We're now two weeks past Thanksgiving and opening the playoffs for the CIF State Football Championships. Just one local team is still alive - Bradshaw Christian.
They're in the 5AA State playoffs (there's going to be 13 state champions when this is all over) and Friday will travel a little more than three hours south to Reedley High School and play Immanuel. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
Now, where's Reedley? According to the school website it is 19 miles southeast of Fresno and 19 miles north of Visalia. Plus, it's about a 15 minute drive east of Highway 99. Immanuel High School boasts 51 Central Section championships and three state championships, though none in football.
Much like Bradshaw, their current enrollment is 390 students. There are roughly 375 students at Bradshaw, located just east of Sheldon High School on Calvine Rd. Immanuel high school has been in its currently location since 1944 and they've been a K-12 school district since 2004.
The website tells very little else about its athletic program except for the fact "athletics" is misspelled a few times (atheltics).
They are the Eagles and Reedley was 10-2 this season. Bradshaw is 12-1 on the field, losing to Vista del Lago but also having to forfeit the season opener with Big Valley Christian because of playing an ineligible player.
This is Bradshaw's first time, though, they've won 12 games in a season (they beat Big Valley, 61-0). And, this year's team may rank right up there along or even above the talent the Pride have had in its nine seasons of football. Bradshaw's 28-18 Division VI win over Hilmar two weeks ago was its fifth Section title.
Immanuel head coach Matthew Armstrong will call upon the arm of quarterback Caleb Paulson who threw for 2405 yards, 29 TD's and only seven interceptions this season. The top rusher is Kyle Dunigan who has rushed for 804 yards.
Bradshaw is a run-happy team warrant the fact backs Jarred Knipe and Mateo Bromstead each have more than 1,000 yards - Knipe with 1106 and Bromstead with 1161. Quarterback Kyle Wilburn has thrown effectively, too: 926 yards and 12 TD's on just 95 attempts.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista and Notre Dame of Riverside. That game will be played Dec. 19 at a site to be determined by the CIF. Several state championship games are slated for Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State University campus.