Will Corona Centennial and Serra match last year’s 68-64 thriller?

Corona Centennial Huskies
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Corona Centennial, the top dog in the High School Football America/SoCal Top 25 and ranked #6 nationally, will get its first big test of the season Saturday at The Honor Bowl in Oceanside against Serra, ranked #5 in our current Southern California rankings.

Fans are excited to see if tonight’s game can match last year’s incredible 68-64 win by the Huskies in the opening round of the 2014 CIF-Southern Section PAC-5 playoffs.  That game featured 15 lead changes and each team has plenty of firepower back from last year’s teams to create another high-scoring affair in Oceanside.

Tipping the scales toward Corona Centennial in tonight’s game is the fact that Serra will have to play without its quarterback Khalil Tate.  The senior, who is an Arizona verbal commit, has to sit-out the game because he was ejected from last week’s win over Lakewood.  In last year’s game, Tate accounted for eight touchdowns.

Junior Jalani Eason will lead the Cavs in Tate’s absence.  After taking over for Tate in Game 1, Eason was 6-of-10 passing for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Also back from last year’s offensive showcase is Corona Centennial wide receiver Javon McKinley, who is coming off a junior year that saw him caught 97 passes for over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.  McKinley caught four touchdown passes in last year’s game, plus he returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Quarterback Anthony Catalano, who tossed McKinley all of his touchdowns in last year’s game, is also back, as is running back J.J. Taylor, who led the Huskies in rushing last week in its season opening win over East High School from Utah.

It’s the second straight year that Serra is playing a nationally-ranked team in The Honor Bowl.  Last year, the Cavaliers dropped a 31-14 decision to Washington-power Bellevue.

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.