Edison-Fresno - in front of a crowd of 6,000 strong at Sunnyside High's stadium - got big plays from its most underrated NCAA Division I prospects and ended the night as Central Section Division I champions, beating Liberty-Bakersfield 21-14.
The Tigers (12-1) last won a section championship in the 2009 season at the DII level. But Edison's last significant title came 39 years ago, when the Tigers won the 1975 Yosemite Division championship.
Kamron Lewis used his height and hands to help bring the party to 'E City.' Lewis - who holds just one scholarship offer from Nevada - caught the game-winning 63-yard touchdown pass with 6 minutes and 2 seconds to go. Lewis then got called upon to line up in the Tiger secondary in the final dramatic Hail Mary throw. Lewis used his 6-foot-3 frame and hops to elevate himself into the air, extend his hands, and come down with the clinching interception.
Outside of Lewis, the Tiger defense were led by rising 2016 prospect Leevel Tatum and inside linebacker Vance "Area 51" Sams, who has one offer from Eastern Washington. Both defenders kept the ultra-talented Anthony Mariscal in check by holding the Arizona commit to 67 rushing yards.
In the secondary, Tyler Horton - the Tigers' most highly recruited star with 10 offers - locked up Liberty's big target Braylin Scott (6-foot-4, 170-pounds) to two catches and 32 yards.
The victory puts Edison against Oceanside in the CIF State Division I Southern California championships. That game is set for Friday, Dec. 12, at Oceanside High.
BULLPUPS RISE, AND PROVE THEY'RE AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Hanford High, one of the top turnaround stories in the Central Section, trounced Madera 35-14 for the school's first Central Section Division III championship in a game that saw the Bullpups go in an attack mode on defense.
In the first three possessions of the game, the Bullpups (12-1) forced three turnovers. Junior Juwane Hughes was one of the feisty defenders on Hanford's side as he came away with one interception. Senior Francisco Ramirez added a pick for the Bullpups.
Offensively, junior Joseph McDaniel pulverized Madera for 139 rushing yards.
Hanford was once a loser of 16 of its last 21 games before going on its DIII title run. Next year looks promising again for the Bullpups. Out of the 40 players on Hanford's varsity roster, 26 of them were non-seniors, including team cornerstones Hughes, McDaniel and sophomore quarterback Ryan Johnson.
PACERS SURVIVE AT SACRAMENTO STATE
With an undefeated season hanging in the balance and the downpour of rain falling down hard on the Hornet Stadium grass at Sacramento State, Grant-Sacramento escaped 21-14 against a spirited St. Mary's of Stockton team seeking the upset in the Sac Joaquin DII championship game.
St. Mary's drove down the field as the final seconds ticked away. Rams quarterback Noah Righetti found Demetrius Ferguson for a 44-yard gain that placed the Rams at the Grant 6-yard line. But an offensive pass interference call put St. Mary's back at the 17, then Righetti's final throw fell incomplete.
Grant finishes 14-0 and gets Folsom in the DI Northern California championship on Dec. 12.