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CIF State Championship: Bishop Diego is Ready for Game 16

The energy is still there after 15 football games in 16 weeks.

Bishop Diego is ready to crank it up one more time in its first CIF State Football Championship appearance in school history and the first for a team from Santa Barbara County.

The 14-1 Cardinals play 12-1 Shasta of Redding in the 3AA Division State Championship Bowl Game on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Cal Lutheran's William Rolland Stadium.

The Cardinals are the Southern Section Division 6 champions and SoCal 3AA Regional winners. Shasta won the Northern Section Division 2 title and the Nor Cal 3AA Regional.

CIF 3AA Division State Championship Bowl Game

Bishop Diego (14-1) vs. Shasta (12-1), 6 p.m. at Cal Lutheran’s William Rolland Stadium. Radio: 1290 AM — The last team Bishop Diego played that featured a bruising running attack was Grace Brethren in the Tri-Valley League championship game. That’s the only blemish on the Cardinals’ record. Lontrell Diggs, a 5-foot-8, 230 pound bruiser, rushed for 174 yards on 34 carries and scored the winning touchdown in the second overtime as Grace Brethren won 31-24.

Shasta has two running backs who combined have punished opponents for more than 4,000 yards on the ground and scored 55 touchdowns. Needless to say, Bishop’s defense will have its hands full trying to slow Vincent Smith and Seth Park. But the defense has stepped up big time since that loss to Grace. It’s corralled a tough running back from Saugus in the Southern Section Division 6 semifinals, shut down a USC-committed wide receiver from Golden Valley in the section final and contained an athletic Quartz Hill quarterback and Division 1 recruit in the So Cal Regional. 

The Bishop offense has been on fire throughout the post season. John Harris has been spectacular running the ball and Adrian Sorocco and Evan McKeegan have provided tremendous contributions. There have been no hiccups in the team’s two-quarterback system, as David Gladish and Jake Engel have done a superb job managing the offense. The Cardinals have the edge in the kicking game with Jack Luckhurst. He's consistently put opponents deep in their end with his punts. Shasta has a lot to handle. The Pick: Bishop Diego.

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