Sunday, December 5, 2021

American Football Dominates Another Week

Mon. - Sun., Nov. 29 - Dec. 5, 2021

An interesting week to be sure with all sorts of news from the American football front.

The Washington Huskies hired a
new Head Football Coach

Coach Kalen Deboer comes to Seattle after spending the last two solid seasons as the Head Coach at Fresno State. The Bulldogs (9-3 in 2021) were 12-6 in his two campaigns and he led them to a berth in the 2021 New Mexico Bowl against the UTEP Miners (7-5).

Coach Deboer's only other collegiate Head Coaching stint was at the University of Sioux Falls from 2005-09. His Cougar teams were incredibly successful in winning 49 0f 50 Great Plains Athletic Conference games during his tenure.

The Cougars' success extended into the NAIA Playoffs winning National Championships in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

His overall record at USD was an amazing 67-3 with two of those losses coming in the 2005 NAIA Semi-Finals and the other one in the 2007 NAIA Finals.

Sounds like the Huskies may have found the right man for the job.
Maybe Coach Deboer will switch
the Huskies into one of these
classic uniform styles

Tuesday's CFP Poll leading into the
weekend's Conference Championship Games

It was an interesting slate of
potentially high powered contests

This is the one that we attended

It was being held in Las Vegas' sparkling new Allegiant Stadium, the home of the NFL Raiders.

The #10 ranked Oregon Ducks (10-2), Champions of the PAC-12 North were taking on the #17 ranked Utah Utes (9-3), Champions of the PAC-12 South.

The winner would be crowned the 2021 PAC-12 Champions and earn a bid to the Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2022.

Our desire to see this game up close and personal led Michael and Jacob to join me after their school day was over on Thursday for the six hour drive to Las Vegas.

That meant just one thing . . .

. . . that cousins Kevin and Jacob would
be at it again for a couple of days

As usual Andrew and Jenn were our desert hosts.

Their hospitality was wonderful yet again.
Heading towards the stadium
as the 5:00 p.m. Kickoff approached

Dads and Sons

The Raiders natural grass field
that is rolled into the stadium
on their game days

All other games in Allegiant Stadium, like tonight's, are played on an artificial grass surface.

Modern technology is always interesting.

The first thing we all noticed upon
entering the stadium was that
Utah red outnumbered Oregon green
about 10 to 1

Being unaffiliated, we wore neutral colors.

We did root for Utah because their QB, Cam Rising, is a former Newbury Park H.S. Panther QB as well and just a nice young man.

Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland-Las Vegas
Raiders history can be found throughout

Masked up and ready see a
GREAT game

These two teams played two weeks ago in Salt Lake City with the Utes claiming a dominant 38-7 victory.

NICE field!

The National Anthem
with a mini-flag

Here come the Utes
with a fiery entrance!

Opening Kickoff

How would both teams respond to what happened two weeks ago in that PAC-12 Conference regular season contest?

As it turned out, Utah came to PLAY!

Meanwhile, the Ducks came to gawk at the new stadium.

The rout was on early.

Michael and Andrew in
Section 430

This is the first time that the PAC-12
has played the Championship Game
in Las Vegas

An enthusiastic crowd of 56,000 was about 25,000 people bigger than the biggest crowd of the last four PAC-12 Championship games held at Levis Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Jerry Rice and a pretzel

Jacob's life was clicking on all cylinders!

Then the cousins had a brush
with the law at halftime

They took the stern talking to about their protests to heart over no cotton candy being on sale and calmed down.

We're good

The Al Davis Flame
was not lit tonight

It is their home after all

We were all good

Oregon finally scored a TD

It says Eric Dickerson but
that man running the ball sure
looks like Marcus Allen with googles

The rout was finally over

Utah (10-3) is going to their first ever
Rose Bowl Game

They would have to wait until Sunday to find out who their BIG-10 opponent would be in January.

The boys were a bit goofy
after a long day

We were heading back to SoCal midday on Saturday for yet another American football game.

Just before leaving Kevin
and Jacob posed for a final photo

Dads imitating their sons

We were now on a four hour drive to Ramona H.S. in Riverside to watch a C.I.F. State 6A Semi-Final Playoff Game.

The El Camino Real Royals
6 Wins - 7 Losses
C.I.F.-Los Angles City Section D-2 Champions


The Arlington Lions
6 Wins - 8 Losses
C.I.F.-Southern Section D-13 Champions

We have been following the Royals because their Head Coach Jason Sabolic is the son of our longtime friends Paul and Joanne Sabolic and because I have been doing Analytics breakdowns for the Royals all season.

It was a damp, foggy night in
SoCal's "Inland Empire"

At this time of the year, I believe that three things are necessary to playoff success, a healthy roster, players who want to play another week and, of course, a little luck.

Health was a big issue for the Royals. Their Senior QB who improved greatly as the season progressed in throwing for 2,756 yards and 34 TDs with a 70% completion percentage while also rushing for over 400 yards was out of the game due to a broken collarbone sustained in last Saturday City Championship game.

The next man up was a Sophomore who started for Elco's West Valley League Championship JV team. He broke his leg on the last play of practice on Wednesday as his leg slipped out from under him awkwardly.

So, on just two day's practice, the Royals starting RB/LB was taking the helm Saturday night.

Elco actually played quite well
given their QB issues

It was 0-0 at the end of the first quarter and 14-7 Arlington at the half. Eventually the bigger, more physical Arlington Offensive line just wore down the Royals leading the host school to a hard fought 24-14 win.

The Northern California 6A Semi-Final saw Richmond's Salesian College Prep Pride (10-2) defeat San Mateo's Aragon Dons (9-5) in another close game, 36-28.

Arlington (7-8) will head to Richmond next weekend to play Salesian for the 2021 California 6A State Championship.

On Sunday, Laurie had a package for me from good friend Julian Urgenti who sent me a box of delicious candy.

No, not these American treats

These amazing French delicacies

After Alabama's thrashing of
season-long #1 Georgia, 41-24,
the Crimson Tide is this year's
top CFP seed

Again . . .

The Rose Bowl should be a
GREAT game

The PAC-12 Champion Utah Utes (10-3), ranked #11 in the CFP poll, will take on the Big-10's #6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) in Pasadena. 

Finally, from the wonderful world of EuroBall . . .

Recruiting Season for the Europe Warriors
game in Brazil is officially OPEN!

As you may know, over the last dozen
years, local high schools have
donated used football gear for
repurposing overseas

I had many donated pants and jerseys that I needed to move out of our garage.

I posted this picture on Facebook on Thursday announcing that we had tons of good pants and jerseys to give to needy teams solely for the cost of shipping.

Our friend Roger Kelly who runs the American Football International website posted this same photo in a post outlining how teams could take advantage of our giveaway program.

The result?

After three days I have been contacted by 37 different American football clubs from quite literally all over the globe including Nigeria, Cornwall, Sweden, Chile, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Romania needing some good practice uniforms.

I may need to get even more gear donated!

Such is life which, as it turned out, was really good this week.

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