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Hart football could make state bowl game

Posted: December 7, 2013 6:05 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2013 6:05 p.m.

Hart players storm the field following their 28-21 victory over Valencia in the CIF-SS Northern Division Championship.

 

Hart football did more than just win a CIF championship on Friday night.

With their 28-21 win over Valencia in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division title game at Valencia High School, the Indians became bowl eligible.

And with everything factored in, it appears Hart (12-2) is very likely to be selected for a CIF Regional Football Championship Bowl Game in the Southern California Division II game.

Its opponent may be Chaminade of West Hills (12-2) in a game that would be played on Saturday.

Hart defeated Chaminade in a 55-54 overtime thriller earlier this season on Sept. 6.

If those teams play again, it would effectively act as a semifinal to a state championship bowl game, which would be Hart’s first in school history.

“What I always thought was the ultimate was winning the CIF-Southern Section championship and all of a sudden we have an opportunity to play more football,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington on the possibility of playing a state bowl game. “But we’ll welcome it with open arms.”

Here’s how it breaks down:

To become bowl eligible, a team must win its divisional championship.

From there, all 10 of the CIF’s section commissioners meet and decide which two teams will play in each regional bowl game.

The committee selects the two teams based on record, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and common opponents played, according the CIF handbook.

The handbook also says the CIF will also take into consideration team rankings on prep sports websites like CalHiSports.com and Maxpreps.com.

As of Saturday night, both of those websites had Chaminade and Hart as the top-ranked, bowl-eligible teams in So Cal Division II.

“I think they’re in,” said CalHiSports.com editor Mark Tennis on Hart’s prospects of making a bowl game. “I think it’s going to be a rematch of the 55-54 overtime game. Why not? Let’s play it again. That’s what I think.”

This is just the second year the CIF added regional bowl games to set up the state championship games, which includes an Open Division title game as well as games for Division I, II, II and IV.

The state bowl games were first played in 2006. Prior to that, the CIF hadn’t held any kind of football state championship game since 1927.

Hart is trying to become the second SCV team all-time to make a state bowl game. The only other one was Canyon, which beat De La Salle High of Concord 27-13 in the Division I state championship in 2006.

“Talking with the kids, they were excited about an opportunity to play another game,” Herrington said.

The final announcement for the bowl game selections will be made on Sunday afternoon. If Hart makes it and wins on Saturday, it would advance to the Division II state bowl the following weekend on Dec. 21.

The locations of the games will also be announced on Sunday.

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