First published in the Nov. 25 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
St. Francis High School’s varsity football team shut out visiting La Serna High of Whittier, 20-0, last Friday in the CIF-SS Division IV semifinal game. The victory advances the Golden Knights to the final for the first time since 2017 under head coach Jim Bonds, who guided the program from 2000-19 before passing away due to complications with multiple myeloma in 2020.
Now, the Golden Knights (10-2 overall record) will host No. 1-seeded Long Beach Poly (10-3 overall) in the CIF-SS Division IV championship game this Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m.
Just over a year removed from the passing of the winningest football coach in school history, it seems only fitting that the Golden Knights find themselves in the CIF final seeking their first title since 1964.
St. Francis and Long Beach Poly have met four previous times, all in nonleague matchups between 1979-82. The Golden Knights’ lone victory came via forfeit in ’79, while Poly won the other three meetings.
The journey to the finals has not produced a close game for either team. St. Francis, which was co-champion of the Angelus League with Loyola High of Los Angeles, has reached the championship game with a 47-20 victory over Irvine in the first round, a 29-14 win at Temecula Chaparral in the quarterfinals before last week’s 20-0 win against La Serna.
Meanwhile, Moore League champion Long Beach Poly’s playoff results included a 56-28 victory over Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills in the first round, a 49-3 win over Upland in the quarterfinals, and a 35-0 shutout over Cypress High in the semifinals.