2012 California Bowl Game Recap: Home Depot Center

California Schools Feature Nation's Top Recruits in State Finals

The 2012 California high school football season concluded on a wet 'n wild weekend at Home Depot Center in Carson. The best football teams from Northern California made the journey down south and came away with three victories in five games.

The first contest featured the Central Catholic Raiders from Modesto against the Santa Fe Christian Eagles from Solana Beach. The Raiders rushing attack overpowered the Eagles 66-7 to capture the CIF Division IV crown.

Friday's nightcap proved to be a classic. The Granite Bay Grizzlies from up north took on the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits in a back and forth barnburner. The Grizzlies pulled out a hard fought 21-20 victory to claim the CIF Division I title. A missed PAT was all that separated these two great teams in the end.

For seniors Taft Partridge and Aaron Knapp, returning home to the close-knit community of Granite Bay as CIF Division I champions was the realization of a childhood dream.

With his proud father on the sidelines, junior Dylan Keeney shined with a pivotal interception return for a touchdown to give the Grizzlies their first lead of the game against Long Beach Poly.

Poly seniors Gerard Wicks and Jayon Brown played their hearts out and will now take their talents to the Pac-12.

Saturday's action opened up with a shootout between the Marin Catholic Wildcats and the Madison Warhawks from San Diego for the CIF Division III Championship.

Madison overcame a 21-0 deficit and rallied to defeat Marin Catholic 38-35 behind an impressive 296 rushing yard performance from Arizona commit Pierre Cormier.

The Gardena Serra Cavaliers gave So Cal their second victory of the day with a dominating 42-15 victory over the Oakdale Mustangs. The Serra offensive line, anchored by senior big man Emerald Faletuipapai, controlled the line of scrimmage from the outset.

Senior Marques Rodgers scored three first half touchdowns and junior standout Adoree' Jackson added three touchdowns in spectacular fashion.

The rubber match and most anticipated clash of the weekend featured the Concord De La Salle Spartans and the Corona Centennial Huskies in a battle for the CIF Open Division crown.

De La Salle jumped out to a 28-0 behind three touchdowns from stud back Tiapepe Vitale but Centennial, led by junior quarterback Robert Webber and receivers Barry Ware, Ryan Pascarella and Chase Krivashei fought back and cut the margin to 42-28 in the fourth quarter.

Vitale's fourth touchdown of the game sealed the 48-28 victory and gave the Spartans their fourth straight CIF Open Division title.

It was a great weekend of football and CLA was honored to be on the sidelines to cover the competition. All these teams will be loaded with talent next season and should be in good position to return to the finals.