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Saint Francis’ Record-setting Season Culminates With State Title Chance Saturday | by: Alex Simon

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Posted December 18, 2015 by in

GetSportsFocus is presented by: Dr. Arthur J. Ting, MD – Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery

GetSportsFocus is presented by: Dr. Arthur J. Ting, MD - Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery

by: Alex Simon

The first appearance in the California Interscholastic Federation Football State Championship Bowl game will be a historic accomplishment for the 2015 Saint Francis Lancer football team.

With the storied program’s 16 Central Coast Section championships and 26 appearances in CCS title games, there aren’t many new records left to set in Mountain View.

But this year’s team did just that, ending a 12-year league title drought with a co-West Catholic Athletic League championship, sharing it with Bellarmine. Even though the Lancers lost to Oak Grove in the CCS Open Division II championship, earning a berth to the Division II-A Northern California Regional Bowl game meant this team was entering new territory for Saint Francis.

The 29-7 victory over Pleasant Valley (Chico) now means Saint Francis has a chance to earn the only thing left off the school’s resume: a state championship, which is happening at 6 p.m. Saturday at Citrus Hill High School in Perris.

The road game at Citrus Hill means the Lancers have more than a 7-hour road trip to the town just south of Riverside, a daunting task for even the best teams in the state.

Yet this Lancer team is best equipped to handle adversity and tough environments, and they have already set some impressive records this season, including one that no team in school history can claim.

For the first time, in the 58th season of football at Saint Francis, each league contest the Lancers played in was decided by single-digits. The largest margin of victory or defeat was nine points, when SF beat Riordan 36-27 in the season finale.

That win was the only game Saint Francis played in the WCAL that was decided by more than one score. Look at the WCAL results for the Lancers:

Oct. 3 @ Saint Ignatius: 11-8 win

Oct. 9 @ Valley Christian: 21-16 win

Oct. 16 vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral: 28-21 win

Oct. 23 vs. Bellarmine: 28-26 loss

Oct. 30 vs. Serra: 43-42 win

Nov. 6 vs. Mitty: 14-13 win

Nov. 14 vs. Riordan: 36-27 win

The seven WCAL games Saint Francis played were decided by a combined 28 points — an average of four points per game. When you break them down, the season become even crazier.

The Valley Christian game was not decided until the final play, when Saint Francis got a key sack after the Warriors drove to the Lancer 21-yard line.

The drama only got started there, as the three-week stretch against Bellarmine, Serra and Mitty saw the three games decided by a combined FOUR points.

The Bellarmine game, which was the only Saint Francis loss, had multiple bounces go the way of the Bells. Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News referenced these bounces in his recap after the game and pondered what would have happened if those bounces went to Saint Francis.

The Lancers bounced back next week with a wild comeback against Serra, scoring two touchdowns in the final four minutes to overcome a 12-point deficit. The same script was followed next week at Mitty, as a two-touchdown comeback from down 13-0 propelled Saint Francis to another one-point win.

Nothing came easy for Saint Francis this year, and the game on Saturday will be another showcase of that. But no matter what result comes in the Division II-A State Championship Bowl game, the Lancers should hold their heads high after a record-breaking season.


About the Author

Alforde Joaquin

ALF’s passion for shooting and editing has earned him several awards including an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2006 for Videography. He was also a nominee for the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Videography. A 6-time Emmy recipient for five different categories: Director/Producer, Videography, Editing, Feature Segment and Sound Mixing, Alf has produced over 1,000 video segments and is committed to developing GetSportsFocus as one of the best sports video magazine on the web.

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