CIF-Southwest Division Championship Game

This CIF-Southwest Division championship game on Friday at Citrus College featuring the Charter Oaks Chargers against Placentia El Dorado will resemble a sharp-clawed kitten trying to pull up an adult gopher

No team has worked harder to get a CIF-Southern Section title game than Covina Charter Oaks (10-3), winning seven games this season by four points or less, and are on a nine game win steak after installing a junior and sophomore into its backfield just five games ago.


This CIF-Southwest Division championship game on Friday at
Citrus College featuring the Chargers against Placentia El Dorado will resemble a sharp-clawed kitten trying to pull up an adult gopher.


In this game, the El Dorado Golden Hawks are just too fat a catch for the young Chargers.
El Dorado (12-1) has been well versed for this opportunity, capturing the Century League title last season and coach Jeff Bailey returned almost everyone to defend it this year.


El Dorado has never won a CIF football title but this seems to be the year. Senior QB Michael Coulter has thrown for 2,000 yards, 28 TD and only 4 interceptions in 200 pass attempts.


In comparison, Charter Oaks has a sophomore QB Chris Allen who coach Lou Farrar named his starter midway through the season. A week later, the Chargers featured RB Johnny Crespo suffered a season-ending injury and was replaced by inexperienced junior Kanaan Snowden.


Both have been phenomenal in playoff wins over
La Mirada, West Covina South Hills, and in last week's semifinal 23-14 win against Trabuco Hills. Allen threw for 238 yards, TD, and Snowden earned 158 yards on 28 carries, with a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter to win it.


Charter Oaks' massive senior offensive line of Jesse Diaz, Emilio De La Garza, Randy Esquivel, Nick Rosen, and twins Patrick and Herb Thompson, will cause the Golden Hawks early problems.


On defense, Michael Johnson catches passes at cornerback and as wide receiver. Against Trabuco Hills, Johnson pulled in six receptions for 94 yards, TD, and has caught 37 passes for 848 yards, 6 TD this season. Johnson also has seven interceptions and will be responsible for
El Dorado star receiver Matt Cardenas.


The Johnson and Cardenas matchup will go a long way in determining the victor. Despite missing two games,
Cardenas totaled 60 catches for 1,022 yards, 16 TD. In last week's 14-7 semifinal win against Los Altos, Cardenas caught 16 passes, 120 yards, TD.


If
Cardenas is covered, Coulter will hand off to the versatile touchdown machine, Philip Van Holland, who can score from RB, returning kicks, or from corner back. Van Holland has nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards and 23 TD. Tom Adams and Devon De Leon have a combined 900 yards, 9 TD for the Golden Hawks.


El Dorado lost its season opener to Anaheim Esperanza. They have averaged 33 points per game, allowing an average of ten. As a team, the Golden Hawks have intercepted 24 passes. All-league linebacker Cody Hilgenberg is also an excellent place kicker.


Charter Oaks has the
San Gabriel Valley's premier linebacker in 5-9, 230 pound A.J. Pasalo, who can single-handedly stop the rushing game.


El Dorado defeated Los Altos and Pomona Diamond Ranch on its way to this year's finals. Both finished second and third behind Charter Oaks in Miramonte League play. After Friday, El Dorado makes it a clean Miramonte League sweep.


Golden State Preps Top Stories