CIF 3-AA State Championship: Bishop Diego tops Shasta 41-6
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Shasta High School's high-powered offense met its match in the CIF 3-AA state final Saturday night in Thousand Oaks, as the Bishop Diego Cardinals pounded out a 41-6 win. It's the first state title for Bishop Diego. Shasta was playing in the CIF championship for the first time.
"We did some special things this season finally winning a section championship, winning a NorCal championship, something I didn't think we could do, but we did," said J.C. Hunsaker, head coach of Shasta High School. "And then coming down here and playing in a state finals against a top notch football program, those guys are good."
With their second leading rusher Seth Park sidelined by a rib injury, the Wolves lost the time of possession battle to the Cardinals out of Santa Barbara, led by senior running back John Harris.
The game was played at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks.
Shasta quarterback Ian Garcia hit Kenyon Riley on a 60-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring with 9:45 remaining in the 1st quarter. The PAT failed, but the Wolves had the 6-0 lead.
"The first drive was awesome. We came out fired up and ready to go and obviously it was a good play call," said Ian Garcia, Shasta's senior quarterback. "From there I think their defensive line did a really good job with our offensive line, moving bodies. We lost the offensive line battle, but I mean you gotta hand it to them, they were the better team, they proved that."
Unfortunately for Shasta, Bishop Diego showed they could pass the ball as well. Bishop Diego's John Harris scored three times, once as a receiver and twice on the ground, as the Cardinals took a 21-6 lead to halftime and never looked back. Harris is considering several Ivy League schools for college.
The Wolves were down 21-6 at halftime, only the third time this season they trailed at the midway point.
Playing without injured speed back Seth Park, the Wolves turned to Detrius Kelsall as a second option out of the backfield. His long, rambling run moved the Wolves into the red zone on their opening drive of the third quarter. But Ian Garcia's pass was picked on the 9-yard line to stop the drive.
Cardinals quarterback David Gladish hooked up with Isaiah Veal on a 48-yard strike and Dylan Stewart on a 17-yard score, as Bishop Diego took a 35-6 lead to the end of the third quarter.
One of the bright spots for Shasta was the kick returning by Shasta's Marino Carrillo, who nearly broke several returns for scores.
The Cards kept senior Vince Smith, the Northstate's top rusher in 2017, out of the end zone. He was stopped at the one yard line just before time expired.
"The thing that was different about this season was that we actually really cared about each other, and we were family," Vince Smith said. "Every play we'd use our hearts and fight for each other."
Shasta finishes the season with a 12-2 record. Bishop Diego