Del Oro, Colfax to compete for state championships
The California Interscholastic Federation championship football committee was the bearer of good news Sunday for both the Del Oro and Colfax football teams.
In the release of the CIF state championship brackets, both the Golden Eagles and Falcons scored coveted home bowl games.
Del Oro, fresh off its 20-17 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship win on Saturday over Central Catholic, will play for a Northern California Division 2-AA championship Friday night when the Golden Eagles (12-1) host St. Francis of Mountain View (11-2).
Colfax, meanwhile, by virtue of a first-round regional bye via the CIF North Coast Section qualifiers opting to play for their respective section titles instead of using a coin flip to determine regional participants, will host a CIF state championship Division 5-A game on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Colfax (13-0), coming off a 31-28 double-overtime win over Bear River to capture the Sac-Joaquin Section D-V crown last Friday at Nevada Union, will have a week off and then host San Diego High (11-2) in Colfax with kickoff set for 6 p.m.
In Division 2-AA, Friday’s Del Oro-St. Francis winner will advance to the state championship game set for Friday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m. at Cerritos College in Norwalk against Grace Brethren of Simi Valley.
Grace Brethren, 13-2 on the season, won the CIF Southern Regional 2-AA championship game with a 28-14 win over St. Augustine from the San Diego Section.
St. Francis, with only a loss to De La Salle in the regular season, was upset by Valley Christian, 31-30, in double overtime Saturday night in the Central Coast Section open division finals.
However, despite the loss, the CCS is one section that advances runner-ups from its top three divisions to regional play.
This season, because of many playoff games in the northern part of the state being postponed a week because of the unhealthy air generated by the Camp Fire in Butte County, the CIF Southern California regional games were allowed to be completed as originally scheduled.
“We’re excited to be playing for a state championship and very excited that we have a chance to do it at home,” said Colfax coach Tony Martello. “We would have liked to play this week but we’re fine with having to wait a week.”
Martello noted that Colfax’s Marson Stadium field, a natural grass turf, will be inspected by the CIF to make sure the facility is game ready.
“Our field drains very well,” said Martello. “But if for some reason we get another stretch of bad weather, I’m told that Nevada Union is a possible alternative site because of their artificial surface.”
It was originally thought that Bear River’s season, even after the loss to Colfax, would still be alive as part of a special “bowl game” series pitting section runners-up against CIF North Coast teams that opted not to play at the state level.
However, Bear River co-coaches Terry Logue and Scott Savoie noted Sunday that the idea was scratched by the CIF.
In a state bowl item of interest, Eureka (12-0) won a coin flip over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa (12-0) Sunday morning to determine the North Coast representative to move on to the state level in the 3-AA division.
Eureka will host Menlo-Atherton Friday in Humboldt County. Cardinal Newman’s season is completed.