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Preview & prediction: Mission Viejo vs. Bellarmine Prep
OCVarsity's preview and prediction for Friday's CIF State Championship game.
CIF STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Bellarmine Prep of San Jose (13-1) vs. Mission Viejo (15-0)
Where, when: Sacramento State, Friday, 8 p.m.
Fan info: The game will be shown live on Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet and will be streamed at twccommunity.com.
Bellarmine scouting report: The Bells snapped host Folsom’s state-leading 30-game winning streak last week with a 42–35 victory to reach their third state championship game. In 2011, Bellarmine lost to Santa Margarita, 42-37, in the state Division 1 final. Bellarmine runs the double-wing offense and features several small, quick backs. Kyle Macauley is one of the team’s top runners and also is dangerous as a receiver. Quarterback Troy Martig didn’t play in an early-season, 35-28 loss to Mitty of San Jose. Mark Tennis, publisher of CalHiSports.com, said the Bells’ West Catholic League is Northern California’s version of the Trinity League. “They’re battle tested,” Tennis said of the Bells.
Mission Viejo scouting report: Mission Viejo lost standout left tackle Zack Aylor to a leg injury last week and also expects to be without safety Michael Califano. Defensive end Peyton Marshall is doubtful. “We’re really banged up,” said Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson, whose team has won a state-leading 27 consecutive games. “(But) no excuses, we’re ready to go.” The Diablos departed early Thursday morning via bus and will make their first appearance in a state championship game. They’re led by quarterback Brock Johnson, who has thrown for 3,488 yards and 39 touchdowns, and two-way standouts Carter Hartmann (lineman), Colin Schooler (running back/linebacker) and Brenden Schooler (wide receiver/safety). Colin Schooler emerged as the Diablos’ top runner after an injury to Isaiah Miller and has racked up 311 yards on 71 carries the past two weeks. The team also has received valuable contributions from sophomores Olaijah Griffin (corner), Austin Osborne (receiver) and Christian LaValle (linebacker).
Player to watch: Mission Viejo's Brock Johnson. The senior faces a scrappy Bellarmine defense that intercepted a pass late last week to swing the momentum against Folsom, which had won 43 consecutive home games. Johnson’s passing also could be slowed by rain.
Prediction: Mission Viejo 28, Bellarmine 25. The Bells are on a roll after last week’s victory. The injuries are mounting for the Diablos, but they’re riding a bigger wave of momentum and are still talented enough to claim their first 16-0 season.