High-SchoolCalifornia: Helix

Other than one exception, champions reign supreme in the final CIF bowl rankings by Cal-Hi Sports.

Many divisions get expanded treatment for final lists of the season with teams to watch for next year added as well.

These have been adjusted after this year’s bowl games that were played on Dec. 16-17 at The Home Depot Center.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

Division I North
1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 13-1
2. (2) Bellarmine (San Jose) 12-2
3. (3) Granite Bay 12-2
4. (4) Lincoln (Stockton) 11-2
5. (5) Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 12-2
6. (6) Serra (San Mateo) 11-2
7. (7) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 10-4
8. (8) Palo Alto 10-3
9. (9) Bethel (Vallejo) 11-2
10. (10) Grant (Sacramento) 8-4
Next 5: 11. James Logan (Union City) 10-1; 12. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 7-4-1; 13. Oak Grove (San Jose) 9-2; 14. Pittsburg 9-4; 15. Leland (San Jose) 9-2.
Others: Freedom (Oakley) 10-2, Monte Vista (Danville) 8-5, Pitman (Turlock) 10-2, San Benito (Hollister) 7-3-1, St. Francis (Mountain View) 6-6.
Teams with top underclass players: De La Salle, Lincoln (Stockton), Serra (San Mateo).

Division I South
1. (3) Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 13-2
2. (2) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 14-0 (9-5 incl. forfeits)
3. (1) Westlake (Westlake Village) 14-1
4. (4) Bakersfield 13-0
5. (5) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 11-3
6. (6) Centennial (Corona) 12-2
7. (7) Upland 12-1
8. (8) Mission Viejo 10-3
9. (9) San Clemente 12-2
10. (10) Servite (Anaheim) 10-2
11. (11) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 10-3
12. (12) Poway 12-0-1
13. (13) Rancho Cucamonga 11-2
14. (14) Redlands East Valley (Redlands) 11-1
15. (15) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 10-2
Next 5: 16. Narbonne (Harbor City) 10-3; 17. Tesoro (Rancho SM) 8-5; 18. Carson 8-6; 19. St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 8-4; 20. San Pedro 12-1.
Others: Alemany (Mission Hills) 8-3; Bishop Amat (La Puente) 6-5, Bullard (Fresno) 11-3; Clovis 10-2; Dorsey (Los Angeles) 11-2; Edison (Huntington Beach) 8-3; Huntington Beach 9-3; J.W. North (Riverside) 10-2; Loyola (Los Angeles) 9-3; Lutheran (Orange) 6-5.
Teams with top underclass players: Santa Margarita, Vista Murrieta, Westlake, Bakersfield, Oaks Christian, Narbonne, Tesoro, Alemany.

Division II North
1. (1) Del Oro (Loomis) 13-2
2. (2) Vacaville 13-1
3. (3) St. Mary's (Stockton) 9-3
4. (4) Folsom 11-3
5. (5) Elk Grove 12-1
6. (6) Buhach Colony (Atwater) 12-1
7. (7) Oakdale 13-1
8. (8) Windsor 14-0
9. (9) Los Gatos 11-1-1
10. (10) Paradise 11-1
Next 5: 11. Casa Roble (Orangevale) 10-3; 12. Concord 10-4; 13. Pioneer (San Jose) 9-4; 14. Foothill (Palo Cedro) 10-2; 15. Inderkum (Sacramento) 10-2.
Others: Aragon (San Mateo) 9-3, Dublin 8-5, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 9-3, Mission (San Francisco) 9-3, Placer (Auburn) 9-3, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 9-4, Whitney (Rocklin) 10-3.
Teams with top underclass players: Del Oro, St. Mary’s of Stockton, Concord.

Division II South
1. (1) Helix (La Mesa) 13-1
2. (2) Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley) 14-0
3. (3) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 12-1
4. (4) Arroyo Grande 13-1
5. (5) West Covina 13-1
6. (6) Summit (Fontana) 13-1
7. (7) Tustin 11-3
8. (8) El Toro (Lake Forest) 12-2
9. (10) Chaminade (West Hills) 10-3
10. (9) Palm Springs 13-1
Next 5: 11. Heritage (Romoland) 12-1; 12. Culver City 10-4; 13. Serra (Gardena) 8-3; 14. Villa Park 11-1; 15. Santa Monica 11-2.
Others: Cajon (San Bernardino) 9-2, Citrus Hill (Perris) 12-1, Clovis North (Clovis) 11-3, Kingsburg 12-2, La Habra 9-4, Oceanside 9-3-1, St. Augustine (San Diego) 9-2, Ventura 11-1.
Teams with top underclass players: Helix, Cathedral Catholic, El Toro, Chaminade, Serra (Gardena).

Division III North
1. (1) Campolindo (Moraga) 14-1
2. (2) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 13-1
3. (3) Palma (Salinas) 11-1-1
4. (4) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 11-1-1
5. (5) Salesian (Richmond) 13-0
6. (6) Hilmar 12-2
7. (7) Escalon 13-1
8. (8) Encinal (Alameda) 11-2
9. (9) Carmel 12-1
10. (10) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 6-6-1
Next 5: 11. Valley Christian (San Jose) 6-6; 12. Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 7-6; 13. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 9-3; 14. Orland 10-1; 15. Liberty Ranch (Galt) 9-4.
Others: Aptos 9-2, Christopher (Gilroy) 10-2, Colfax 11-1, Healdsburg 10-4, Miramonte (Orinda) 10-2, St. Helena 11-1, Sutter 10-2, Willows 10-3.
Teams with top underclass players: Campolindo, Marin Catholic, Palma.

Division III South
1. (1) Lompoc 14-0
2. (2) Washington (Easton) 14-0
3. (3) Valley Center 12-1
4. (4) Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 12-2
5. (5) Beckman (Irvine) 11-3
6. (6) Madison (San Diego) 10-1-1
7. (7) Paraclete (Lancaster) 11-3
8. (8) Monrovia 11-3
9. (9) Covina 11-2
10. (10) Santana (Santee) 11-2
Note: Washington Union is a deserving CIF state champion for its win over Campolindo, but Lompoc having a win over Arroyo Grande is still enough to keep the Braves on top for our final rankings. We also could not drop Lompoc that far in the final overall rankings for basically not winning in a board room and not on the field.
Next 5: 11. Cabrillo (Lompoc) 11-3; 12. Wasco 11-2; 13. Coronado 9-4; 14. Mt. Miguel (Spring Valley) 10-2; 15. San Gabriel 9-5.
Others: Arroyo (El Monte) 10-2, Bishop 10-2, Coalinga 9-3, Fowler 12-2, Mendota 12-0, Mission Oak (Tulare) 9-3, Ontario Christian 8-3-1, San Dimas 10-3, St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 10-1, Torrance 8-5.
Teams with top underclass players: Lompoc, Paraclete.

Division IV North
1. (1) Central Catholic (Modesto) 10-3
2. (2) Le Grand 12-1
3. (3) Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 11-1
4. (4) Ferndale 11-2
5. (NR) McClymonds (Oakland) 10-2
6. (5) Berean Christian (Walnut Creek) 8-4
7. (6) Modoc (Alturas) 10-3
8. (7) Valley Christian (Dublin) 9-3
9. (8) Hoopa Valley (Hoopa) 9-3
10. (9) Millennium (Tracy) 10-1
Note: McClymonds’ enrollment has now dipped well below 400, which makes the Warriors D4 and not D3 according to CIF breakdowns. It was easy to place them in these final rankings with a head-to-head loss to Ferndale.
Others: California School for the Deaf (Fremont) 8-4, Durham 9-3, Hamilton (Hamilton City) 10-3, Pierce (Arbuckle) 9-2, Rio Vista 9-3, St. Bernard (Eureka) 7-4, Tomales 9-3-1.
Teams with top underclass players: Central Catholic, Ferndale.

Division IV South
1. (1) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 15-0
2. (2) Christian (El Cajon) 10-3
3. (3) Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 11-2
4. (4) Rio Hondo Prep (Arcadia) 13-1
5. (5) Bishop Diego (Santa Barbara) 11-2
6. (6) St. Margaret’s (SJ Capistrano) 9-3
7. (7) Boron 10-3
8. (8) Desert Christian (Lancaster) 11-2
9. (9) Aquinas (San Bernardino) 9-3
10. (10) Mojave 10-2
Others: La Jolla Country Day 7-5, Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 8-2, Parker (San Diego) 6-5-1, Saddleback Valley Christian (SJ Capistrano) 9-2, Tri-City Christian (Vista) 9-3, View Park (Los Angeles) 8-4.
Teams with top underclass players: Sierra Canyon, Santa Fe Christian, Rio Hondo.

Speed kills as Helix wins D2 title

December, 18, 2011
Div. I: Harry Welch wins third CIF state title

Div. III: Washington Union brings it home for Central Section

Div. IV: Sierra Canyon takes care of business

Even though it wasn't set in stone that Helix of La Mesa would represent Southern California in the CIF Division II State Championship Bowl Game if the Highlanders won a section title, Del Oro of Loomis coach Casey Taylor made the trek from Placer County down to Qualcomm Stadium on a Monday after the Golden Eagles had won the Sac Joaquin Section Division III title three nights earlier to scope out the potential opponent.

Helix dominated seven-time defending champ Oceanside 44-6 in the San Diego Section Division II title game and Taylor obviously came away impressed. When Helix was selected for the bowl game, there were no surprises to Taylor what his team needed to do to win the game -- contain the big-play ability of quarterback Brandon Lewis and his offense.

Northern California representative Del Oro was successful for one quarter and took a 10-7 lead, but Helix responded with three second-quarter touchdowns to spark its 35-24 victory.

The victory was the third for the San Diego Section in Division II, following Cathedral Catholic in 2008 and Oceanside a year earlier. It also upped the section's all-time record in bowl games to 5-2. For Helix, the game was a culmination of its series of dominant performances following a 21-14 loss to Eastlake of Chula Vista to open the season.

"They're a good football team...as good as any we've seen all year," Taylor said. "I thought they dominated across the line. We wanted to eliminate big plays, but in the second quarter they had three of them."

For Helix coach Troy Starr, it completed a journey that began when he ventured from his native Ohio to Carson of the L.A. City Section as an unpaid linebackers coach in 1987. That season, Carson was upset in its section title game while gunning for the mythical national title. Starr was also on the losing end of a few more title game stunners when he took over the program at Taft of Woodland Hills.
Helix, CIF bowl games
Mark Tennis/ESPNHSHelix players celebrate team's CIF Div. II bowl game victory over Del Oro.

His one year on Urban Meyer's staff at the University of Florida in 2007 put his coaching career into perspective and after experiencing another championship heartbreak with the Highlanders in 2008, he finally had a team that put it all together in back-to-back performances to bring home the state title.

"When I went to Florida, I definitely got smarter being around Urban [Meyer] and all those great coaches," Starr said. "But we [Helix] have great players, totally invested players, a true team."

Helix out gained Del Oro in total yardage 384-272 as game MVP Lewis completed 11 of 16 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

Helix Breaks It Open Before Halftime

With Del Oro leading 10-7 early in the second quarter, Helix broke open the game with three unanswered touchdowns to take a 28-10 halftime lead.

Helix had a 55-yard touchdown reception wiped out on a penalty, but on the next play facing a first and 28, Lewis hit all-purpose back Gary Thompson on a 73-yard touchdown pass where he broke through the middle of the defense to give Helix a 14-10 lead.

The Highlanders never trailed again.

With 2:54 remaining in the first half, fullback Michael Adkins scored on a 3-yard run that was set up by a 28-yard reception by Thompson. One minute and 43 seconds later with the Del Oro defense on skates, Lewis hit wide receiver Kendal Keys on a reverse screen pass and he did the rest, outracing the defense for a 32-yard touchdown.

"We've been behind before...we knew what we had to do," Lewis said. "There was a lot of game left, even at halftime when we had a pretty good lead, I told the guys to think of it as 0-0 because there's a lot of game left."

Thompson finished with three receptions for a game-high 117 yards and the one score. He also disrupted Del Oro's passing attack and was credited with a tackle for loss and plenty of hurries.

"We knew the way they played and with their coverage we'd have to do things differently and use some different pass patterns," Starr said. "But the real difference was our speed and our defense."

Key Penalty Costs Del Oro

Coming into the contest, Del Oro was the more battle-tested team and rallied on the first drive of the second half to try and get back in the game. On a third and seven from the Helix 39-yard line, quarterback Bobby Heatherington found Alex Bertrando for a 10-yard gain and moments later, wide receiver Russell Smith took an end around six yards in for a score to cut the Golden Eagles' deficit to 11 points (28-17).

With the Del Oro crowd rocking and with momentum seemingly going its way, it looked like the game was going to be a dogfight when Brandon Monroe came up with an interception at the Golden Eagles' 35-yard line. In the midst of the eruption, a late flag had been tossed and after a brief discussion, Helix retained possession on a holding penalty. Instead of Del Oro retaining possession at its own 38-yard line, the Highlanders had the ball at Del Oro's 46-yard line.

Starr's club cashed in on the last play of the third quarter, as Keys caught a three-yard reception just out of the reach of the out stretched arms of Smith as Helix took a 35-17 lead.

Del Oro battled until the end, and even blocked a punt that Bertrando scooped up and took in to the end zone from six yards to account for the final score.

Heatherington finished with 179 yards passing on 19-of-30 completions with one touchdown, but Del Oro's running game was unable to break off big chunks of yardage to keep Helix's defense honest against the pass. The Golden Eagles finished with 93 net rushing yards on 28 attempts.

Evenly Matched First Quarter

Unlike the CIF Division III game where both teams did not play to their potential and at times looked as if they were giving the game away, the Division II game matched two talented teams that played sound football.

There was sharp play-calling and crisp tackling, but a couple of mistakes set up scores for both teams in the first half. For Starr, his stomach turned when Del Oro pooched a kick on the opening play and recovered at the Helix 36-yard line. Del Oro, which came in ranked No. 6 in the state, made its first mistake when Blake Covey dropped a pass on third and seven. Del Oro (13-2) was still able to get on the board with a 36-yard field goal by Skyler Rand.

Helix (13-1) then got the big break it needed when Anthony Spence jumped a pass by Heatherington intended for Johnathan Tuttle at the Golden Eagles' 29-yard line. The Highlanders, ranked No. 9 but sure to move up in next week's final state ratings, cashed in on the mistake when running back Darrion Hancock bulldozed behind his line for a 7-yard touchdown and a 7-3 lead with 4:24 remaining in the first half. The play was set up by a big 16-yard reception on third down by Thompson.

Hancock finished with 108 yards rushing and one touchdown on 26 carries.

Thompson and Arthur Shepard are bookends on defense and they were breaking through the lines early, but Heatherington was successfully rolling away from pressure. With 10:11 remaining in the first half, Heatherington rolled right and found Tanner Huber open against a linebacker for a 3-yard score. That gave the Sac Joaquin Section Division III champions a 10-7 lead, but that's when Helix made its adjustments and took over the game.

Updated CIF bowl game results

December, 16, 2011

All-Time CIF State Championship Bowl Game Results

(MVP selected by Cal-Hi Sports ; Click on links for full recaps)

CIF Open Division

2011: De La Salle (Concord) 35, Westlake (Westlake Village) 0

MVP: Bart Houston (De La Salle) QB

2010: De La Salle (Concord) 48, Servite (Anaheim) 8

MVP: Lucas Dunne (De La Salle) RB

2009: De La Salle (Concord) 28, Crenshaw (Los Angeles) 14

MVP: Terron Ward (De La Salle) RB-DB

2008: Grant (Sacramento) 25, Poly (Long Beach) 20

MVP: Darvin McCauley (Grant) WR

CIF Division I

2011: Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 42, Bellarmine (San Jose) 37

MVP: Johnny Stanton (Santa Margarita) QB

2010: Palo Alto 15, Centennial (Corona) 13

MVP: Kevin Anderson (Palo Alto) DE

2009: Oceanside 24, Bellarmine Prep (San Jose) 19

MVP: Jerry Whitaker (Oceanside) WR

2008: Centennial (Corona) 21, De La Salle (Concord) 16

MVP: Vontaze Burfict (Centennial) LB

2007: De La Salle (Concord) 37, Centennial (Corona) 31

MVP: Travis Carrie (De La Salle) DB

2006: Canyon (Canyon Country) 27, De La Salle (Concord) 13

MVP: J.J. DiLuigi (Canyon) RB

CIF Division II

2011: Helix (La Mesa) 35, Del Oro (Loomis) 24

MVP: Brandon Lewis (Helix) QB

2010: Folsom 48, Serra (Gardena) 20

MVP: Dano Graves (Folsom) QB

2009: Servite (Anaheim) 33, Rocklin 30

MVP: Cody Fajardo (Servite) QB

2008: Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 37, St. Mary's (Stockton) 34

MVP: Tyler Gaffney (Cathedral Catholic) RB

2007: Oceanside 28, Novato 14

MVP: Frank Zimmerman (Oceanside) WR

2006: Orange Lutheran (Orange) 42, Palo Alto 28

MVP: Aaron Corp (Orange Lutheran) QB

CIF Division III

2011: Washington Union (Easton) 21, Campolindo (Moraga) 16

MVP: Donald Phelps (Washington Union) RB-DB

2010: Escalon 30, Madison (San Diego) 14

MVP: Adrian Cortes (Escalon) LB-FB

2009: Serra (Gardena), 24, Marin Catholic (Marin) 20

MVP: Robert Woods (Serra) WR

2008: St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 28, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 6

MVP: Logan Meyer (St. Bonaventure) QB

2007: St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 35, Central Catholic (Modesto) 21

MVP: Darrell Scott (St. Bonaventure) RB

2006: Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 27, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 20 (OT)

MVP: Ryan Lingle (Cardinal Newman) QB

CIF Division IV

2011: Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 34, Le Grand (Le Grand) 13

MVP: Xavier Menifeld (Sierra Canyon)

2010: Bishop's (La Jolla) 40, Brookside Christian (Stockton) 14

MVP: Alec Fisher (Bishop's) RB

2009: Modesto Christian (Modesto) 44, Parker (San Diego) 40

MVP: Deon Randall (Parker) QB

2008: St. Margaret's (San Juan Capistrano) 59, Hamilton Union (Hamilton) 7

MVP: John Murayama (St. Margaret's) RB

All-Time Section Won-Loss Record

Central Section: 1-0 (1.000)

San Diego Section: 5-2 (.714)

Southern Section: 11-6 (.647)

Sac Joaquin Section: 4-6 (.400)

North Coast Section: 4-7 (.364)

Central Coast Section: 1-3 (.250)

L.A. City Section: 0-1 (.000)

Northern Section: 0-1 (.000)

Note: The Oakland and San Francisco Sections has not had a team selected for a CIF bowl game.