Section Champions From Across California Set for Regional Bowl Games

Section Champions From Across California Set for Regional Bowl Games

Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, Calif., on Sept. 18, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Dan Wood

Dan Wood


Updated: 12/21/2023


All but 57 high school football teams in California have packed up their gear and begun their respective off-seasons. Those still practicing this week are seeking the ultimate prize the state has to offer.
Champions in various divisions from each of California’s 10 sections are preparing for CIF Regional Bowl Games and, in one case, a state-championship matchup that is already set.
Mater Dei of Santa Ana and Serra of San Mateo, selected by the CIF as the top teams overall in Southern and Northern California, respectively, will play for the Open Division championship at 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
The Monarchs, 35–7 winners over Trinity League rival St. John Bosco of Bellflower in the Nov. 24 Southern Section Division 1 championship game, are 12–1 this season. Serra, the Central Coast Section’s Open Division champion after a 63–27 win over Wilcox of Santa Clara on Nov. 17, is 12–0.
The other 14 divisions will feature semifinal games in Southern and Northern California this weekend, with the winners advancing to state championship contests the following week. The CIF slotted the teams based on competitive equity and what it called “respective criteria.”
Mission Viejo, which captured the Southern Section Division 2 championship Nov. 25 with a 34–15 victory over visiting Servite of Anaheim, will also open the regional playoffs at home. The Diablos (11–3) will face Granite Hills of El Cajon in Division 1-AA at 7 p.m. Dec. 1.
“Our fans were crazy,” Mission Viejo senior safety Travis Anderson told The Epoch Times after an overflow crowd estimated at more than 9,000 turned out for the Diablos’ section championship victory. “It was packed. Even Servite’s [side] was packed. It was great. I love playing at home.”
Granite Hills, the Open Division champion from the San Diego Section by virtue of a 27–26 victory over Lincoln of San Diego on Nov. 18, is 12–0.
The Mission Viejo-Granite Hills winner will advance to face the survivor of the Northern Regional game that will feature Clovis North of Fresno at De La Salle of Concord at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Clovis North (13–0) beat Central of Fresno 24–14 on Nov. 24 to claim the Central Section Division 1 championship. De La Salle (10–2) posted a 17–7 victory over San Ramon Valley of Danville in the Nov. 17 Open Division final to claim its 31st consecutive North Coast Section title.
La Serna of Whittier will also get a second consecutive home game after defeating Corona del Mar of Newport Beach 49–29 in the Nov. 24 Southern Section Division 4 championship game.
The Lancers (11–3) will host Orange Vista of Perris in Division 2-AA at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at California High in Whittier. Orange Vista (11–3) captured the Southern Section Division 5 title with a 55–34 victory over Newbury Park on Nov. 25.
The La Serna-Orange Vista victor will advance to play the winner of the NorCal game that features Grant of Sacramento at Rocklin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Grant (11–2) won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 championship with a 40–14 win over Woodcreek of Roseville on Nov. 24, while Rocklin (12–1) beat St. Mary’s of Stockton 17–6 for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 title on Nov. 25.
Standout La Serna running back and linebacker Owen Long didn’t even know a state title was possible until shortly after the conclusion of last week’s section championship game.
“Man, I just found out we are going to state 15 minutes ago,” he told The Epoch Times. “An opportunity to play another game? That’s all you can ask for. Any extra minute of football that’s given to me, I’ll take it.”
All of this year’s state championship games will be played in Southern California on Dec. 8–9, with the contests split between Saddleback College, Pasadena City College, and El Camino College in Torrance. Next year’s championship games are set to be played at Northern California venues.
Tickets for all regional playoff games are available online only through the CIF’s ticketing partner, CIF (California) Events and Tickets by GoFan, beginning at noon Nov. 29. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $8 for high school students, seniors (65-plus), and children 5 and older.
Mater Dei Highschool in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 10, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Mater Dei Highschool in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 10, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

CIF Regional Bowl Games

Open Division

  • Mater Dei-Santa Ana vs. Serra-San Mateo, 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at Saddleback College, Mission Viejo

Division 1-AA

  • Granite Hills-El Cajon at Mission Viejo, 7 p.m. Dec. 1
  • Clovis North-Fresno at De La Salle-Concord, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1

Division 1-A

  • St. Bonaventure-Ventura vs. St. Augustine-San Diego, 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Mesa College, San Diego
  • Pittsburg at Folsom, 6 p.m. Dec. 2

Division 2-AA

  • Orange Vista-Perris vs. La Serna-Whittier, 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at California High, Whittier
  • Grant-Sacramento at Rocklin, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1

Division 2-A

  • Simi Valley at Central Valley Christian-Visalia, 6 p.m. Dec. 2
  • El Cerrito at Los Gatos, 6 p.m. Dec. 2

Division 3-AA

  • Birmingham-Lake Balboa at Del Norte-San Diego, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1
  • Escalon at Acalanes-Lafayette, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1

Division 3-A

  • Mt. Miguel-Spring Valley vs. Mayfair-Lakewood, 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Bellflower High
  • McClymonds-Oakland at Marin Catholic-Kentfield, 1 p.m. Dec. 2

Division 4-AA

  • Matilda Torres-Madera at Jurupa Hills-Fontana, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1
  • Casa Roble-Orangevale at Soquel, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1

Division 4-A

  • Rio Hondo Prep-Arcadia vs. Mission Oak-Tulare, 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Tulare Union
  • Palma-Salinas at Hughson, 6 p.m. Dec. 2

Division 5-AA

  • Ramona-Riverside at Torrance, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1
  • Miramonte-Orinda at Pleasant Valley-Chico, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1

Division 5-A

  • La Jolla Country Day at Banning-Wilmington, 7 p.m. Dec. 2
  • Woodland Christian at Orland, 6 p.m. Dec. 2

Division 6-AA

  • Wasco vs. Cerritos, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Artesia
  • Palo Alto vs. St. Vincent de Paul-Petaluma, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Casa Grande-Petaluma

Division 6-A

  • St. Monica-Santa Monica at Sweetwater-National City, 6 p.m. Dec. 2
  • Colusa at South San Francisco, 6 p.m. Dec. 2

Division 7-AA

  • Fairfax-Los Angeles, Bye
  • Portola vs. Ferndale, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Cal Poly Humboldt

Division 7-A

  • Jordan-Los Angeles at Bell Gardens, 6 p.m. Dec. 2
  • Lincoln-San Francisco at Strathmore, 6 p.m. Dec. 2
Dan Wood

Dan Wood


Dan Wood is a community sports reporter based in Orange County, California. He has covered sports professionally for some 43 years, spending nearly three decades in the newspaper industry and 14 years in radio. He is an avid music fan, with a strong lean toward country and classic rock.

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