Eagles to go Bowl-ing again

CVCHS Win for website leadTo the victor go the spoils and it was Clayton Valley Charter High School that won the North Coast Section football championship last Friday in an historic showdown with cross-town rivals Concord Minutemen, prompting an on-field celebration at Diablo Valley College. It was the first time two Concord schools had faced off in the NCS finals. The Ugly Eagles won 33-6 to claim their second NCS Division II title in three years. Concord won Section in 2010 and was also runner-up in 2011. (Photo Jason Rogers)

Undefeated Diablo Valley Athletic League and North Coast Section champion Clayton Valley Charter High School will be hosting its most significant home football game ever this Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. when the Eagles have a rematch with Oakdale (13-1) in the Northern California Division II Regional Bowl.

To reach this game that dangles a berth in the CIF State Bowl Dec. 20 to the winner, coach Tim Murphy’s team used a stunning defensive display to defeat arch-rival Concord High 33-6 in the NCS finals last Friday at packed, rain-drenched Diablo Valley College. It was the 14th straight win for CVCHS as they continue to rack up school records and remain among the nation’s top high school offenses with over 7400 total years this season.
Clayton Valley is No. 1 in the state in scoring, rushing and total offense. Nationally, the Ugly Eagles are No. 2 in rushing and fourth in scoring with 110 touchdowns.

This Saturday’s matchup in Concord is a replay of the first-ever NorCal DII Bowl game that Oakdale won 27-24 over the Eagles in 2012. Senior Grifin Bentley was all-league as  a sophomore and saw lots of action against Oakdale. Star running back Miles Harrison returned one kickoff for 21 yards while a few other current seniors were reserves that evening in Stockton.

The local prep football scene continues to sizzle with De La Salle going to its ninth consecutive State Bowl game. The 13-0 Spartans were seeded directly into the open division game against Centennial of Corona (12-2), the fourth time the schools have met in the final game of the year with the Spartans holding a 2-1 edge.

The Concord-Clayton Valley NCS finale was unlike the last two high-scoring matchups between the intra-city rivals that was each decided on the game’s final play with the Eagles defense holding off the Minutemen (12-2) from scoring a winning or tying touchdown.

Brian Hamilton’s Concord team has been to three NCS title games in the past five years including a 2010 championship. The Eagles won the 2012 Section title, ending a run of three failed Section final efforts over the years for CVCHS. This was Murphy’s fifth section title spread over three schools since 1999.

Harrison continues to carry the load for the Eagles offense. He rushed for 287 yards and three touchdowns against Concord. CV raced out to a 27-point lead before Concord was able to score just before halftime. Harrison has run for 2140 yards from scrimmage leading the Eagles’ double-wing offense to 81 rushing TDs in 14 games.

Gonsalves Stadium hosted three NCS games this year, all lopsided victories for the home side. The field was the site of the Section semi-final a year ago when Miramonte upended CVCHS 44-38, the school’s only home loss during Murphy’s three years in charge. The Eagles have posted a 37-4 mark since start of 2012 season.

Oakdale trailed Underkum of Sacramento 20-0 last Saturday at halftime of the Sac-Joaquin Section championship game with the Clayton Valley coaching staff in the stands scouting both teams. The Mustangs roared back to take the lead in a nine-minute third-quarter burst and won 27-23. “Oakdale is very similar to the team we played two years ago.
Tough, hustle to the ball, team oriented. They run the wing-T from the time they are in youth football.”