Mission Bay receiver Andre Petties-Wilson leaps into the arms of a coach after the Bucs defeated Rancho Buena Vista in the semifinals. Petties-Wilson had 11 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns against the Longhorns.
Mission Bay vs. St. Augustine
When: Monday, 11 a.m.
Where: Qualcomm Stadium.
TV: Time Warner 825, Cox 4.
Preview: No. 8-seeded Mission Bay outlasted Rancho Buena Vista in a semifinal slugfest, scoring the final two touchdowns in a 56-49 victory that gave the Bucs a seven-game win streak. No. 2 St. Augustine limited section all-time leading rusher Royce Freeman to 168 yards and zero touchdowns while racking up 617 total yards and eight touchdowns on offense to defeat Imperial 56-12 in the semis.
Prediction: St. Augustine 24, Mission Bay 20.
Coach: Willie Matson, 9th year.
Players to watch: The Buccaneers’ formidable passing game begins with quarterback Nicholas Plum (457 yards, six TDs in semifinals) and wide receivers Andres Petties-Wilson and Lamarriel Taylor, who produced five touchdowns and 400 yards combined against RBV.
Season highlight: Despite a 42-7 loss at home in the regular season to league-rival Madison, the Buccaneers rebounded in the playoffs, defeating the Warhawks in the quarterfinals on a late-game touchdown pass to Petties-Wilson.
Quotable: “I woke up Thanksgiving morning in a really good mood,” said Matson, “but by turkey time, I was solemn because I was watching film on (the Saints).”
Championship past: This is Mission Bay’s eighth final appearance and first since winning the Division IV title in 2009.
Little-know fact: This is Matson’s second stint with the program, coaching the Buccaneers from 1984-88 and returning in 2004.
Coach: Richard Sanchez, 5th year.
Players to watch: Super sophomore Elijah Preston (1,481 yards, 17 TDs) paces a three-headed rushing attack — consisting of himself, Francoise Sims II (455 yards, eight TDs) and Tyler Herburger (686 yards, 12 TDs) — that averages 256.5 yards per contest. On defense, linebackers Quinn Seau (89 tackles) and Kevin Mahoney (104 tackles) are disruptive forces inside while cornerback Frank Buncom IV blankets wide receivers on the outside.
Season highlight: St. Augustine fended off Holy Bowl rival Cathedral Catholic 19-7 in a Week 8 matchup.
Quotable: “What matchups do I like? I don’t like any of them,” Sanchez said with a chuckle. “Their defensive coordinator is a cover zero guy and is going cover receivers with their best athletes and load up the box on us.”
Championship past: This is St. Augustine’s 11th championship match and second-consecutive final appearance. The Saints have won three of those matchups.
Little-known fact: Jesse Ochoa, class of 1971, created the original art for the Saints’ mascot “Halo Joe.”