High School Section Championship Games slate highlighted by Pitt, McClymonds

The goal is to practice on Thanksgiving every year. That’s the message high school football coaches pass on to their charges. These 26 teams have earned it and will be playing for the section championships over the next two days.

Winners will take home banners and advance to the CIF State Bowl Championships, with those pairings being announced Sunday. The winners of next week’s first-round matches advance to the state finals to take on the Southern California champions in the second week of December.

Here are brief breakdowns of the 13 section finals scheduled for Friday and Saturday.


No. 1 McClymonds (11-1) vs. No. 3 Castlemont (6-5) at Fremont HS, Saturday 6pm –
The top-ranked Warriors have not lost to an OAL opponent since 2009, a span of 11 seasons and 88 games. With Jaivian Thomas (1,919 yards, 23 TDs, 9 games), there’s no reason to think that streak is about to end. Castlemont achieved an impressive 20-8 semifinal win at Oakland Tech, but McClymonds won his regular-season game against Castlemont 60-6.


department 1

No. 1 Serra (12-0) vs. No. 6 Mitty (9-3) at San Jose City College, 7 p.m. Friday –
A duel between one of the most dominant teams in CCS history (Serra won two playoff games 57-7 and 57-21) and a great comeback story. Mitty was 1-9 (and 1-12 over two) last season but won playoff games against higher-seeded 29-28 and 42-41, both in OT.

department 2

No. 2 St. Ignatius (6-6) vs. No. 5 Bellarmine (6-6) at San Jose City College, 7 p.m. Saturday –
Two even-rans in the West Catholic Athletic League found footing in the playoffs. St Ignatius, aided by QB Soren Hummel and sophomore RB Jarous Hogan, is hoping to avenge a 34-14 loss to the Bells in the season.

department 3

No.3 Menlo School-Atherton (7-5) vs. No.5 Hollister (7-5) at Rabobank Stadium-Salinas, Saturday 7pm –
Menlo is hoping to end a five-straight loss streak in the CCS Finals but must contain fast Hollister QB Isaiah Molina. Last week, his 11 carries for 216 yards and four TDs earned him a 42-28 win over top seed Soquel.

department 4

No. 3 Branham-San Jose (11-1) vs. No. 4 Santa Teresa-San Jose (7-5) at San Jose City College, 1 p.m. Saturday –
Branham QB William Augenstein is a one man show; In a 68-45 semifinal win over Mountain View, he had 454 yards and six touchdowns. For the season, he has thrown for 2,010 yards (22 TDs) and rushed for 2,017 (29).

department 5

No. 2 Palo Alto (6-6) vs. No. 5 Monterey (8-4) at Sequoia-Redwood City HS, Friday 7 p.m. –
The Vikings are seeking their fourth NCS title, but only since 2010 when they won a state title with Davante Adams. This CCS stock was in the highest tier (Open) but the competitive stock model knocked it down to the lowest tier.


department 1

No.2 Pittsburg (10-2) vs. No.3 Clayton Valley Charter-Concord (8-4) at Heritage-Brentwood HS, Friday 7pm –
Clayton Valley Senior QB Christian Aguilar (3,097 passing yards, 25 TDs) transferred from Pittsburg after his junior season. The Pirates feature Jaden Rashada, who signs four-star QB and Florida, and a string of D1 receivers in Rashid Williams (Washington), Zachary Card (Oregon State) and Khai Taylor (Boise State). Pittsburg played De La Salle-Concord harder than it had in decades but lost a 30-23 Open title last week. The physicality of this game could take a toll on Friday. This could also be the last game for Pitt coach Vic Galli, 21, who announced two weeks ago that this will be his last season.

department 2

No. 1 San Ramon Valley-Danville (10-2) vs. No. 2 Campolindo-Moraga (12-0) at Dublin HS, 7pm Friday –
Campolindo stunned SRV 17-14 in last year’s D2 Finals, returning his two primary weapons in QB Dashiell Weaver (3,500 yards, 41 touchdowns) and WR Robbie Mascheroni (61 catches, 1,108 yards, 18 TDs). SRV 3-star junior QB Luke Baker (3,310 yards, 40 TDs) had a monster season.

department 3


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