the Bay Area played traditional end-of-season rivalry games, with trophies up for grabs before packed stadiums. Luke Baker threw his 30th, 31st and 32nd touchdowns of the year as San Ramon Valley (8-2, 3-1 East Bay Athletic League) won the Jim Geldermann Perpetual Trophy with a 48-20 thumping of Monte Vista (2-8, 1-3) on the road. The Wolves led 27-7 after a quarter and 41-7 early in the third.
De La Salle (7-3) blasted Clayton Valley 42-6 on the road, extending its unbeaten streak against North Coast Section (NCS) opponents to 263, a run which includes a tie against the Ugly Eagles in 2004. Clayton Valley (6-4) held an early 6-0 lead after Nicholas Khashabi’s 14-yard touchdown run, but the Spartans scored the final 28 in the first half and cruised to victory.
Five-star quarterback Jaden Rashada was out sick, but Pittsburg (9-1, 5-0 Bay Valley Athletic League) still won the 104th Big Little Game, 48-21 at archrival Antioch (4-6, 3-2). Sophomore Marley Alcantara threw for five touchdowns in place of Rashada. Earlier in the week, Pirates head coach Vic Galli announced that he’ll be stepping down at the end of the season.
Sophomore Jamar Searcy ran for two touchdowns as Liberty (7-3, 4-1 BVAL) won 35-28 at Heritage (6-4, 2-3) in the Brentwood Bowl. It was the Lions’ seventh consecutive win over the Patriots, a run that includes an NCS playoff game in 2017.
Marin Catholic (10-0, 5-0 Marin County Athletic League) completed a perfect regular season on Friday night and secured a league title with a 32-15 win at San Marin (8-2, 6-1). The Wildcats scored the first 24 points of the second half.
Windsor (8-2, 5-0 North Bay League Oak Division) took advantage of a controversial pass interference call in the final seconds and scored the winning touchdown with no time on the clock to win the league championship and beat Cardinal Newman (6-4, 3-2) for the first time in school history, 14-13.
Lukas Habelt carried the ball just nine times for Burlingame (5-5) in the 95th Little Big Game, but he still racked up 175 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers retained The Paw once again, winning 49-21 over San Mateo (7-3). It was Burlingame’s 13th consecutive win over the Bearcats, though the teams went into halftime tied 14-14 after Giancarlo Selvitella’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Myles Guerrero. Zach Shapiro forced a fumble that Danny Hilt returned for a touchdown to get the host Panthers on the board early in the second quarter. Daniel Feletoa ran 19 times for 108 yards in the losing effort.
In a game moved from Aragon to San Mateo HS to accommodate more fans, Hillsdale (6-4) beat the Dons 14-6. While the Fighting Knights failed to accumulate enough power points to qualify for the CCS playoffs, even with a three-game winning streak to close the regular season, they did successfully eliminate Aragon (3-7) and beat the Dons for a fifth consecutive year, matching the school’s longest winning streak in the series. Hillsdale has won seven of the last nine meetings after Aragon claimed 22 in a row from 1992 to 2013.
El Camino (7-3, 6-1 Peninsula Athletic League Lake Division) overcame a two-touchdown deficit to beat South San Francisco (6-4, 5-2) in the 60th Bell Game, 21-14. The loss is a sour end to what has otherwise been a magical season for the Warriors, who won six games and resurrected their varsity program after not winning any since 2017.
In other notable San Mateo County games, Sacred Heart Prep (9-1, 5-0 PAL Bay) won its ninth game in a row and reclaimed Valparaiso Avenue superiority with a 34-7 win over Menlo (5-5, 2-3). Andrew Latu had a one-handed interception that he could have returned for a touchdown, but he lateraled to defensive lineman RJ Stephens just before reaching the goal line. Sequoia (9-1) capped off its best regular season in a decade and brought the Terremere Trophy back to Redwood City with a 28-23 win over Carlmont (4-6). Terra Nova (8-2) pulled off the shocker of the week, a 36-29 road win over Half Moon Bay (7-3) in the Skull Game. Capuchino (5-5) snapped a three-game skid and beat Mills (3-7) for the eighth time in a row, 47-16 in the Battle of the Strip.
Salinas (9-1, 6-1 Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division) closed out the regular season with a bang and clinched a share of the league title with a 47-14 throttling of rival Palma (8-2, 6-1). The Chieftains had won eight straight games entering Friday. Aptos (8-2, 5-1) also grabbed a share of the league crown with a 41-22 win over Hollister (5-5, 3-3). Monterey (6-4, 4-2 PCAL Mission) squeaked out a 29-27 win over Seaside (6-4, 4-2) in the Battle of the Bay to join the Spartans in the playoffs, and Soledad (9-1, 6-0 PCAL Cypress) won a league title with a 34-28 double overtime triumph over St. Francis SCP-Watsonville (9-1, 5-1). Before Friday’s loss to the Aztecs, the Sharks were one of two unbeaten teams in the entire CCS, alongside Serra.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (21-11) won its 10th CCS volleyball championship and its first under head coach Symone Mackiewicz, beating top-seeded Santa Cruz (26-8) in four sets (26-24, 24-26, 25-22, 25-19) to win the Division III crown. St. Francis (31-0) won the Open Division to remain perfect on the season, beating Mitty (28-8) in five sets (25-21, 12-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-10).
The Fightin’ Irish are one of three San Francisco teams to win volleyball section championships. Top-seeded Urban (18-8) won the NCS Division 5 Championship in four sets (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-13) over Bay (20-4) in a crosstown matchup. The Blues are one of two Bay Counties League West teams to win an NCS volleyball championship; Marin Academy (36-8) won Division 4. Division 6 went to San Francisco Waldorf (14-4), who beat another BCL West team, San Domenico (12-15), in straight sets (25-20, 25-14, 25-19). Division 1 went to San Ramon Valley (27-7). The second-seeded Wolves dispatched No. 4 Foothill (28-9) in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-20). University (26-6) fell to Branson (18-10) in straight sets (25-16, 25-14, 25-16) in the Division 3 Championship Game.
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