Football set to play Centennial High School for State Championship

The Palo Alto High School Football team will play Centennial High School on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. for the California Interscholastic Federation Division I state title.

The CIF commissioners placed Paly in the Division I bowl based on strength of schedule and quality of wins. Centennial, hailing from Corona in Southern California, is 14-0 and the Southern Section Inland Division champion. Centennial’s slimmest margin of victory all season was 19 points, and they run a high-powered, quick-strike offense that averages 50 points per game, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Huskies have never scored less than 42 points and scored more than 60 points four times. They are ranked second in the state and fifth in the nation by and Palo Alto is rated as the 11th best team in California. In 2008, Centennial defeated Northern California powerhouse, De La Salle High School, for its first state title.

The Vikings will need to find a way to slow the Huskies’ blistering offensive attack. Centennial has a prolific rusher in senior Barrinton Collins, who has 2,026 yards and 37 touchdowns on the year – an average of over 11 yards per carry and 184.2 per game – along with a dual-threat quarterback in senior Michael Eubank. The 6-foot-5 inch Eubank is highly versatile and elusive with 1,092 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground this season to compliment 21 touchdowns and 2,532 yards through the air, according to He accounts for an average of 194.8 passing yards per game and 278.8 total yards per contest.

Paly is also undefeated at 13-0, having taken the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League title and the Central Coast Section Open Division title to earn a bid to the state finals. The balanced offense averages over 30 points a game, while the defense has kept opponents to an average of 12 points in the playoffs. It would be an understatement to say the team has had an incredible year, and it is not over yet. There is still one game left in the best season in school history, and the Vikings have one last goal: to win the state championship game and bring home the first state title in school history.

This is the second time the Palo Alto football team has made a trip to a state bowl in its five years of existence. The first time was in 2006, when the team played in the Division II bowl and lost to SoCal juggernaut Orange Lutheran High School, 42-28, in the inaugural year of the CIF championship.

Want to know how the Vikings got to state? Click here for an interactive timeline of stories and multimedia coverage of their games this season.

More coverage to come on the football team’s trip to the state championship.