Los Angeles Preps: Dano Graves

CIF State Div. II Bowl: Folsom 48, Serra 20

December, 18, 2010

CARSON -- It slipped away in the downpour.

Serra coach Scott Altenberg wouldn't use the rain as an excuse, but the wet conditions had an effect on his team.

The usually fleet-footed Cavaliers were forced to slow down. Folsom capitalized on a flurry of Serra mistakes, turning a tight contest into a resounding 48-20 win in the CIF Division II state championship Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

Serra trailed by one heading to the fourth quarter, but Folsom converted three turnovers into three touchdowns in a mere 1:14 for a 21-point lead.

"The conditions definitely affected us a little bit," Altenberg said. "But Folsom's a great football team. You don't take anything away from them. They played well."

The Cavaliers (14-1) committed five turnovers -- all in the second half. Dual-threat quarterback Dano Graves threw for three touchdowns, ran for three more and had 297 yards of total offense for Folsom (14-1).

"This is amazing," Graves said. "One of the best feelings of my life. We're going to Disneyland. I'm not kidding about that; we're really going to Disneyland."

Graves' play was magical throughout. Folsom took the opening kickoff 77 yards and claimed a quick 7-0 lead on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Graves to Tyler Trosin two plays later. The Bulldogs doubled their lead shortly after on another Graves-to-Trosin hookup, this one for 42 yards.

"We had a lot of momentum," Graves said.

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CIF State Div. II Bowl: Folsom vs. Serra

December, 18, 2010
WHO: Folsom (13-1) vs. Serra (14-0)
WHEN: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Home Depot Center
TV: FSN Prime Ticket

There was never any doubt that Serra would be here, a win away from its second consecutive state football crown.

With all that collegiate talent -- especially at the skill positions -- Serra's spot at the Home Depot Center was all but secured. On paper, the Cavaliers appeared unstoppable and it translated onto the field with Conner Preston slinging it to stud wideouts George Farmer and Marqise Lee. Their closest call came in a Mission League battle at West Hills Chaminade in early November, but even then, Serra erased a fourth-quarter deficit, turned on the jets and left with a two-touchdown win.

Sixteen weeks after it began, Western Division champion Serra might have finally met its match.

At least it looks that way on paper.

Folsom, which qualified for the bowl game by winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title, has scored fewer than 49 points just twice all season. The Bulldogs have won 13 in a row and average a staggering 52 points per game.

A lot more stands out on Folsom's rap sheet, specifically quarterback Dano Graves' ridiculous numbers. He has passed for 3,488 yards and 59 touchdowns and rushed for 20 more scores. That's a total of 79 touchdowns, or 34 more than Serra's Preston (42 passing, three rushing).

But the big number here might be 29 -- as in the number of consecutive wins for Serra, the state's longest current streak. And remember, the Cavaliers return to the site of last year's Division III bowl game victory. Folsom will be making its bowl game debut, so the nod goes to Serra in the not-so-wide-eyed category.

No matter how you slice it, the game promises to be a close, back-and-forth battle.

For Serra, it only took 16 weeks.