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Football: If it's December, it's time to run the ball

December 11, 2012 |  7:49 am

For all the glamour and hype associated with passing the ball, it's the teams in December that run the ball successfully and stop the run that are still alive going into the final weekend of the high school football season.

Most of the spread offensive teams have been eliminated. Get ready for some power football at the Home Depot Center on Friday and Saturday for the CIF state championship bowl games.

In the Open Division final, Concord De La Salle's veer attack features 203-pound running back Tiapepe Vitale, who has rushed for 1,957 yards and scored 29 touchdowns. He has gained more than 100 yards in 11 of 14 games behind an offensive line known for its precision and execution.

In the Division I game, Long Beach Poly has been using a wildcat formation with a direct snap to running backs Gerard Wicks and Manusamoa Lu'uga. Its opponent, Granite Bay, ran for 547 yards with its Fly offense two weeks ago and ran for 309 yards last week.

Gardena Serra is preparing to face the wing T run by Oakdale in the Division II game.

Of course, to win a championship, you have to be able to pass at some point. Balance is essential, and that's the strength of Open Division finalist Corona Centennial, which has versatile quarterback Robert Webber, running backs Tre Watson and Austin Renken and receiver Barry Ware.

-- Eric Sondheimer