VACAVILLE — The Vacaville High football team fell a few rounds short of making this year’s inaugural California Interscholastic Federation Northern California regional bowl games, but the contests will still have great meaning for the Bulldogs.
Three of the five games played Friday or Saturday will feature teams Vacaville battled either in the regular season or in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
The Open Division features SJS champ Folsom (14-0), which knocked off Vacaville 49-13 in the section quarterfinals on Nov. 17, against national power De La Salle of Concord (13-0) of the North Coast Section. They play on Saturday at Sacramento State at 7:30 p.m.
In Division I, Granite Bay (11-3), which roughed up the Bulldogs 47-21 on Sept. 14, plays the Central Coast Section’s St. Ignatius of San Francisco today at Sac State at 7:30 p.m.
Vacaville’s other 2012 opponent to make a regional bowl is Marin Catholic of Kentfield, which lost the Bulldogs 28-24 on Sept. 7. The Wildcats (13-1), out of the North Coast Section, meet the Northern Section’s Sutter (13-0) at Oroville’s Harrison Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s been a really neat ride for us to cross paths (with teams) that were in the section finals, you know that all storied programs,” Vacaville coach Mike Papadopoulos said. “They’ve got all the components that champions would have. That’s what I’m excited and happy for. They’re led by great men, their teams are great competitors and do it the right way.”
The Bulldogs won their second SJS championship in five years in 2011, but were left out of the CIF state bowl games when pairings were made. Had the regionals been in place, there’s little doubt they would’ve landed a berth.
“You know what, that’s the toughest part,” Papadopoulos said. “It’s hard for us to dwell on things you can’t control. We’d like the opportunity. At the same time, very few teams get the opportunity to win the last game of season. You don’t want to take away from the accomplishments they had, but you would’ve liked to have had the opportunity (to keep playing).”
In the Division II regional, the SJS’s Oakdale (13-1) plays Clayton Valley Charter (12-1) of the NCS on Saturday at Lincoln of Stockton at 7:30 p.m., while the Division IV game has the SJS’s Central Catholic of Modesto (12-2) playing McClymonds (9-3) of Oakland today at Lincoln at 7:30 p.m.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.