For three San Joaquin County prep football teams, it’s time to go bowling. Manteca, Escalon, and Ripon Christian will continue their season in the 2022 CIF State Football Championship Bowl games as the brackets were released on Nov. 27.
Manteca took the Division II section title after beating Granite Bay in its highest-scoring finals match in the school’s history, winning 51-48. Led by Florida State-bound Blake Nichelson, the Buffaloes enter the NorCal tournament with an 11-1 overall record averaging over 50 points a game.
In the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs, No. 5 Escalon took down the No. 4 seed Hilmar, No. 1 seed Sutter and its most recent win, a 35-34 upset win against No. 2 Sonora. The Cougars edged the Wildcats for the Division V section title with a 42-yard game-winning touchdown pass from junior Donovan Rozevink to senior Owen Nash.
The Ripon Christian Knights won their first blue banner in the Division VII bracket on Nov. 25. Senior quarterback Trey Fasani threw for over 200 yards and three touchdowns to beat out Woodland Christian, 28-16.
Fresh off section title wins, these area teams have a week to prepare for the NorCal games that will be played on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.
The Buffaloes will roll on in the North Division 1-A championship against Pittsburg (11-2). This will be their first road trip of the postseason as they will travel more than an hour away to take on the Pirates.
Pittsburg, led by senior quarterback Jaden Rashada. won their playoff game against Clayton Valley Charter 13-3. The strong-arm Rashada has thrown for 29 touchdowns this season.
Manteca will take on the Pirates at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 and the winner will take on the winner of the South Division Liberty of Bakersfield vs. Yorba Linda.
Escalon (11 -3) will get a chance to put on a show for its home crowd at Engel Field. Pleasant Valley (9-4) will travel to the Cougars' den to compete in the North Division 4-AA bracket.
Pleasant Valley won the Northern Section Football Playoffs on Nov. 26 against Foothill, a low-scoring 10-7 finish. The Vikings are a run-heavy team similar to Escalon, with senior running back Matthew Kinoshita leading them in scoring with seven total touchdowns.
These two teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2. Winner will take on the winner of Northwood and Kennedy of Delano.
The Knights (11-2) will continue their road trip but not too far as Hughson (11-2) is their next opponent. The two will compete in the North Division 5-AA championship bowl game.
Hughson narrowly escaped the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship game vs. Summerville on Nov. 26. Junior Alex Villarreal and senior Liam Bridgford combined for 88 rushing yards and two touchdowns to help the Huskies win 14-13. Defensively, junior middle linebacker David Burns held the Bears to its second-lowest-scoring game of the season finishing with 16 total tackles.
These two SJS champs will battle it out on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Whoever wins will take on the winner between Muir and Palo Verde of the South Division.
Record reporter Shannon Belt covers sports. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ShannonBelt3. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.
This article originally appeared on The Record: CIF Regional Football Championship Bowl Games set, see where 209 teams landed