Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Football: NorCal’s Serra Captures First State Title (12/15/17)

Serra of San Mateo defeated Cajon of San Bernardino, 38-14, to win its first CIF State Division 2-AA title in school history on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Photo/@CIFState.

Serra of San Mateo produced five-time Super Bowl champion QB Tom Brady, but the Padres went to their ground attack to deliver the first CIF state championship in school history.

Washington State-commit Isiah Kendrick rushed for 117 yards and three TDs on 26 carries and had four catches for 71 yards and a TD to lead Serra to a 38-14 victory over Cajon of San Bernardino in the CIF State Division 2-AA championship game on Friday night at Sacramento State.

Kendrick finished with a school record 53 career TDs.

“This has been a long time coming,” Serra coach Patrick Walsh said. “This is the team that … Serra’s never done this. We’ve never won a state title. We’ve never won 13 games in a year and it’s a testament to these kids back here. This is a wonderful coaching staff that’s been assembled, our adminstration and all of Padre Nation … it’s been a long time coming for a wonderful school.”

SCORE: Serra 38, Cajon 14

RECORDS: Serra (13-2), Cajon (14-2)

KEY STATS: Not only did Kendrick gain 117 rushing yards, but junior David Coker added 142 yards and a TD on 12 carries as Serra piled up 297 yards on the ground.

PIVOTAL MOMENT: After Cajon tied it, 14-14, with 3:30 left in the third quarter, Malaki Rango answered with a 72-yard kick return that set up Coker’s 1-yard TD run that gave Serra a 21-14 lead with 2:45 left in the third quarter. The Padres scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.

QUOTABLE: “(We’ll celebrate) with humility,” Walsh said. “This Cajon team gave us everything they had. They are a wonderful football team. Humility is one of our cornerstones. We’re going to feel this one, this great joy, but we love each other. I don’t know what else to say.

NOTES: After committing three turnovers and falling behind 14-0 in the first half, Cajon stayed in the game after Jayden Daniels threw up a Hail Mary to end the first half and 6-foot-8 Darren Jones came down with the 48-yard TD catch to make it 14-7 at halftime. … The Cowboys took the opening kickoff and marched down the field thanks to a 38-yard run by Joseph Yarber before Serra’s Chris Park sacked Daniels with a huge hit to force a fumble. Serra’s Tevesi Vakalahi recovered and the Padres put together a 10-play, 74-yard drive that ended with Luke Bottari’s 14-yard TD pass to Kendrick for a 7-0 lead. … Serra’s Nico Rollandi made a spectacular one-handed interception to end Cajon’s next drive, but the Padres ended up missing a 33-yard FG attempt. … Cajon ended up turning it over on downs on its fourth possession at its own 7 and Serra marched 93 yards in seven plays. Bottari’s 42-yard pass to Kendrick and a pair of personal fouls set up Kendrick’s 2-yard TD run to make it 14-0 with 5:30 left in the half. … Rodney Robinson’s interception with 25 seconds left in the half set up Daniels’ Hail Mary to Jones. … Serra took the opening kickoff of second half, driving inside Cajon’s 5 before Cajon’s Adrian Jones forced a fumble and Kamron Forest recovered at Serra’s 1. The Cowboys put together a 15-play, 99-yard drive with Daniels scoring on a 6-yard TD run to tie it, 14-14. … Rango returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards to set up Coker’s 1-yard TD run as the Padres reeled off 24-unanswered points that featured a 2-yard TD run by Kendrick, a 39-yard FG by Damon Lewis, and a 5-yard TD run by Kendrick. … Cajon was 4 of 5 on fourth-down conversions. … Jones finished with eight catches for 128 yards and a TD for an Inland Empire-record 101 receptions this season. … Daniels completed 25 of 39 passes for 338 yards and one TD with one interception and 73 yards and a TD on 22 carries. … Serra was in the state finals for the second consecutive season. … Cajon was making its first appearance in the state finals. …

Follow us on Twitter @SoCalSidelines.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply