Corona Del Mar's quarterback Kaleb Annett (11) at a recent high school football game. (David Woolbert/David Woolbert Photography)
This weekend’s CIF Southern Section football championship games will feature five Orange County teams competing across four divisions.
The marquee Division 1 matchup, set for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, will pit state and national powers Mater Dei of Santa Ana and St. John Bosco of Bellflower on Nov. 24.
One night later, Servite of Anaheim will play at Mission Viejo in an all-Orange County Division 2 clash.
Corona del Mar of Newport Beach will face La Serna of Whitter in the Nov. 24 Division 4 championship game at California High in Whittier. In Division 7, El Dorado of Placentia will host Mayfair of Lakewood on Nov. 25 at Valencia High in Placentia.
All games are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs.
Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco
Mater Dei (11–1) is coming off an impressive 42–14 semifinal victory over Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, while Centennial of Corona pressed St. John Bosco (11–1) to the limit before the Braves prevailed, 43–42.
Top-seeded St. John Bosco captured the Trinity League championship with a 5–0 record, including a 28–0 victory over Mater Dei on Oct. 13. The second-seeded Monarchs have rolled in the four games since, with a 35–19 triumph over Santa Margarita on Oct. 27 the only decision closer than 28 points.
The teams will be meeting in the section final for the sixth time in seven years, with the Braves having won three of the past five, including a 24–22 verdict last season at the Rose Bowl.
Senior quarterbacks Elijah Brown of Mater Dei and St. John Bosco’s Caleb Sanchez, who threw six touchdown passes last week, figure to play key roles. It will be incumbent upon the Monarchs’ offensive line to provide better protection for Brown than in the teams’ first meeting. The expected availability of injury-plagued Mater Dei running backs Jordon Davison and Nathaniel Frazier should help.
The lone Braves’ loss this season was a 30–23 road defeat Sept. 16 against Kahuku of Hawaii.
Mater Dei Highschool in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 10, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Servite at Mission Viejo
Servite (8–5) won just one of five Trinity League games and finished fifth in the powerful six-team circuit, a year after a 1–9 campaign.
A playoff placement in Division 2 has worked out well, as first-year Coach Chris Reinert has led the Friars to three consecutive victories, including last week’s 28–20 semifinal triumph over Serra of Gardena.
Junior running back Quaid Carr is the top offensive threat with 1,146 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing, including six consecutive 100-yard games.
Mission Viejo (10–3) finished second in the four-team South Coast League at 2–1, but has won five consecutive games. The Diablos overcame an 11-point halftime deficit last week in a 31–21 semifinal victory over Murrieta Valley.
Mission Viejo’s two-quarterback tandem of sophomore Luke Fahey and senior Draiden Trudeau has produced 2,916 yards and 35 touchdowns passing, while sophomore Vance Spafford has 69 receptions for 1,284 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Hinesward Lilomaiava, a junior, is the top rushing threat with 900 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Corona del Mar vs. La Serna
Corona del Mar (8–5) advanced to the title game by avenging last season’s 51–20, Division 3 semifinal loss to Yorba Linda with a 28–14 victory in last week’s rematch.
Led all season by a high-powered offense featuring senior quarterback Kaleb Annett and senior wide receiver Russell Weir, the Sea Kings received a huge effort from their defense, which limited a strong Yorba Linda rushing attack to just 104 yards.
Annett, meanwhile, threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns, bringing his season totals to 2,441 and 27, respectively.
La Serna (10–3) figures to provide another stiff test for the Corona del Mar defense. The Lancers have put up at least 40 points in each of their past eight games and nine times this season, and have reached 50 points on five occasions, including last week’s 52–31 win at Culver City.
Senior Owen Long has rushed for 1,207 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, including 153 yards on just 13 carries last week.
Corona Del Mar's wide receiver Russell Weir (8) at a recent high school football game. (David Woolbert/David Woolbert Photography)
El Dorado vs. Mayfair
In his ninth season at El Dorado, Zack LaMonda will make his first appearance as a head coach in a section championship game. He played in two as an offensive lineman for Servite in the mid-1990s, and served as an assistant coach in two at Servite and three at St. Augustine of San Diego.
“We went 0–11 my first season, and here we are playing for a CIF championship,” LaMonda told reporters after the Golden Hawks (8–5) pulled out a 30–29, double-overtime triumph over Martin Luther King of Riverside in the semifinals.
El Dorado, which finished second in the North Hills League at 2–1, is riding a four-game winning streak that includes road playoff victories over Laguna Beach and Redondo Union.
After gaining a 39–38 victory over Village Christian of Sun Valley in its playoff opener, Mayfair (10–3) has beaten Chino and Muir of Pasadena to reach the championship game.
Junior quarterback Jeremiah Calvin has completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,529 yards and 27 touchdowns, with only five interceptions. Sophomore Chaz Gilbreath has caught 60 passes for 1,069 yards and 11 touchdowns, while the running back tandem of junior C.J. Johnson and senior Ryan Heredia has a combined 1,035 yards rushing.