Prep football: Huskies hit road; Spartans stay home in bowl matchups
The CIF released its bowl pairings on Sunday morning, and Northern Section champions from Sutter and East Nicolaus High both received some good news and some bad news when the matchups were unveiled.
The good news for Sutter is that it will be facing a team that is new to the bowl season and will be playing in its first Northern California Regional Bowl Game, while the Huskies will be playing in their fifth such game in the last six years.
The bad news is that the Huskies and their supporters will have to make the long drive south of San Francisco to play in the game and earn a shot at a state championship.
Then there are the Spartans, who received some good news in that they will get to host a CIF NorCal regional game after having to travel last season. The bad news is that it will be a rematch of last year’s game against the only school to beat them in the last two years.
The action will begin Friday night when East Nicolaus (13-0) will play host to powerhouse McClymonds of Oakland (12-0) in the NorCal Division 5-AA game and will continue Saturday when Sutter (12-1) travels to play Half Moon Bay (13-0) in the Division 3-A regional.
The Spartans captured a state championship in 2015 and have won 37 of their last 38 games while winning three straight Northern Section Division IV titles. Their only loss during that stretch came in a 45-26 defeat to McClymonds in last year’s 5-A regional bowl game in Hayward. McClymonds went on to win a state title of its own with a 20-17 victory over La Jolla Country Day the following week.
This year’s McClymonds team appears to be just as good, if not better. The Warriors have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 541-81 on the year and won the Oakland Section title with a 42-14 victory over Oakland Tech on Nov. 25.
Should the Spartans win Friday’s game, they will play the winner between Golden West and Big Bear in the 5-AA state championship game on Dec. 16.
Sutter, winners of four straight Northern Section Division III championships, will have to make the three-hour drive to play Half Moon Bay, which won the Central Coast Section Open Division III title with a 41-9 victory over Terra Nova on Saturday night.
The Cougars are undefeated this year after going 11-2 the previous two seasons, and have outscored their opponents 582-132. Their top player offensively is running back Chase Hofmann, who has rushed for 1,128 yards and 34 touchdowns. Quarterback Gavin Tomberlin has also passed for 1,657 yards and 20 scores through the air for an offense that averages 45 points per game.
Should Sutter win, it will play the winner of Southern California’s regional game between Steele Canyon and El Modena for the state championship on Dec. 16.
East Nicolaus’ game on Friday night is set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, while Sutter’s game on Saturday is set for 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for children, students and seniors.