The Pride of Temecula is Headed to the Southern California State Bowl Championship
Linfield Christian defeated Artesia High School 70-32 last night to win the 2018 CIF Southern Section Division 12 Championship. It was the second time that the Lions have accomplished the feat. Linfield had been ranked the Number One Team in the CIF Southern Section Division 12 all season long, and the Lions proved last night that the pollsters were not wrong.
“It’s a culmination of the hard work of the guys,” said Linfield coach DeChon Burns. Everyone had a job to do and they did it. I’m very proud of the guys and their resiliency and their understanding that if you take care of business, you’ll be successful. The CIF Championship is ours, and it’s surreal. I don’t even know if it’s hit me yet. ”
It was a very competitive first half. The Pioneers took the ball away from the Lions on their first possession of the game. Artesia quarterback Heder Gladden then hit a wide open P.J. Holmes with a perfect spiral for an 83-yard score and a 6-0 lead.
Linfield Christian would answer as senior running back Kenric Jameison broke loose with a 61 yards touchdown run on their second play. The fireworks continued in the first quarter as Artesia drove 80 yards on nine plays and scored on Gladden’s 10-yard TD pass to Marcel Bowman and the score was 13-7.
Linfield Christian drove 72 yards in five plays the next time they had the ball. Jameison scored on a 14 yard run to take the lead back for good. It was 36-20 at the half and the Lions defense was beginning to stir.
It was all Linfield in the second half of the game. The tenacious Lions defense toughened and limited the Pioneers to 12 points in the second half. Meanwhile, the offense exploded for 27 points in the fourth quarter to finish off the Pioneers 70-32.
Kenric Jameison finished the game with 229 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Kaleb Maresh was razor sharp for the Lions. He completed 11 of 14 passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Senior captain Travion Brown had four catches for 64 yards and caught 2 of Maresh’s TDs.
Tailback Crispin Wong put on a one man show in the final quarter. The Sophomore busted loose for three touchdowns in the quarter to put the game out of reach. He ended the game with 134 yards on 10 carries and scored 4 times.
Asked about the Regional and State finals Coach Burns said “We’re going to take this one game at a time. We need to focused and play our style of football”.
Artesia 13 7 6 6 32
LCHS 21 15 7 27 70
Photos By Rob Davis & Charles McKee