Sports

Palo Alto (13-0) will face Centennial (14-0) for Division I state bowl championship

Vikings must find a way to stop a team that is averaging 54.8 points a game

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.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Gary Wesley
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

The Paly football team has little chance against the 5th ranked team in the country - especially with the game in Southern California where few Paly supporters will likely venture. Nice season, though.


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Gary - have a little faith - think of the team across the street from Paly - last year they beat USC at USC, home to some of the biggest football fans in the country!

These guys are a great team, and are really that, a team. They are a smart, strong, well coached group of guys.


Like this comment
Posted by Gary is Right
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Very little change for Paly -- still, very proud of their season!


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 14, 2010 at 7:50 am

Go Vikings! Paly's defense is fantastic. They will be up for the next challenge. These guys have heart and are a cohesive unit.

Time and faith will tell.

Go #8!!!



Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 14, 2010 at 11:37 am

Although the game is to be televised, it will be blacked out for those with DISH and maybe also Direct TV due to a dispute between those stations and somebody else.
Anybody know what we can do about this? The Paly championship game ten days ago was also blacked out.


Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Looks like Comcast, channel 41 will get you there.


Like this comment
Posted by pde769
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I'm a CC fan, pls come down and support your team. The weather is great, you will see some great football old school vs new school. I attend every year no matter who playing. Only 17,000 last year for both days. Sad showing from the North and the South. Last week Lousisana State Champships Friday 2 games 32,000 and Saturdy 3 games 52,000 high school fans. Texas Saturday one game 47,000 fans. Come down and enjoy Socal. We can do it.


Like this comment
Posted by Paul Johnson
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Last year in a state championship game, Bellarmine followed a plan to keep the ball from the other team with short runs up the middle. The plan worked well until a fumble late in the first half changed the momentum and the other team made adjustments at half-time.

Maybe the Vikings can keep the ball from Centennial's offense. Don't fumble! Indeed, how about ripping the ball away from a Centennial players or two?


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

We have Direct TV and the CCS final was not blacked out. As far as I can tell, Friday's game will be on as well.


Like this comment
Posted by John Furrier
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Palo Alto D will upset the rhythm of Centennial and the big plays will come down on the PA side for an upset W.


Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Paly has a lot more athletic talent than the South California crowd gives them credit for. I only watched the last two Paly games, and they weren't expected to win by the various local "experts". In fact, they were the best team, by far.

This would appear to be the best Paly team in a long, long time.


Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Gary, I guess the Paly football team was a little stronger than you realized. Go Paly!!!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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