Here’s a look at the CIF State Regional Football Championship games involving inland teams:
Newport Harbor (7-7) at Aquinas (9-5), 6 p.m.
IE University Info: Aquinas makes his third appearance in the CIF state playoffs and seeks the program’s second regional championship. The Falcons captured the CIF Southern Division’s Division 7 title with a 66-14 win over St. Pius X-St. Matthias. Running behind Jojo Solis, the freshman led for 259 yards on 26 carries, caught two passes for 72 yards and scored six touchdowns. Aquinas covered 455 yards on the ground and had touchdowns on nine of his first 10 possessions. The defense, led by senior Tui Hala and Marco Pérez, organized St. Pius X-St. Minus-32 yards from St. Mathias to help the Falcons win their third section title since 2017. Newport Harbor erased a 21–0 deficit and won a 42–35 victory over Temecula Valley in the Division 6 title game of the CIF Southern Division. Qualified for the state playoffs for the first time. AJ Guitron-Moore threw 267 yards and four touchdowns to lead the return effort by the sailors. Josiah Lamarcke and Kashtan Heinjum caught a pair of touchdowns in the game.
Central Valley Christian (10-4) at Serrano (11-3), 7:30 p.m.
IE University Info: Serrano went down 14–7 in the final quarter of the CIF Southern Section Division 8 Championship game, but the Diamondbacks scored a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes to secure a 21–14 win over Buena. This marked the title of the program’s first segment in 17 seasons and sent the Diamondbacks to the state playoffs for the first time. Rigo Cabral scored a 35-yard run to help Serrano level the score. The Diamondbacks were pinned on their 1 with a little over a minute to spare. Peyton Cornell came in at quarterback and joined with Tanner Chaffee for a 79-yard touchdown that proved to be a game-winner. Cabral covered 182 yards, and Chaffee, who played quarterback until that final series, added 72 yards to the ground for the Diamondbacks. Central Valley Christians won the Central Valley Division 3 Championship with a 27–25 victory over Bakersfield Christians. Max Bakker threw three touchdown passes, and Dominic Maxfield ran for 110 yards.
Northview (8-6) (8-6) at Colony, 6 pm
IE University Info: Colony and Northview are both making their first appearances in the CIF State Playoffs. Colony won a 49–41 shootout against St Margaret in last week’s Southern Division Division 9 final. The Titans were trailing 28-14 in the second quarter, and then took a straight lead by 35 points. Bryce Strong had a pair of long touchdown runs and finished the game with 166 yards on the field. AJ Jones threw for 197 yards and ran for 82 yards to help Colony win their sixth game in a row. Northview defeated St. Anthony 27–20 in the Southern Division’s Division 10 championship game for the program’s first section title since 1987. Cho combined for 265 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage to lead the Vikings, leaving Medina and Ronald Tebow behind. Colonie’s Brian Zavala and Northview’s Marcel Perez were once assistants to the Northview program under former coach Jim Arlens.
El Camino Real (6-7) vs Arlington (6-8) at Ramona HS, 6 PM
IE University Info: Arlington and El Camino Real have both qualified for the CIF State Playoffs for the first time. Arlington dominated Montclair on either side of the ball last week and won the Southern Division 23-0 in the Division 13 championship game. It was Arlington’s first division title in 31 seasons. Raymond Warhop led the offensive for the Lions, rushing for 224 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries. Jordan Clarke was the star on the defensive side, as he received one fumble and two interceptions in three consecutive series in the second quarter. El Camino Real won the LA City Section Division 2 championship with a 37–18 victory over Hamilton. Ryan Feinberg threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns, and Troy Spellman scored twice for the Conquistadors.