Saturday, December 15, 2012

California H.S. Bowl Games, French League Results and a Travel Story

On Friday night, our son Michael and I traveled to the City of Carson to the Home Depot Center to watch one of the five bowl games of the Seventh Annual California State Championship High School Football Bowl Games.

These Bowl Games pit the best teams from Northern California against their counterparts from the Southern half of the Golden State, based on school enrollment.

The exception to this is the final game of Saturday's triple header, the Open Division game that matches the supposed two best teams in the state regardless of enrollment.

For my friends back in France, American high school football would use players the same ages as our Cadet programs.

Only they are much bigger.

There were two games on the Friday agenda, the 4:00 p.m. Division IV game and the 8:00 p.m. Division I contest. Our goal was to arrive in time to watch the tail end of the first game and all of the Division I battle.

 Division IV Bowl Game
Modesto Central Catholic (13-2)
Solana Beach Santa Fe Christian (11-3)

The NorCal squad from Modesto is in white and they DOMINATED this game to say the least. When we entered the stadium there was only about five minutes left in the contest which surprised us as we arrived a little earlier at the Home Depot Center than we expected and thought that we would see most of the second half of this game.

Then we noticed the score.

Modesto Central Catholic was leading 66-7.

Apparently they had played a near perfect first half, taking a 49-0 lead midway through the second quarter. In a class move by the MCC coaches, no starters played in the second half and the final 24 minutes were, by rule, played with a running clock.

Because of that running clock, we had to wait about 90 minutes for the Division I game to kickoff.

Division I Bowl Game
Granite Bay (12-3)
Long Beach Poly (12-3)

This was an interesting match up of two teams that faced a lot of adversity in 2012.

Granite Bay started the season by losing three of their first four games but persevered.

Long Beach Poly also started the 2012 campaign with a 1-3 record including an embarrassing loss to the eventual Los Angeles City Champion, Narbonne H.S., by a score of 56-0.

Both coaching staffs did a great job righting their respective ships to get their squads to Carson tonight.

Long Beach Poly Linemen 

These are really big, athletic young men!

Long Beach Poly Backs

They were strong and fast as well.

Granite Bay Tackling 

Great teams practice tackling every day, including Game Day. 

The LB Poly Jackrabbits Mascot
was READY!!!

Trench Warfare Game

Both teams stressed the run over the pass.

Is that LB Poly fullback the World's Biggest?

Granite Bay Pass Protection

The Grizzlies' QB was a cool customer and did a nice job when he did throw the rock.

Here are two videos for you to see the two squads in action.

LB Poly Power Toss Play

Granite Bay Dive Play

Truthfully, the first half was a tad dull for the spectators but great for coaches as the defenses ruled the first two stanzas.

The Jackrabbits took a 7-3 lead into the locker room.

The second half was very entertaining as both offenses got untracked. At the end of the game, LB Poly scored a TD to take a 20-14 lead with about five minutes left in the contest. Their crucial PAT attempt sailed wide left with 3:47 left in the game.

Granite Bay then put together a marvelous six-play 77 yard drive to go ahead by a point at the 1:12 mark.

An intercepted Jackrabbit's pass with less than 20 seconds left sealed the exciting victory for the Grizzlies by a razor thin final score of 21-20 and their first ever State Championship.

Division III - Sud Poule C

Week #4 Results
Sunday, December 9, 2012
St-Cergues at Bron-Villeurbane, postponed weather
Clermont Ferrand at Chambéry, postponed weather
BYE: Lyon

St-Cergues Bulldogs 3-0
Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons 2-0
Lyon Les Gones 1-2
Chambéry Aigles 0-2
Clermont Ferrand Servals 0-2

Week #5 Games
Friday, February 8, 2013
Chambéry (0-2) at Lyon (1-2)
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Bron-Villeurbanne (2-0) at Clermont Ferrand (0-2)
BYE: St-Cergues (3-0)

We are now well into our season's nine week break for the holidays. My belief is that at least part of the reason for this prolonged hiatus is to avoid France's traditionally worst Winter weather months which would just lead to more postponed games.

Good move.

A Forgotten Travel Story
I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the more interesting stories that I witnessed on my flights home this week.

At the deserted airport in Lyon, as I was almost done checking in at the Air Nostrum, a young, petite American lady approached the other desk worker to check in for the same flight to Madrid that I was taking. I overheard her say that her final destination today was Austin, Texas.

While I only had my small JanSport backpack and one piece of roller-equipped carry-on luggage.  She looked like a pack mule.

She had a huge backpack filled to the gills on her back and a matching one on her chest. As if these two stuffed, over sized backpacks were not enough, she was dragging behind her the biggest piece of luggage to check-in that I have ever seen.

Now remember, your check-in luggage for an overseas flight can weigh no more than 23 kilos/50 lbs. When she finally hoisted her big bag on the scales, the lady at the desk audibly gasped just before announcing that the offending bag weighed in at a whopping 71 kilos/157 lbs.!

Our Texas lass said, no problem, I'll happily pay for the excess weight. Things got interesting when she was told that the bag was too heavy, the airline would not accept any bag, for any price that weighs more than 45 kilos/100 lbs.

I left the desk area to go through security before finding out what the solution was to her weight problem.

. . . and I thought Laurie travelled large.


David said...

Well, they do say everything's bigger in Texas.

Johan said...

Word David!