Madison's Keoni Kanoa sacks Marin Catholic quarterback Jared Goff in the fourth quarter.
CARSON Jacob Rundle made a bold prediction.
Jared Goff, Rundle said, “will play in the pros.”
At 6-feet-5, 190 pounds, Goff has the size NFL teams look for in a quarterback. And he has the arm and stats to back up Rundle’s statement.
Coming into Saturday’s State Championship Bowl with Madison, Goff had thrown for 3,457 yards and 36 touchdowns for Kentfield Marin Catholic.
Colleges came calling, and Goff answered Cal’s ring with a verbal commitment.
Saturday, however, Rundle and his Warhawks teammates got the better of Goff and Marin Catholic with a 38-35 victory to capture the Division III championship at The Home Depot Center.
Goff gouged Madison for 262 yards on 14 of 30 attempts. And he threw four TD passes.
But with the game on the line, Warhawks defensive back Austen Scarville jumped in front of Danny Noonan near the Madison goal line and intercepted Goff’s floater with just a little more than two minutes to play.
“I felt like that ball was in slow motion,” Scarville said. “I saw the ball and had time to react. That quarterback made good decisions, so we had to adjust. We had to mix up our coverages, keep him guessing.
“We had to play tough and stay focused.”
Rundle, who led the Warhawks with six tackles and a pair of assists, said playing smart was the key against Goff.
“He’s big,” said Rundle. “He was feeling it at times, and stuck it to us a couple of times.
“We switched coverages, blitzed and got to him. In the end, we made the plays we had to make.”
Madison linebacker Keoni Kanoa made plenty of plays for Madison, finishing with four tackles, three assists and a sack near the end of the game.
“They had some very athletic guys,” Kanoa said. “And we knew they were very well-coached.
“But we saw film of the one game they lost, and the defense was flying around.”
So Madison coach Rick Jackson devised a master plan to frustrate Goff.
The Warhawks brought pressure off the edge with linebackers and safeties and bull rushed up the middle with their bigs.
Kanoa, Jamie Gomez and Alec Centeno had sacks for the Warhawks and a fierce pass rush up the middle forced Goff to miss high and wide several times.
“That quarterback was unbelievable,” Jackson said. “Phenomenal.
“The defense was a little slow early on (when Madison fell behind 21-0), We put in some new coverage schemes, and we were a step behind.
“It took us a little time to get used to the tempo of the game.
“But we mixed up our blitz packages. We danced around a little, trying to confuse him.
“And when we needed the defense the most, it played great.”"