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CIF state bowl game previews

CIF state bowl game previews
Mater Dei’s offense, led by quarterback J.T. Daniels, plus an outstanding offensive line and great receivers, has been unstoppable all season. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

CIF state championship bowl games

Friday at Sacramento State

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Division 2-AA: San Bernardino Cajon (14-1) vs. San Mateo Serra (12-2), 4 p.m. This is going to be like a video game with nonstop scoring. Serra scored 76 points last week. Cajon had 70 points. Cajon junior quarterback Jayden Daniels leads the nation in passing with 4,795 yards and 61 touchdowns. Darren Jones is nearing 2,000 yards receiving and has 27 touchdowns. Jeremiah Martin has 30 sacks. Isiah Kendrick leads Serra with 1,520 yards and 27 touchdowns. The pick: Cajon.

Division 1-AA: La Mesa Helix (13-1) vs. Folsom (15-0), 8 p.m. Helix is on the rise behind sophomore running back Elelyon Noa, who has gained 1,652 yards. Helix has a strong secondary capable of disrupting Folsom’s passing attack, led by quarterback Kaiden Bennett, who has 51 touchdown passes. But does Helix have enough offense to win? The pick: Folsom.

Saturday at Sacramento State

Open Division: Santa Ana Mater Dei (14-0) vs. Concord De La Salle (11-1), 8 p.m. Mater Dei defeated Bishop Gorman 35-21. Bishop Gorman beat De La Salle 34-7. That tells you how big an upset it would be for De La Salle to defeat the Monarchs. Mater Dei’s offense, led by quarterback J.T. Daniels, plus an outstanding offensive line and great receivers, has been unstoppable. De La Salle will try to control the clock with its running game and get turnovers to stay close. The pick: Mater Dei.

Division 1-A: Narbonne (11-3) vs. Pittsburg (9-2), 4 p.m. No team has improved more since midseason than than the City champion Gauchos. Ever since a trip to Hawaii, their offense has taken off, with running back Jermar Jefferson and quarterback Jalen Chatman leading the way. It’s the final game for the magnificent linebacker trio of Raymond Scott, Darien Butler and Julian Lewis. Pittsburg played De La Salle tough and has lots of athleticism to match Narbonne, especially on defense. The pick: Narbonne.

Division 2-A: Simi Valley Grace Brethren (13-2) vs. Mountain View St. Francis (10-4), noon: The challenge for Grace Brethren is making sure its young players can handle the pressure of the biggest game in school history. So far, freshmen Michael Zele (quarterback), Seven McGee (running back) and David Toia (offensive line) have been contributing as if they were seniors. Stopping Darrell Page will be key. The junior running back has rushed for 2,206 yards and 23 touchdowns. The pick: Grace Brethren.

Other local matchups

Division 3-AA: Redding Shasta (12-1) vs. Santa Barbara Bishop Diego (14-1) at Cal Lutheran, 6 p.m.: Bishop Diego keeps rolling behind running back John Harris, who’s averaging 11.1 yards per carry and has 32 touchdowns and 2,117 yards rushing. Shasta also has a strong rushing attack. The pick: Bishop Diego.

Division 4-AA: Auburn Placer (13-1) at Crenshaw (11-3), 6 p.m. Crenshaw put together a top defensive performance last week to defeat Oceanside El Camino 13-10. There should be plenty of excitement hosting its first state championship bowl game. Safety Jared Greenfield has 12 interceptions and receiver Rayshawn Williams has been exceptional in the playoffs. Placer overcame a 27-7 deficit to defeat Salinas 43-42 in overtime last week. Running back Marshall Chapman rushed for 195 yards. The pick: Crenshaw.

Division 5-A: Fortuna (12-2) vs. Anaheim Katella (14-1) at Glover Stadium, 6 p.m.: Katella’s dream season continues. After winning its first Southern Section title, Katella came back from a 35-7 deficit last week to win its regional bowl game 36-35. Nothing seems to faze the players. Quarterback Nathan Arrington remains the key player. Fortuna has been playing the season in honor of Bailey Foley, who suffered a stroke during the team’s season opener on Aug. 26. The pick: Katella.

Division 6-AA: Strathmore (15-0) vs. Orange (13-2) at El Modena, 6 p.m.: Orange pulled out an overtime win in its regional bowl game last week. Quarterback Jason Wilkinson is nearing 3,000 yards passing. Running back Joseph Garcia of Strathmore has scored 45 touchdowns and rushed for 2,626 yards. The pick: Strathmore.

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