CONCORD, CA (Nov. 9, 2021) — Five of the area’s high school football teams will be taking part in the North Coast Section football playoffs starting this Friday, the most local participation since 2014 when seven schools from the area were in the post-season Section tournament.
De La Salle (8-2) and Clayton Valley Charter (7-3) are fixtures at NCS while Northgate (8-2) is riding a six-game winning streak into this fall’s playoffs. Mt. Diablo (4-5) and Berean Christian (4-5) are joining the party as well.
Clayton Valley is technically the defending State CIF 2-AA champion having won the 2019 championship while DLS was runner-up in the Open Division as the Spartans took part in their 14th successive State championship game. Of course, there were no section or state playoffs last season due to the pandemic.
Both those Concord powerhouse teams are high seeds in the NCS Open/Division 1 bracket. This year’s playoffs are operating under a new format that was slated to go into effect a year ago. As with previous NCS formats, this newest iteration attempts to solve the “De La Salle problem” since the Spartans have won a Section football title 28 times in a row.
The twice-beaten Concord school is again the top seed with long-time rival Pittsburg (7-1) second and CVCHS third. The Spartans will face No. 8 James Logan (6-4) of Union City in the opening round. Logan has won six in a row after starting 0-4. Pitt is the last NCS team to defeat De La Salle 30 years ago in the 1991 Section championship game. They play No. 7 Amador Valley (4-6) in the other top half of the bracket game.
The winner of those two games play next week. Presuming DLS and Pitt uphold their seedings they will renew a long-time rivalry with the winner of that clash moving into the State playoffs as Open Division champion. The loser will then play the winner of the lower bracket for the Division I championship and a route into the State tournament.
Clayton Valley Charter is the top seed of the lower Open/DI bracket and meets No. 6 Antioch (6-4) this Friday at Gonsalves Stadium. Should the Ugly Eagles prevail, they will meet an East Bay Athletic League rival, either California (7-3) or Monte Vista (7-2) next week with the opportunity to move into the DI championship game on the Nov. 26-27 weekend. CVCHS lost a 19-18 heartbreaker to California to open the league season but then ran off three straight wins including 34-14 over Monte Vista to claim the EBAL Mountain Division title.
Northgate split its first four games before the Broncos posted six straight wins, including all five of its Diablo Athletic League Valley Division contests to win the league championship. Northgate was last in the playoffs in 2017.
The Walnut Creek school is seeded eighth in Division III and will host top seed Windsor (8-1) Friday night. The schools have one common opponent with NG beating Ukiah 41-21 in its opening game while Window beat league rival Ukiah a couple weeks ago 42-6.
No. 8 Mt. Diablo returns to NCS for the first time since 2014 and the Red Devils also are facing a top seed in Division 4 power Marin Catholic (9-1) in Kentfield Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. The schools also share one common foe in Concord High. The Red Devils closed their regular season last Friday with a wild 36-34 win over their crosstown rivals while Marin Catholic beat the Minutemen 62-0 at the beginning of September.
Marin Catholic has won 10 NCS football championships, the most recent in 2017.
NCS Playoff Schedule Nov. 12-13
No. 8 James Logan – Union City (6-4) at No. 1 De La Salle (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Antioch (6-4) at No. 3 Clayton Valley Charter (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 1 Windsor (8-1) at No. 8 Northgate (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Mt. Diablo (4-5) at No. 1 Marin Catholic – Kentfield (9-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Berean Christian (4-5) at No. 3 Cloverdale (5-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Football Regular Season Results
Clayton Valley Charter 7-3, 3-1 (Div. 1)- 8/30 W 35-23 at Turlock, 9/3 L 20-26 at Del Oro-Loomis, 9/11 W 14-13 Liberty-Bakersfield (Honor Bowl) at Liberty (Brentwood), 9/17 W 48-0 Benicia, 9/25 W 35-28 at Monterey Trail-Elk Grove, 10/8 L 18-19 at California-San Ramon, 10/15 W 28-21 San Ramon Valley, 10/22 W 21-17 Amador Valley (Homecoming), 10/29 W 34-14 Monte Vista, 11/5 L 21-42 at De La Salle.
Concord 1-9, 1-4 (Div. 4)- 8/27 Canceled Dougherty Valley-San Ramon, 9/3 L 0-62 Marin Catholic-Kentfield, 9/10 L 0-25 Tokay, 9/17 L 23-30, 9/25 L 7-25 at Valley, 10/2 L 13-35 at Bethel-Vallejo, 10/8 L 7-40 College Park (Homecoming), 10/15 W 13-12 at Ygnacio Valley, 10/22 L 0-70 Northgate, 10/30 L 14-34 at Berean Christian, 11/5 L 34-36 Mt. Diablo.
College Park 5-5, 4-1 (Div. 3) – 8/28 L 0-48 at Redwood-Larkspur, 9/4 L 27-43 Foothill-Pleasanton, 9/17 W 9-0 at Hercules, 9/24 L 21-40 Wood-Vacaville, 10/1 L 13-20 at Alhambra-Martinez, 10/8 W 40-7 at Concord, 10/15 W 42-9 Berean Christian, 10/22 W 33-6 at Ygnacio Valley, 10/29 W 34-0 at Mt. Diablo, 11/5 L 21-48 Northgate.
De La Salle 8-2 (Div. 1)- 8/28 W 52-16 St. Mary’s-Stockton, 9/3 W 68-6 Monterey Trail-Elk Grove, 9/10 L 28-31 at Saint Francis-Mountain View, 9/17 W 49-21 Cathedral Catholic-San Diego, 10/1 L 28-43 St. Frances Academy-Baltimore, 10/8 W 31-10 at Folsom, 10/15 W 52-14 California-San Ramon, 10/22 W 48-14 at San Ramon Valley, 10/29 W 41-0 Amador Valley, 11/5 W 42-21 Clayton Valley Charter.
Mt. Diablo 4-5, 2-3 (Div. 4)- 8/27 L 26-49 at Lathrop, 9/3 W 50-0 at Albany, 9/10 W 16-6 American-Fremont, 9/17 L 22-65 at Dougherty Valley-San Ramon, 9/24 L 0-2 forfeit Mission-San Francisco, 10/8 W 10-6 Ygnacio Valley (Homecoming), 10/15 L 8-40 at Northgate, 10/22 L 0-40 Berean Christian, 10/29 L 0-34 College Park (Senior Night), 11/5 W 36-34 at Concord.
Northgate 8-2, 5-0 (Div. 3)- 9/3 W 41-21 Ukiah, 9/10 L 22-45 at Las Lomas, 9/17 W 30-0 Bethel-Vallejo, 9/24 L 21-29 at Rodriguez-Fairfield, 10/1 W 27-12 at Deer Valley, 10/8 W 41-6 Berean Christian (Homecoming), 10/15 W 40-8 Mt. Diablo, 10/22 W 70-0 at Concord, 10/29 W 35-0 Ygnacio Valley, 11/5 W 48-21 at College Park.
Ygnacio Valley 0-10, 0-5 (Div. 6)- 9/3 L 14-20 St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo, 9/10 L 0-39 at Rosemont-Sacramento, 9/17 L 0-54 El Cerrito, 9/24 L 8-63 at Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento, 10/1 L 6-17 at Stone Ridge Christian-Merced, 10/8 L 6-10 at Mt. Diablo, 10/15 L 12-13 Concord, 10/22 L 6-33 College Park, 10/29 L 0-35 at Northgate, 11/5 L 20-43 Berean Christian.
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Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.