By Tim Peterson
This is the first time Covina has reached the CIF Finals since 1995 when the Colts beat Lompoc 23-21 in the Division VII Finals at Covina District Field. Dick Sheehan was the head coach that led Covina to that championship.
Covina’s Nin Burns was named the CIF Player of the Year that season as he led the Colts to the title. His son quarterback Nin Burns II is now trying to lead the Colts to a another title.
Burns played a major part in getting Covina to the title game throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns and running for 53 more in the Colts 57-56 overtime win over Culver City Friday night. Burns has racked up 2,190 yards passing and 28 touchdowns this season. Erik Cuellar couldn’t have picked a better time than the semi finals to have his best game of the year. Depending on whose stats you’re reading the sophomore ran for 303 yards (Max Preps) or 294 yards (Mid Valley Sports) to push his total to over 2100 on the year. Cuellar also ran through Culver City for five touchdowns.
According to Cal Preps Covina beats Katella 31-28 this Friday night in the Division 11 Final at Covina District Field. I’ll reveal my pick later this week in “Game Night”.
It’s been a little bit longer for St. Francis. The Golden Knights last won the title in 1964 when they shut out Claremont 14-0 under HC Jack Friedman. Friedman Field, named after the St. Francis icon, will be the site of this week’s Division 3 Finals vs. Rancho Verde.
Everybody in the area, including yours truly, was rooting for a St. Francis -Charter Oak D-3 Final. One loss St. Francis vs. the undefeated Chargers would have been one for the ages. Oh well, maybe next year.
After a 55-year drought the CIF Finals is becoming old hat for Downey. The Vikings will be making their third appearance in six years when they host Cajon Saturday night in the Division 4 Final. Downey beat La Serna 33-25 in 2012 and lost to Crescenta Valley 21-14 in 2014. The advantage for the Vikings in this one is they will be at home in the friendly confines. Baraq Ross leads a dominant Viking ground game with 2,110 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Dean Herrington has led Paraclete to the CIF Finals in his first two years at the helm. The Spirits beat Los Altos last year and will face Moorpark on the road in the Division 5 Finals Friday night.