St. Francis, Covina reach titles games; Charter Oak, South El Monte bow out

St. Francis headed to first title game since 1964: After a 53-year hiatus, the St. Francis football team is back in the CIF Southern Section Final.And they can thank junior quarterback Darius Perrantes. The transfer from Crespi was 21 of 25 for 273 yards and four touchdowns as the Golden Knights (12-1) defeated El Toro 52-17 in a CIF-SS Division 3 semifinal. The Golden Knights will play Rancho Verde next Friday night at a site to be announced.“It was an unbelievable performance by our whole team tonight,” St Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “We scored on every one of our possessions in the first half. Darius was hot, our running backs were hot and our defense did a sensational job.”

Covina reaches championship for first time since 1995 with thrilling overtime win: Covina didn’t want to give Culver City’s high-powered offense another shot. The Centaurs (11-2) scored on their first play of overtime on a 25-yard run by Kevin McGuire to defeat Culver City 57-56 in the CIF Southern Section Division 11 semifinal game Friday night.
When the Colts got their shot, they fed Erik Cuellar, who rushed for 292 yards and five touchdowns and the senior delivered again by punching it in from 1 yard out on Covina’s possession in overtime. Then, that’s when Covina coach Joe Brown faced a big decision. He got some help from senior running back Ailaoa Tauvao, who told Brown that the Colts should go for the two-point conversion and the victory right there and then.”
Covina didn’t want to give Culver City’s high-powered offense another shot.
The Centaurs (11-2) scored on their first play of overtime on a 25-yard run by Kevin McGuire to defeat Culver City 57-56 in the CIF Southern Section Division 11 semifinal game Friday night.
When the Colts got their shot, they fed Erik Cuellar, who rushed for 292 yards and five touchdowns and the senior delivered again by punching it in from 1 yard out on Covina’s possession in overtime.
Then, that’s when Covina coach Joe Brown faced a big decision. He got some help from senior running back Ailaoa Tauvao, who told Brown that the Colts should go for the two-point conversion and the victory right there and then.

Charter Oak loses quarterback, then game: Charter Oak’s misfortune continued in the semifinals for the second consecutive year, losing quarterback Jalen Palacios in the third quarter with everything unraveling after that.
Rancho Verde (11-2) pulled away following Palacios’ injury to end Charter Oak’s undefeated season, knocking off the top seed 41-22 to advance to next week’s CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship against St. Francis, a 52-17 winner over El Toro.

Fight after Charter Oak game:

South El Monte falls in semifinals for second straight season: The South El Monte High football team found itself in familiar situations again this year. The team hosted a second straight CIF-SS semifinal game and, like last year, found itself within striking distance of the championship game to start the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Eagles, this year’s game ended in defeat like last year as Santa Maria surged to a 35-14 win in the Division 12 semifinal on Friday night.
“The season was a great year,” said South El Monte coach Frank Gallardo. “The boys showed a lot of character all year long. Tonight was just meant to be the end.”

CIF SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS
Friday’s High School Football Semifinals and Predictions
Division 3

Rancho Verde 41, Charter Oak 22
St. Francis 52, El Toro 17
Division 11
Covina 57, Culver City 56
Division 12
Santa Maria 35, South El Monte 14

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  • Nomoredrama

    Best of Luck to CO, SEM and Covina!

    • tanksolot

      Tough game to watch last night at Rancho Dirty. Fred was right – the better team lost.
      Congrats to Covina and St Francis.

      • Nomoredrama

        Yes it was. I left when there was about 3 minutes left in the game, so I missed the shenanigans that happened after the game. Who was involved in the ruckus?

        • tanksolot

          Mall cops, CO parents wanting to join their players, and a CO player or 2. Hats off to Josh (assitant coach) for wrapping up a CO player at the end. That could have been a really bad outcome had he not been able to stop him.

      • FredJ

        First few minutes, way Charter Oak was running at will I thought they had it. Leading 3-0 and driving the interception for a TD hurt them. Then the muffed punt led to another TD and down 14-3. Then they had a touchdown that looked good called out. They stopped a drive near the end of the half, but kept it going with a roughing.

        In the second half they were driving for the go-ahead touchdown when the QB was practically knocked unconscious with a vicious helmet to helmet hit. Next play they fumble the snap and Rancho returns it for a TD.

        Charter Oak proceeded to turn the ball over three more times after that in last seven minutes.

        Yeah, I thought they were better. But that’s football, everything that could go wrong, did.

  • Conq’76

    1972 LA defeats Santa Maria at MSAC 16-15…first CIF championship in LA history….SM still considers that team their all time best….