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Football: How does Gardena Serra avoid a letdown?

December 16, 2009 |  4:19 pm

Gardena Serra just won what could be considered The Game of The Century in the South Bay, knocking off Oaks Christian, 42-41, to win the Northwest Division championship. The Lions were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the state by at least one set of pollsters, not to mention the fact that they had trounced the Cavaliers in the title game the previous season.

Next up for Serra is a game against a largely unknown opponent from Northern California. And the Cavaliers get up for this how, exactly?

"Just take a look out here," Coach Scott Altenberg said Monday afternoon as he looked out picture windows at the Home Depot Center overlooking the field where his team will play Kentfield Marin Catholic in the Division III state championship bowl game Saturday afternoon. "I'm pretty sure that's not going to be a problem."

Serra (14-0) has a chance to be the first team from the South Bay to win a bowl game and finish 15-0. That is incentive enough, Altenberg said.

"Unless I'm way off here, I think the whole thing is going to take care of itself," he said. "Who doesn't want to play? They call it the biggest game in South Bay history."

Said Serra receiver Robert Woods: "This team wants to be the best, so we're not going to let anyone or ourselves down. We're going to get after this team this week."

--Ben Bolch