CERRITOS– It wasn't the prettiest win for the Ugly Eagles, but they are flying high after defeating Aquinas 10-7 to win the CIF 2-AA championship.
Speaking of flights, the Clayton Valley Charter football team and entourage will have one more left on the season–back home to Concord to celebrate.
Coming into a chess match with one of the better defensive teams in SoCal in Aquinas, the Ugly Eagles had to know that possessions would be at a premium.
Aquinas had a red zone stop in the first quarter, but RB Omari Taylor broke through for a rushing touchdown late in the second quarter for the Ugly Eagles and they went into halftime with a 7-0 lead. Other than that, there was very little total offense in the first half on either side with excellent defense being played all-around.
The pace moved incredibly slowly in the second half as well. Shane Nelson drilled a 35-yard field goal for Clayton Valley Charter with 5:15 left in the game to make it 10-0.
Aquinas responded with a smooth, torrid touchdown drive led by QB Francis Mauigoa and WR Isaac Handy to make it 10-7 with 2:59 remaining.
But the Ugly Eagles' steady play held up for one last possession. WR/RB Erik Christofferson had two first-down runs in the ensuing drive, and by the last minute all they had to do was kneel. And now for the first time ever, they're state champions.
Christofferson finished with 88 receiving yards in addition to numerous short key runs. QB Jake Kern had 118 passing yards on 80% completion.
Here are some photos from the game. Be on the lookout for a separate post with video and the full photo gallery from Clayton Valley Charter's postgame celebration.