Commentary

Things to Know: Cali football finals

Updated: December 21, 2009, 12:54 PM ET
By Mark Tennis | ESPN RISE

De La Salle Celebration Scott KurtzDe La Salle (Concord, Calif.) players celebrate after downing Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the CIF Open Division state bowl game.

Unsung Hero of the Week

The previous week, kicker Nick Echeverry of Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) was backing up Connor Loftus, the team's other top kicker, in the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five championship. it was Echeverry's turn in the CIF Division II state bowl game, and he set a record by kicking four field goals in a 33-30 win against Rocklin. Echeverry made one from 47 yards and hit the game-winner from 23 yards with no time left.

[+] EnlargeServite
Scott KurtzNick Echeverry kicked four field goals as Servite downed Rocklin in the CIF Division II state bowl game.

Top Juniors

• Running back DeAnthony Thomas (5-9, 170) of Crenshaw (Los Angeles) was sensational in the first 10 minutes of the CIF Open Division bowl game against De La Salle (Concord). He scored on runs of 43 and 16 yards, but he didn't score again as Crenshaw lost to the Spartans 28-14. Thomas injured his ankle while making a tackle in the second quarter and didn't carry the ball in the second half. His speed will make him a highly ranked national recruit next season.

• Tight end Raymond Nelson (6-5, 220) of Modesto Christian caught four passes for 42 yards and one touchdown in his team's 44-40 triumph over Francis Parker (San Diego) for the small schools title. Nelson is the brother of UCLA freshman basketball player Reeves Nelson and looks like he will be one of the top tight ends in the nation. He stopped playing basketball this year to concentrate on football.

From the History Books

• With a 13-2 slate for this year, De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur's all-time state best coaching record will stand at 357-23-3 heading into the 2010 season. His total is unmatched nationally for coaches with at least 200 career wins. Ladouceur also is the only coach to guide his teams to the CIF state bowl games for all four years of the event. No other school has been there more than twice.

• Diminutive sophomore Chris Tewhill (5-8, 160) of Marin Catholic woke up Saturday morning as a fairly unknown backup quarterback and defensive back. He ended up setting two CIF bowl games records, although it wasn't enough in a 24-20 loss to Serra (Gardena) in the Division III game. Tewhill replaced starting quarterback Nate Kristoff (hip pointer), and on his second pass he found a wide open Tyler Scott over the middle for 82 yards and a touchdown. That was the first record. While on defense in the second half, Tewhill was in the right place at the right time and picked up a rolling fumble that he returned 52 yards for another score. That was his second record.

Snoop Dog 0-for-2

Rap artist Snoop Dog attended the CIF Open Division state final for the second straight year. Last year, he wore the colors of his alma mater, Long Beach Poly, when the Jackrabbits were defeated by Grant (Sacramento). This year, he wore Crenshaw's colors because many of the team's players started out in the youth football league in L.A. that Snoop founded. The Cougars didn't win their game, either, falling to De La Salle 28-14.

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