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CALIFORNIA’S FINEST: Del Oro triumphs 16-13 to win the CIF DII-AA State Championship

By: Ike Dodson of the Auburn Journal
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SACRAMENTO — It took six weeks for Camrion Davis to get right, but Del Oro’s junior running back showed the value of fresh legs Friday, bolting for 216 yards and two touchdowns as Del Oro overcame previously undefeated Camarillo 16-13 in the California Interscholastic Federation Division II-AA State Bowl Championships at Sacramento State.

The same Del Oro team that floundered to a 2-6 start to open the season could not have been more composed on California’s biggest stage. While simultaneously committing no offensive turnovers, the Golden Eagles recovered a fumble, intercepted Scorpions quarterback Jake Constantine, forced three Camarillo punts, made three fourth-down stops and batted a pass at the goal line to close the first half.

Constantine still completed 24 of 39 passes for 312 yards and two scores, but his second came with just two minutes to play. Del Oro recovered the onside kick and needed just one first down to run out the clock.

Davis, responsible for that game-winning first down, also tip-toed the sideline for a wild 58-yard touchdown to give Del Oro a 16-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.

He made the most of 26 touches to deliver his best performance after missing the first four games with a hyperextended elbow. Davis accounted for over half of Del Oro’s 374 offensive yards. He also scored a seven-yard touchdown on Del Oro’s game-opening drive.

“It feels great to be able to play on a big stage like this, to be able to help my team win,” Davis said. “I knew somebody on this team was going to have big plays — it changes every week. This week it was me.

“The O-line was unbelievable tonight.”

Bryan Willhide booted a 38-yard field goal, ultimately the difference in the game.

Del Oro quarterback Stone Smartt finished 11 of 20 for 125 yards. He hit Mason Hurst five times for 84 yards.

“I’m beyond excited for our team,” Smartt said afterward. “We are just grinding, man. I love this team. It’s real, lot of emotions.”

Del Oro’s defense managed to stifle a Camarillo offense that had averaged over 50 points a game on a dynamic road to the state championships. Pablo Miller had an enormous tackle for loss to stop Camarillo on fourth down while Ray Thomas, John Spencer and Roddy Hamilton recorded sacks. Hurst had an interception in Del Oro’s own end zone.

Coach Casey Taylor’s staff could not have had the Golden Eagles more prepared.

“Our guys fought really hard, especially the last seven, eight weeks,” Taylor said. “It’s just a culmination of a lot of hard work and just finishing the way we did — it wasn’t easy.

“The defense played great and Cam Davis had a hell of a game. I am real proud of the staff, real proud of the players. Just can’t say enough about their effort.”

The state championship trophy says it all.