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Mutual Respect, Wariness Highlights NorCal Finals

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Mutual Respect, Wariness Highlights NorCal Finals

Granite Bay in white against SFGG earlier this season, takes on De La Salle Saturday. Dan Bandoni photo.

It’s  a top-of-the-rankings meeting for the Northern California Premier final.

The #1-ranked HS Club Granite Bay takes on the #2-ranked school team De La Salle. These teams have not met yet and have not lost yet. We looked at their common opponents and compared results (if a team played someone twice we took the best result). With those five common opponents Granite Bay allowed fewer points than De La Salle three times and outscored De La Salle once. DLS had better points for twice and better points against twice. Two times GB and DLS had the same points for. 

The upshot? There’s very little difference between the two.

Last week’s win over SFGG, 40-10, was a significant improvement for De La Salle, whose previous result against SFGG was 21-19 just a week before. This was likely because the Spartans had their full backline back for the first time in several weeks.

“They were a a little rusty but continued to find gaps and get past the gainline,” said Head Coach Derek Holmberg. 

Granite Bay Head Coach Chris Miller does have a couple of valued starters on the sidelines but, he added, “that’s par for the course late in the season. We’ll need to win the contest at the breakdown and play well in defense to be in the match.”

Both coaches had good things to say about each other.

“Granite Bay looks really fit and fast,” said Holmberg. “They look to recycle quick ball and punch you in the mouth. I think the team that defends best and limits turnovers wins this one. It’s going to be a massive test for our boys but they are excited for the opportunity.”

“De La Salle is really good,” added Miller. “Good athletes, loads of talent, physical, smart. It’s a great test for our boys just before Nationals.”

There are other playoff games in Northern California, too. Jesuit of Sacramento takes on Danville in the Bowl. San Mateo plays Gridley in a clash of high-octane attacks in D1, while Elk Grove plays Los Gatos in the F1 Bowl.