OAKLAND – The Campolindo High School football team scored a touchdown on their first possession on Saturday night, using less than four minutes of the game clock to move the ball 82 yards in 10 games.
McClymonds needed a play on his first down to score his first touchdown. Then it only took one game to reach the end zone again on his third possession of the game.
Just like that, McClymonds took a lead he would never give up, winning an emphatic 40-21 on his visit to Campolindo to win the Division 3-A North regional championship and clinch his ticket to a fifth straight game for the state title.
“We just ran the ball well and played physically and quickly,” Warriors coach Michael Peters said. “It was our key.”
The Warriors host Birmingham-Lake Balboa next Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. Birmingham (9-5) defeated Patrick Henry-San Diego 42-35 in the 3-A South regional final.
Mack won the 5-A CIF title in 2016, the 5-AA State Crown in 2017, and the 4-A Championship in 2018. The Warriors were 2-A North regional champions in 2019, but lost to Oxnard in the CIF Finals, and were apparently denied another chance to win a state title in the spring due to the pandemic.
This is remarkable consistency for a school with an enrollment of less than 400.
“It means a lot, coming from a small school like we do,” said Peters. “I believe that we are the only school that succeeds in being declared in (five) divisions. That’s huge for a small school in West Oakland.
“It’s just the heart and the family atmosphere that we have. We will give you our best, win, lose or draw.
McClymonds (11-1) racked up nearly 400 rushing yards, with junior running back Jaivian Thomas in the lead with three touchdowns and 239 rushing in 11 carries.
“I felt like I could have a big game,” Thomas said, “just by studying filmmaking and the work we did this week in practice.”
With Campolindo leading 7-0 on a two-yard touchdown from Michael Coane with 8:27 left in the first quarter, Thomas took over on the first down from quarterback Dreyan Paul and ran 64 yards for his first touchdown with 8:04 to go.
After McClymonds forced a turnaround on the downs at his 19, Thomas, on his second postponement of the game, ran 81 yards for another touchdown for a 12-7 Warriors lead as he was once again too fast for the game. defense of Campolindo.
After Thomas’ 11-yard touchdown run with 7:52 left in the second quarter, Campolindo was able to react on his next possession. Max Rittmann capped a six-game record with a 9-yard touchdown to reduce the McClymonds lead to 18-14.
But that was as close as the Cougars (10-4) would get, as Dwayne McDougle scored from a 33-yard touchdown in the Warriors’ next practice to restore their double-digit lead. Mack scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter to seal the victory, his eighth in a row since a 30-27 overtime loss to Menlo-Atherton on September 24.
Campolindo quarterback Dashiell Weaver threw for 315 yards, and Robbie Mascheroni was his favorite target with seven catches for 134 yards and one touchdown. But the Cougars, the North Coast Division II champions, found themselves empty on three other drives inside the Warriors’ red zone.
“Our guys have fought hard throughout the season,” said Campolindo coach Kevin Macy. “But it was a tough game for us tonight, and we knew that when we came here.”