It will be a battle between the unbeatens when Palo Alto (13-0) takes on Centennial of Corona (14-0) in Division I of the CIF State Football Championship Bowl Games on Friday at the Home Depot Center in Carson at 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings are the Central Coast Section Open Division champs and will be making their second appearance in the state finals since 2006. The Huskies are the Southern Section Inland Division champs and will be making their third appearance in the state finals. Centennial won the Division I state title in 2008.
The championship game will match Palo Alto's defense against one of the highest-scoring team in the nation. The Huskies have scored 758 points this season, never fewer than 42, and reached a high of 82 points in an 82-21 win over Corona. Centennial broke the 60-point barrier four times and never allowed more than 23 points (twice) this season.
Centennial is ranked No. 2 in the state by MaxPreps and No. 5 in the nation. The Huskies defeated Vista (Murrieta), 45-21, for their section title and won their other playoff games by 56-14, 52-23 and 42-23. They are averaging 54.8 points and 539.9 yards per game.
Centennial is led by quarterback Michael Eubanks (6-5, 220), who is averaging 194.8 passing yards per game and 278.8 total yards per contest. He has thrown for 2,532 yards and 21 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 1,092 yards and 18 scores.
Barrinton Collins is averaging 184.2 rushing yards per game and has more than 2,000 yards and 42 rushing TDs this season, in addition to averaging 20.2 points per game. In the section championship game, Collins carried 44 times for 297 yards and scored five touchdowns.
The Huskies, featuring three players with more than 1,000 yards rushing each, average 9.6 yards per carry. Larry Scott is the Huskies' top receiver with 927 yards and nine touchdowns.
Palo Alto, meanwhile, is ranked No. 11 in the state by MaxPreps. The Vikings are allowing just 10.4 points per game and will have to find a way of slowing down the high-powered Huskies' offense. The Vikings are averaging 31.7 points an outing while compiling the best record in school history.
Palo Alto is the first CCS team to take an unbeaten record into the state playoffs and only one of two section teams to make the trip -- the other being Bellarmine last season.
The Vikings won 11 of their 13 games this season against CCS playoff teams. The only this missing from Palo Alto's resume in 2010 is a state title.
Centennial, however, is an explosive team that the Vikings likely haven't faced in their 99-year history.