On Halloween night, Chaminade and Serra will play in a rematch of last year’s CIF championship game.
This will be the fifth matchup between the teams in three years, two of those being CIF championship games. Chaminade lost the 2012 CIF game after coming close to staging a comeback, but their onside kick recovery was negated after a controversial illegal touching penalty.
The 2013 championship rematch was won by Chaminade after a game-winning field goal kicked by Ben Kreitenberg.
The rivalry between these teams has grown these last few years, but it definitely has a new look this season. First off, this is the first year these two teams will face off not at the top of their leagues. Chaminade has struggled in its first season of playing in Div. 1, and Serra, although having a good season, is not the top national team it has previously been.
Serra’s Adoree’ Jackson, Dwight Williams, and Jalen Greene, and Chaminade’s Donavon Lee, Rick Gamboa, and Brad Kaaya have been staples of the Chaminade-Serra Rivalry. But the old faces are out, and the new faces are in. Dymond Lee, Okalani Langi, Ed Sias, and Isaiah Thomas have been the key players for Chaminade this season. For Serra, John Houston Jr., Rasheem Green, Stanley Norman, and Deontay Burnett have stepped up this season to replace last year’s seniors.
The matchup to watch for is Lee against Norman. Lee, a junior receiver, has been offered scholarships by Oklahoma, Miami, and Colorado. Norman, a junior cornerback, will be looking to lock down Lee, a player known for making huge plays.
Also look for Chaminade’s strong ground game up against the tough run defense of the Cavaliers, which features defensive tackle Green and inside linebacker Houston, who will be looking to shut down talented senior running back Langi and superstar freshman TJ Pledger.
Lastly, look for Thomas covering Burnett, a star receiver committed to Washington St. who has really stepped up after the departure of Jordan Lasley. Thomas has not gotten a ton of recruiting attention, but has really had a fantastic year, recording five interceptions through nine games this season.
Overall, this will be a hard-fought game between two rivals, but I expect Serra to come out on top as their tough offensive combination of Malik Roberson and Burnett might just be too much to handle for the Chaminade defense.