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Madison bowl game preview

12/15/2012, 10:59am PST
By Dennis Lin

Warhawks to play Kentfield Marin Catholic

Madison's Lee Walker (10) returns a kickoff for a touchdown against Monrovia.



Madison vs. Kentfield Marin Catholic

When: Saturday, noon.

Where: Home Depot Center in Carson.

Tickets: Adults $15. Seniors, high school students and children $10.

Parking: $10.

TV: Time Warner Cable Sports Network (TW 35, Cox 71).

Radio: None.

Online: playonsports.com/channels/california


Record: 13-1

Coach: Rick Jackson, ninth year.

Players to watch: Elusive running back Pierre Cormier spearheads Madison’s spread offense. He’s rushed 200 times for 1,976 yards and 26 TDs. Sophomore lefty Kareem Coles has passed for 1,708 yards and 21 TDs while running for 911 yards and six scores. Top target Lee Walker is a threat as a receiver (679 yards, 11 TDs) and a returner — he took a kickoff 91 yards for the game-winning score in the Warhawks’ victory over Monrovia last week. On defense, Keoni Kanoa and Kamden Valencia have each racked up more than 100 tackles. Twin brothers and defensive ends Sam and Jake Vermillion have combined for 14 sacks. Jamie Gomez snagged two interceptions, including one he returned for a TD, against Monrovia. Fellow two-way standout Michael Garner came up with the game-sealing pick.

Season summary: Madison’s lone loss came in Week 2 against Valhalla. Since then, the Warhawks have won 12 straight. They won their second San Diego Section championship in three years by upsetting St. Augustine before knocking off Monrovia in the SoCal championship last Saturday. They’ve outscored opponents 523-266.

Quotable: “This is my last game as a Warhawk,” Madison senior receiver Lee Walker said. “I’m gonna take a lot of pictures in my jersey.”

Championship past: The Warhawks are making their second State Championship Bowl appearance. In 2010, they lost to Escalon at the Home Depot Center.

Need to know: Rich Rodriguez’s Arizona program has built quite the pipeline at Madison. Cormier and Walker have committed to play for the Wildcats next fall, while Garner, a junior, already has a scholarship offer. Arizona also has expressed interest in the Vermillion twins.


Record: 14-1.

Coach: Mazi Moayed, third year.

Players to watch: Jared Goff stands among the state’s elite quarterbacks. The Cal-bound passer has thrown for 3,457 yards and 36 TDs. Rivals.com ranks the 6-foot-4 Goff the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the country. RB Akili Terry has been a worthy complement, rushing for 1,766 yards and 26 scores. Both players have benefited from the presence of 6-foot-5 tackle Gunnar Graham, who has committed to Colorado. Receiver/quarterback Morgan Mahalak is also generating Division I interest.

Season summary: The Wildcats’ only loss came early this season against Vacaville. They advanced to their second state final by defeating Sutter in the NorCal title game. Marin Catholic has outscored opponents 592-198.

Quotable: “Like us, they have some people who can make plays,” Madison running back Pierre Cormier said of the Wildcats. “It should be a game that comes down to what happens in the fourth quarter.”

Championship past: Like Madison, Marin Catholic is making its second State Championship Bowl appearance. In 2009, the Wildcats lost to Gardena Serra in Carson.

Need to know: The Wildcats have incorporated yoga in their practices for the last four seasons. Their record over that stretch: 52-5.

Prediction: Marin Catholic 31, Madison 27.


Division II: Gardena Serra (13-2) vs. Oakdale (14-1), Saturday, 4 p.m.

Open Division: Corona Centennial (14-1) vs. Concord De La Salle (14-0), Saturday, 8 p.m.


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