Saturday, November 20, 2021

Prep Football: Top 2 teams to meet in a "Winner Takes All"

#1 Carlsbad Lancers (11-0) vs. #2 Cathedral Catholic (9-2) 
2021 CIF San Diego Open Division Championship 
Saturday, November 20th, 7:00pm at Escondido High School

At the conclusion of a short Spring 2021 season, Carlsbad and Cathedral Catholic both finished 5-0 and stood out as the top two teams in the county. Unfortunately, there was no postseason meeting to decide who was the better team was.

After what feels like a long eight months, the two teams will finally meet in a clash for the San Diego Section's top prize. Also on the line will be a state playoff berth, the No. 1 ranking in the final media poll, and the Undisputed Championship Belt that is currently held by the Dons.

This will be the first meeting between the teams since the Lancers edged the Dons 21-20 in the 2019 Open Division semifinal. Cathedral Catholic has not been defeated by a San Diego Section team since, while Carlsbad hasn't suffered a single loss since dropping the following title game to Helix.

The top-seeded Lancers are looking to win their first CIF ring since 2006. They are powered by an explosive offense led by Julian Sayin, who is having an outstanding sophomore season. Sayin currently ranks among the section's top three passers in yards and touchdowns. The Lancers also boasts a productive run game that features Paulo Burak, who earned our Player of the Week honors after rushing for 138 yards and two scores in last week's semifinal victory over Torrey Pines. 

The senior receiving duel of Matt Moore and Josh Davis have also racked up some big numbers this season. Moore has 14 touchdown catches this season, which is tied for most in the county, while Davis is Top 10 in receiving yards and touchdowns. 

On defense, Carlsbad will be looking for another dominant showing from middle linebacker Anthony Ferrelli, who leads the team in sacks.

Ferrelli and the Lancers will be tasked with trying to slow down a Dons rushing attack led by Silver Pigskin finalist Lucky Sutton, who rushed for almost 1,300 yards and found the endzone 30 times this season. Last week the senior standout put up 194 yards and three touchdowns to help Cathedral advance past Mission Hills.

Charlie Mirer will be leading the offense with Rex Haynes as one of his explosive receiving targets. Stanford commit Jackson Moi has proven to be one of the top defensive players in the county, but the Dons can also depend on Victory Johnson to make key plays at the linebacker position.

Dating back to their USDHS era, Cathedral Catholic is 12-1 all-time in CIF San Diego Championship Games. Their only loss was to Morse in 1968, but since then they have won 11 straight appearances.

Next Week's Championship Games

Division I: #1 Helix (8-3) vs. #3 Lincoln (8-3) 
Division II: #2 Scripps Ranch (10-1) vs. #4 La Jolla (5-7)
Division III: #2 Mater Dei Catholic (11-0) vs. #4 Ramona (9-3)
Division IV: #1 Patrick Henry (9-2) vs. #2 University City (8-4)
Division V: #1 Palo Verde Valley (10-2) vs. #2 Mission Bay (10-2)

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