Two days after it dethroned Bellarmine College Prep as the Central Coast Section Open Division football champion, St. Ignatius received an invitation Sunday to play in a Northern California regional game.
The Wildcats will face Granite Bay of the Sac-Joaquin Section for the NorCal Division I championship Friday night at Sacramento State.
The winner will advance to the Division I state championship game the following weekend against Long Beach Poly or Clovis North, which will play Friday night in the Southern California Division I regional game.
St. Ignatius was the only team from the CCS to receive a berth in a regional game. Only section champions were eligible to be chosen for the regionals, which are making their debut this season, and St. Ignatius put itself in the pool with its dramatic 13-10 overtime win Friday over Bellarmine.
Granite Bay (11-3) has won 10 in a row after opening the season with three losses in its first four games. The Grizzlies beat Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills 35-23 on Friday for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title, rushing for 542 yards in the win.
Taft Partridge led the way against Oak Ridge with 235 yards in 11 carries. Tony Ellison added 193 yards in 16 attempts, and John Cooley had 116 yards in 21 carries. Granite Bay averages 270.1 yards per game on the ground. Its losses came against Westlake, Oaks Christian and Pittsburg.
St. Ignatius (10-3) has gotten hot at the right time. The Wildcats have won four straight after a two-game skid against Bellarmine and Serra cost them a chance to win the West Catholic Athletic League title.
Since those losses, St. Ignatius beat Archbishop Mitty to end the regular season, then defeated Palma, Mitty and Bellarmine to win the CCS Open Division title.