During a two-day football extravaganza during the weekend, the top high school football teams in California went head to head in the CIF State Bowl Games in Carson, California.
There were some outstanding performances from some unheralded names and more of the same from the state's best players and the state's best program. As is always the case in California, there was talent all over the field in each of the five games. There were outstanding performances by recruits from both the class of 2013 and the class of 2014.
Star(s) of the weekend
RB Pierre Cormier (San Diego, Calif./Madison)- Cormier led Madison to the CIF Division III State Championship with 296 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. After falling behind 21-0 to Marin (Calif.) Marin Catholic -- led by Cal QB commit Jared Goff (Marin, Calif./Marin Catholic) -- the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Cormier -- an Arizona commit -- took over for the Warhawks. His 79-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter -- after Marin Catholic took back the lead -- provided the game's final score and gave Madison their first state championship.
CB Adoree' Jackson (Gardena,Calif./Serra)- The 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete was as impressive as ever on Saturday evening with three touchdowns in the CIF Division II state championship game. After RB Marques Rodgers (Gardena, Calif./Serra) ran for three touchdowns on just three carries in the first half against over-matched Oakdale (Calif.) High School, Jackson took over the game with a stunning display of athleticism.
Jackson, who also punts for the Cavaliers, caught touchdown passes of 27 and 50 yards before taking advantage of Oakdale's special teams' mistakes. After the ESPN Watch List member noticed no one on Oakdale's punt return team was paying attention, Jackson pulled the ball down and took a fake punt 78-yards for a breathtaking score in the fourth quarter.
Other top performers
2014 TE/LB Dylan Keeney (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay)- After all the hype about Long Beach (Calif.) Poly and their impressive turnaround from a 1-3 start to the season, Keeney made sure that Granite Bay was the former 1-3 team with the most incredible turnaround.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Keeney had three tackles and two huge interceptions for the Grizzlies. The class of 2014 TE-Y had been used primarily in a special teams and reserve LB role throughout the season until he became a Granite Bay legend in the Grizzlies' 21-20 win over Poly.
Keeney had the game of his life on the biggest stage. Already having an interception in the second quarter, Keeney jumped in front of a curl route for his second INT and took it the other way for a score that led to a tie game late in the third quarter. Keeney wasn't done as he deflected a deep pass on fourth and two during Poly's desperate final drive. His deflection led to the second INT of the night from DB Aaron Knapp, who is headed to Cal to play baseball.
LB Michael Hutchings (Concord, Calif./De La Salle)- The ESPN 150 LB did it all for the Spartans who further cemented themselves as the premier program in California. Hutchings had seven tackles, forced a fumble and recovered another for the legendary program, which won it's fourth CIF Open Division state championship. The USC commit had a couple pad-popping hits that sent a message to the Huskies and left Centennial players limping off the field.
QB Jared Goff (Marin, Calif./Marin Catholic)- The Cal-bound QB did everything he could to keep Marin Catholic from losing in the state championship for the second time in four years. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound ESPN 300 (No. 269) QB threw for 262 yards and four TD -- including TD passed of 76 and 37 yards in a back and forth final period -- after opening the scoring with a 4-yard TD run.
LB Jayon Brown (Long Beach, Calif.)- The UCLA commit was all over the field for the Jackrabbits as they mostly shut down the vaunted "fly" offense of Granite Bay. Brown tallied four tackles-for-loss, including a 6-yard loss on an important third-and-one situation near midfield in the fourth quarter.
TE John Mundt (Modesto, Calif./Central Catholic)- The Oregon commit had just one catch, but it did go for 42 yards as the Raiders rolled to a 66-7 win over Solana Beach (Calif.) Santa Fe Christian. The No. 11 TE-Y in the country didn't see the ball much, but he was instrumental in the Raiders' dominant run game as he threw a number devastating blocks to clear a path for Central Catholic ball-carriers. The Raiders CIF State Bowl Game records for total yardage (577), rushing yards (521), rushing TD (nine), points scored (66) and margin of victory (59).
2014 QB Jalen Greene (Gardena, Calif./Serra)- The 6-foot-3, 195-pound left-handed QB didn't need to do too much for the Cavaliers, but he still had a very impressive game. The steadily-improving Greene was 7-for-13 for 141 yards and two TD through the air for Serra, who won 10 straight games to end the season. Greene showed off his entire skill set by adding 105 yards on the ground, keeping Oakdale on their heels all game long.