Fourteen weeks of coverage, 1378 miles, 28 teams, 1400 athletes, countless interviews, articles and tweets and it all came to close this weekend for HSPN West’s coverage of high school football with the crowing of Oaks Christian and Orange as CIF Southern Section champions. HSPN West was there for both games and wants to congratulate Oaks Christian and Orange on their championships.
In December of 1929, the game of Bingo was invented by Edwin S. Lowe, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Christiaan Eijkman and Sir Fredierick Gotland Hopkins for the discovery of vitamins, the first U.S. nudist organization, the American League for Physical Culture in New York City is founded and… Orange High School, a one-hundred and fourteen year old institution, won its first football state championship. Saturday night, December 2, Orange High won its second state football championship ever with a commanding win over Silver Valley High School, 30-20.
HSPN West’s ‘Impact Players’ stood out significantly for Orange and Siver Valley. Quarterback Jason Wilkinson threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns. Receivers Syrus Collins [11 catches for 128 yards] Jordan Schmidt [10 catches, 178 yards, and two touchdowns] provided all the spark that the Panther offense needed to put Silver Valley away. Silver Valley’s quarterback Anthony Brown [HSPN West ‘Impact Player’] rushed for 161 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Eteru Ane rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns to help keep Silver Valley close.
Oaks Christian is a program that is much more accustomed to winning state titles. In the last decade alone, Oaks Christian won seven Southern Section titles in eight years. The Lions returned to glory last Friday night winning the CIF SS Division II Championship over Valencia 20-19. The sidelines were crawling with college scouts most noteably, Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. There were no shortage of college ready athletes on the field and several were recognized as HSPN West ‘Impact Players’ as well. Juniors Zach Charbonnet and Josh Calvert lead Oaks Christian offense on the ground and in the air, while junior standout defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux helped to anchor a defense that only allowed 19 points to an offense from Valencia that typically scores 40+ points a game. Its the first time all season that Valencia was held to under 42 points all season. Their high velocity offense lead by quarterback and ‘Impact Player,’ Conner Downs was fed to the Lions’ pass rushers all night long. He was tackled 12 times for losses on the night.
Oaks Christian and Orange will go on to play teams from Northern California next week in effort to claim a unifying “state’ title. In California, the Northern Section Champion will play the Southern Section Champion to determine a true California state champion. Orange will meet Caruthers [Fresno, CA] on Friday, December 8 – 7:30 PM PST at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange, CA. Oaks Christian will face Helix High [La Mesa, CA] at home in Thousand Oaks on Friday, December 8 – 7:30 PM PST.
Get all of our post-game CIF SS Championship interviews below.