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CIF-State Bowl Championship football brackets announced: All 55 section champions slotted

As expected, Serra-San Mateo will return as Northern California Open Division representative, but this time will face St. John Bosco in state's premier game

There was no drum roll required at the top. 

Clearly the top high school football teams in Northern and Southern California California were established, thus the California Interscholastic Federation's announcement Sunday of its top game was a foregone conclusion. 

VIEW ALL CIF STATE BRACKETS

St. John Bosco-Bellflower (12-1), coming off an epic and emotional 24-22 win over Mater Dei  at the Rose Bowl for the Southern Section Division 1 championship, will face Central Coast Section Division 1 champion Serra-San Mateo (13-0) in the CIF Open Division title game Dec. 10 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. 

Unlike the other 14 divisions, the Braves and Padres will not need to qualify for the state finals by winning a regional game. They were selected the top teams in their region, thus earned an automatic pass direction to the finals. 

The other 53 section champions — only section winners qualify for the Bowl Championships — were all placed in the other 14 divisions based on a competitive equity model, meaning the best teams were slotted at the top and trickled down. 

After Open Division, then the order of strength is 1-AA, 1-A, 2-AA, 2-A and so on. The regionals are Southern California (San Diego, Southern and LA City sections) and Northern California (Northern, Sac-Joaquin, North Coast, Central Coast, Oakland and San Francisco sections). 

Central Section champions are slotted in either the North and South. 

Besides Serra and St. John Bosco, only Lincoln-San Francisco received a bye into the 7-A state champions due to uneven amount of section champions. Lincoln won back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019.

The 7-AA division features only two teams, so Pinole Valley (North) will play at Central Section Division 6 champion Mendota for the state title Saturday.  

The regional champions in each division then meet for a state bowl championship, with the top five divisions all playing games at Saddleback College, Dec. 9-10. The remaining 10 divisions will play at the Northern Region champions' home site. 

Here's are the pairings and sites for CIF Regional Bowl Game Championships scheduled both Friday and Saturday: 

OPEN DIVISION BRACKET

Serra, San Mateo vs. St. John Bosco at Saddleback College – Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.

DIVISION 1–AA BRACKET

North: De La Salle at Folsom – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

South: Lincoln, San Diego at Sierra Canyon – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

DIVISION 1–A BRACKET

North: Manteca at Pittsburg – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

South: Liberty, Bakersfield at Yorba Linda – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

DIVISION 2–AA BRACKET

North: Lemoore at McClymonds – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

South: Mater Dei Catholic at Downey – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

DIVISION 2–A BRACKET

North: Marin Catholic at San Ramon Valley – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

South: Etiwanda at Granite Hills – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

DIVISION 3–AA BRACKET

North: Grant at El Cerrito – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

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South: University City at San Jacinto – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

DIVISION 3–A BRACKET

North: Vanden vs. Bellarmine at San Jose City College – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

South: Laguna Hills at Birmingham – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

DIVISION 4–AA BRACKET

North: Pleasant Valley at Escalon – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

South: Northwood at Kennedy, Delano – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

DIVISION 4–A BRACKET

North: Menlo at San Marin – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

South: Granada Hills at Laguna Beach – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

DIVISION 5–AA BRACKET

North: Ripon Christian at Hughson – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

South: Muir at Palo Verde – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

DIVISION 5–A BRACKET

North: Clear Lake at Orland – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

South: Shafter at Walnut – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

DIVISION 6–AA BRACKET

North: Santa Teresa at Palo Alto – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

South: Lancaster vs. Classical Academy at TBA – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

DIVISION 6–A BRACKET

North: Atascadero at Colusa – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

South: Kennedy, Granada Hills at San Gabriel – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m.

DIVISION 7–AA State Championship

Pinole Valley at Mendota – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

DIVISION 7–A BRACKET

North: Lincoln, San Francisco – BYE

South: Whittier Christian at Crenshaw – Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Games for Divisions 1-AA through 7-A. Winners from the NorCal and SoCal Regional games will advance to the CIF State Football Championships representing their respective divisions for the title of CIF State Champion. All teams were slotted based on competitive equity and the respective criteria.