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Football: De La Salle, Serra Win Bowl Games

Corona Centennial couldn't overcome early miscues against perennial power in the Open Bowl, and Gardena Serra could do no wrong to win Division II.

Concord De La Salle, the preeminent high school football program in California, won the State Open Division Bowl Championship Saturday at Home Depot Center in Carson.

It's the fourth consecutive victory in the Open Bowl—the marquee game of the five bowls played Friday and Saturday at the facility on the campus of Cal State Dominguez.

De La Salle defeated Corona Centennial, 48-28, giving the teams representing Northern California three victories over the weekend.

In other games Saturday, Gardena Serra defeated Oakdale, 42-15, to win the Division II Bowl, and San Diego Madison defeated Kentfield Marin Catholic, 38-35, for the Divisiion III title.

On Friday in the Division I Bowl, Granite Bay upset Long Beach Poly, 21-20, and Modesto Central Catholic defeated Solana Beach Santa Fe Christian, 66-7.

With its victory, De La Salle (15-0) improved to 399-25-3 under head coach Bob Ladouceur, who completed his 34th season. The Spartans have won five Bowls in seven appearances.

Centennial (14-2), which had scored consecutive victories over unbeaten Upland, Vista Murrieta, and Harbor City Narbonne to reach the Bowl Championship under coach Matt Logan, couldn't overcome a rocky start.

The Huskies fell behind, 28-0, as De La Salle scored on two short scoring drives of 19 and 27 yards, and got burned for a 46-yard score by Tiapepe Vitale, his third of the first half.

Centennial had pulled to 28-14 with Austin Renken's 1-yard run before half and Robert Webber's 63-yard pass to Chase Krivashei to open the third quarter. However, a fumble and prompt 38-yard scoring pass gave De La Salle a 35-14 lead and practically killed any real comeback hopes the Huskies had. The Inland Division champ could get no closer than 14 points after that.

Centennial fell to 1-3 in Bowl games, all in Division I. It's the third time the teams have met in a bowl game. DLS won the Division I Bowl, 37-31, in 2007, and Centennial won the 2008 rematch, 21-16. The latter was De La Salle's last loss to a California school.

Division II

A week after beating Edison in the South Regional, Gardena Serra easily defeated Oakdale, 42-15. The Cavaliers led at one point, 42-0, as Marques Rodgers score three touchdowns on runs of 27, 57 and 1 yard. 

Adoree Jackson caught touchdown passes of 50 and 27 yards, and scored in the third quarter when Serra was practically trying to give Oakdale (14-2) a chance: He scored a 78-yard run on a fake punt while facing a fourth-and-31. That came after Serra built a 35-0 halftime lead.

Quarterback Jalen Greene, in addition to the two TD passes, rushed for 105 yards.

Serra (14-2)  improved to 2-1 in Bowl games; the Cavaliers won the Division III game in 2009, and lost the Division II game in 2010.

Division III

Pierre Cormier rushed for 272 yards and scored three touchdowns—including the game-winning 79-yarder with 7:24 remaining—to lead San Diego Madison to a stunning 38-35 upset of Kentfield Marin Catholic. The Warhawks (14-1) trailed 21-0 less than 13 minutes into the game before mounting their comeback against Marin Catholic (14-2), the North Coast Section champion. 

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