(KSEE/KGPE) – On Friday night, the Lemoore Tigers and the Mendota Aztecs were two of six teams in the Central Section to win championships in high school football. Both teams held up their winners plaques for their respective divisions, celebrated their victories and, as of Sunday afternoon, were back to work preparing for their state regional bowl games.
The football season continues in California for every section champion.
53 section champions were placed in regional bowl games on Sunday, with all them “slotted based on competitive equity and the respective criteria,” according to a news release from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
The regional bowl games will take place throughout the state next weekend, with the winners meeting the following weekend in state championship games in their respective divisions.
Lemoore, the champion in Division II in the Central Section, has been matched up with McClymonds in its regional bowl game in Division 2-AA. The Warriors (11-1) were given the home game by the CIF, so the Tigers (12-1) will travel to Oakland for a 7:30pm kickoff on Friday.
Lemoore entered the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak, then beat Washington Union, Frontier and Central Valley Christian by a combined score of 182-75 to become section champions.
In Division VI, third-seeded Mendota upset top-seeded Hanford West in Friday’s section championship game, 38-8. The Aztecs began the year with two straight losses, and they also lost back-to-back games in October to Dos Palos and Coalinga. They have since rattled off six consecutive wins, including the victory over the Huskies.
Mendota (9-5) was given a home game on Saturday (6:00pm kickoff), which will actually be the Division 7-AA state championship game. The Aztecs’ opponent is Pinole Valley, a team out of the North Coast Section.
Liberty (Bakersfield), Kennedy (Delano), Shafter and Atascadero are the other teams that won Central Section championships on Friday. All four will be playing in state regional bowl games next weekend, with Kennedy the only team in the group to receive a home game.