Wednesday, January 17News That Matters

CIF football: Serra sets school record to reach state finals


Serra couldn’t prevent UCLA-commit Kazmeir Allen from breaking a national record, but it hardly mattered Friday night at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare during the CIF NorCal Division 2-AA championship bowl game.

The Padres booked a return trip to next weekend’s state finals at Sacramento State with a record-setting performance of their own in an electrifying 76-43 victory over Tulare Union.

Serra (12-2) found the end zone 11 times — 3 passing, 7 rushing, 1 fumble return — to surpass the previous school record for most points in a single game, 69, set in 2003.

Next up is SoCal champion Cajon (14-1) of San Bernardino, which won a shootout of its own 70-23 over Rancho Verde (12-2) of Moreno Valley.

It’s the second appearance in the state finals for the Padres, who last year fell 42-40 in the CIF Division 2-A state bracket.

Tulare Union (13-1) led 14-7 after a 91-yard touchdown run by Allen, who found the end zone twice in the first half to claim the all-time record in high school football for touchdowns in a single season with 72.

But Serra had too many weapons at its disposal.

Serra junior David Coker ran for TDs of 30, 49 and 24 yards, the last one coming with 48 seconds left in the second quarter to put the Padres ahead 41-22 at halftime.

The onslaught continued in the third quarter, with Serra quarterback Luke Bottari hooking up with senior wideout Shane Villaroman on a 9-yard touchdown after the opening kickoff.

Bottari finished with three TD throws, including a pair to Washington State-commit Patrick Nunn, who hauled in scores of 7 and 17 yards — the latter tying the school record for points in a single game.

Serra junior Edmond Lahlouh made his presence felt during a 54-second span midway through the third quarter with a 9-yard TD run followed by a 62-yard fumble return to break the game wide open.

To put the game out of reach, Serra sophomore Damon Lewis recovered his own onside kick with the Padres up 69-36 and 1:21 left in the third quarter,

Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, the running clock was brought into effect after a 10-yard scamper by Serra running back Isiah Kendrick, who also crossed the goal line on runs of 67 and 7 yards earlier in the game.

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