By Ray Hamill — Both Del Norte and St. Bernard’s will have to travel for next weekend’s NorCal Regional bowl games, after the schedule and sites were announced early Sunday afternoon.
The Warriors and Crusaders each survived a hard-fought battle on the way to claiming a North Coast Section championship on Saturday night, with defense and special teams stepping up big for both late in the game.
And that means they will each advance to the state regional playoffs with a place in a state bowl game up for grabs.
Both of them will play on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
In the Division 5-AA bracket, Del Norte will play at King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, just north of San Jose.
Coincidentally, both the Warriors and the Knights won their respective section championship games by identical 14-13 scores.
The Warriors (12-1) blocked a field goal attempt in the dying seconds to pull out a dramatic win over Encinal in the NCS Division-5 decider, while the Knights (10-3) defeated Terra Nova for the Central Coast Section Division-III crown.
St. Bernard’s, meanwhile, will travel to Yuba City, just north of Sacramento, for a Division 6-AA matchup against East Nicolaus, the North Section Division-4 champion.
The high scoring Spartans (12-1), who averaged more than 52 points in three playoff wins, defeated Pierce 61-14 for the championship this weekend.
The Crusaders (10-3) defeated Kennedy 31-28 in the NCS Division-6 championship game on Saturday night, with defense and special teams playing a pivotal role in the second half.
Eli Moon recovered two onside kicks and Guillermo Perez-Estrada nailed a 37-yard field goal, all in the third quarter, while the defense came away with two fourth-quarter turnovers.