Welcome to the Bay Area News Group (Mercury News & East Bay Times) roundup of the best action in high school football from the second weekend of the CCS and NCS playoffs. Check back every Saturday for scores, highlights and top performers from the weekend’s games, updated throughout the day.

Central Coast Section

Division I

No. 1 St. Francis 49, No. 5 Menlo-Atherton 28: St. Francis, playing on its home field in Mountain View, overcame a 21-7 first-half deficit to improve to 11-0 and advance to the Division I final against Serra on Friday night at Westmont High. Vytas Mazeika has the complete recap here.

No. 2 Serra 41, No. 3 Bellarmine 0: Jabari Mann’s 30-yard reception on a fake field goal set up Serra’s first touchdown and his 5-yard return across the goal line on a blocked punt accounted for the Padres’ second touchdown as the home team rolled over Bellarmine to advance to the CCS Division I final. Darren Sabedra was in San Mateo and has the full report here.

Division II

No. 4 Menlo School 45, No. 1 San Benito 35: In a back-and-forth thriller in Hollister, Menlo remained undefeated when record-setting Sergio Beltran connected with Sam Scola from 30 yards out with 3:12 left to give the Knights a 38-35 lead. Menlo stopped San Benito on downs and added one more touchdown when Beltran scored on a 1-yard run as the Knights moved into the championship game next weekend against third-seeded Wilcox. Menlo trailed 14-10 at halftime, then outscored San Benito 21-14 in the third quarter and 14-7 in the fourth to return home with its 12th victory of the season. Beltran finished 35 of 43 passing for 368 yards and three touchdowns, which gives him 51 TD passes for the season. He set the Central Coast Section regular-season record for touchdown passes with 44. He now has the CCS season record, too. The 51 TD passes eclipses the previous record of 49, set by Terra Nova’s Anthony Gordon in 2013. Friday, Beltran also ran for three TDs. San Benito finished 9-2. — Darren Sabedra

No. 3 Wilcox 20, No. 7 St. Ignatius 13: Andrew Palacios’ 74-yard run in the fourth quarter broke a 13-13 tie and propelled the Chargers into the championship game against Menlo. Phil Jensen was in Santa Clara and has the details here.

Division III

No. 4 Christopher 36, No. 1 Leland 11: Christopher scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter to grab a 27-3 lead at halftime in an upset of top-seeded Leland. Turnovers and mistakes plagued the Chargers (9-3). “We were in the hole on almost every series,” Leland coach Kelly King Jr. said. “We came out flat. I can’t explain it.” Any hope of a comeback diminished when quarterback Nathan Wright was injured early in the second half. Mark Eby scored Leland’s only touchdown in the third quarter on a 5-yard run, and the two-point conversion made it 29-11. Christopher (7-5) countered with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to conclude the scoring. King said Leland was unable to contain Christopher tight end Cody Aloha, who is committed to Air Force. Leland scored in the first half on a 21-yard field goal by Cade Whitson. — Mike Lefkow

No. 3 Sacred Heart Cathedral 42, No. 7 Mountain View 14: Sacred Heart Cathedral lost its first five games this fall and finished the regular season with three victories. But one win was against Bellarmine and another was against St. Ignatius. In other words, the Irish’s 3-7 record heading into the Division III playoffs was misleading. Saturday night, playing at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, SHC built a 28-7 halftime lead and didn’t look back en route to defeating Mountain View in the semifinals. Ray-John Spears threw two touchdown passes, one from 66 yards out to RL Miller, the other from 57 yards out to Bruce Uperesa. Miller also scored on an 89-yard run and Uperesa ran one in from 33 yards out. Jerry Mixon had a 62-yard scoring run and Derek Reagans scored on a 5-yard run. SHC (5-7) will play No. 4 seed Christopher in the final next weekend. Mountain View finished 6-6. — Darren Sabedra

Division IV

No. 1 Homestead 36, No. 4 Santa Teresa 18: Derek Sheerer rushed for three touchdowns in the first half as host Homestead (7-5) advanced to a CCS championship game for the first time since 2010. The Mustangs scored all the points they would need in the first quarter, taking a 21-6 lead. Sheerer had touchdowns of one yard and 80 yards in that quarter and added a 76-yard run for a score in the second quarter. After tacking on two points in the third quarter on a safety, Homestead’s final touchdown was produced by Jonathan Hacker on a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter. Santa Teresa (7-5) cut Homestead’s lead to 7-6 in the first quarter on a 32-yard pass from Jayden Arevalo to Joshua Rahimi. But the Mustangs scored the next two touchdowns to take command. Santa Teresa’s other scores came on a 1-yard run by Arevalo in the second quarter and an Evan Smith 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. In 2010, Homestead lost the Division I title game 33-24 to Piedmont Hills. Homestead has never won a CCS football title. — Phil Jensen

No. 3 Sacred Heart Prep 42, No. 2 Hillsdale 14: SHP avenged a Week 4 loss to the Knights in resounding fashion, never attempting a pass after jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Gators ran only six plays in the first half, yet led 28-7 at intermission. SHP senior Zach Freire took the first hand-off 82 yards to the house and the Gators didn’t look back. Junior Andrew Latu brought the running clock into effect with five minutes left in the third quarter after finding the end zone from 20 yards outs. This is the eighth appearance in a CCS championship game for SHP (5-7), which most recently lost to Aptos, 35-34, in the 2018 Open Division III title game. — Vytas Mazeika 

Division V

No. 1 Aragon 48, No. 5 North Salinas 27: The Dons advanced to a CCS final for the first time since 1998 and for the fifth time in school history. Head coach Steve Sell was an assistant during championship campaigns in 1992 and ‘94, but this is his first trip to a title game while at the helm. Aragon led 28-7 at intermission, then traded scores for much of the second half before securing the victory. “Talking to my dad, who was at the game, he was, ‘It seemed you had that game under control,’” Sell said. “I was like, ‘I’m glad you thought so, because I certainly did not.’ It was a challenge for us because they were pretty explosive offensively and they really did a good job stopping the run. They didn’t stop it completely, but the yards did not come easy by any stretch.” Sell donned junior quarterback Dylan Daniel, who threw for roughly 200 yards and a pair of TDs, as his player of the game. Aragon (8-4) takes on No. 7 St. Francis-Watsonville (9-3) on Saturday at Westmont, with kickoff at 1 p.m. — Vytas Mazeika 

No. 7 St. Francis-Watsonville 56, No. 6 Los Altos 35: St. Francis used a 28-point third-quarter to take command against the host Eagles (8-4). Los Altos led 14-6 in the second quarter on scoring runs by Min Park and Greg Schumann, and 28-21 at halftime after a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD by Zach Fagin and a 17-yard scoring pass from sophomore Jimmy Flynn to Fagin right before the half. But St. Francis (9-3) produced three unanswered touchdowns to start the third quarter. A 29-yard touchdown pass from Flynn to Cole Rafferty brought Los Altos to within a touchdown at 42-35, but the Eagles were unable to get closer. Flynn threw for 243 yards, and Rafferty accounted for 127 of them on seven catches. He also had an interception in the fourth quarter. St. Francis rushed for 459 yards and eight touchdowns in the win. The Sharks will face No. 1 Aragon in the championship game at Westmont on Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. — Phil Jensen

North Coast Section

Open/Division I

No. 1 De La Salle 42, No. 2 Pittsburg 14: De La Salle, playing on its home field in Concord, won its 29th consecutive NCS championship behind two electrifying touchdown plays from Charles Greer. De La Salle is the section’s Open Division champion. Pittsburg will now play host to No. 3 seed Clayton Valley Charter for the Division I title on Friday night. Darren Sabedra has the full story from De La Salle’s win here.

No. 3 Clayton Valley 24, No. 5 California 21: There was no miracle finish for California as Clayton Valley, playing on its home field in Concord, held off the Grizzlies in the closing seconds to advance to the Division I championship game against Pittsburg. Mike Lefkow was in Concord and has the recap here.

Division II

No. 4 Campolindo 17, No. 1 San Ramon Valley 14: Campolindo, playing on the road in Danville, continued its comeback from early-season struggles, stunning top-seeded San Ramon Valley to advance to the Division II final next Saturday at Foothill. Jerry McDonald was in Danville and has the complete story here.

No. 3 Foothill 35, No. 2 Rancho Cotate 7: Foothill, playing on the road Saturday night in Rohnert Park, scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and never seized control on its way to a dominant semifinal victory over Rancho Cotate. Nick Walsh completed 9 of 16 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. But the story was Foothill’s defense, which finished with five sacks — two by Noah Lombardi — and yielded just 230 yards. Kenny Olson had five tackles, forced a fumble, and intercepted a pass. Gianni Addiego also had an interception. “They had been routinely scoring in bunches and we had good containment of their athletic QB and minimized the damage of their big RB (Ryan Kane, 6-4, 240) and their dynamic athlete (Sailasa Vadrawale),” Foothill coach Greg Haubner wrote in a text, adding that his playmakers in the secondary played really well. Chris Lawson, a freshman, broke up three passes. The Falcons had two running backs rush for more than 100 yards, sophomores Jackson Chandler and Samear Lattier. Foothill (10-2) will play host to Campolindo next Saturday night for the championship. Rancho Cotate finished 10-2. — Darren Sabedra

Division III

No. 3 Benicia 14, No. 2 Las Lomas 10: Sophomore linebacker Guardian Harper scooped up a fumble and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown with 3:03 left in a stunning turn of events. Fifty seconds earlier, Las Lomas (8-4) had taken a 10-7 lead on an 80-yard punt return by Emmanuel Karnley. Benicia (9-3) followed with a three-and-out, and Las Lomas had its opportunity to run out the clock and advance to the finals. Instead, the Knights put the ball on the ground, and Harper picked it up and was off to the races  “I’ve done this for a lot of years. This is a hard one to swallow,” Las Lomas coach Doug Longero said. “Kudos to them. They advance and we’re home for Thanksgiving.” Benicia visits Windsor next Friday for the D-III title. This was the fourth time Diablo Athletic League-Foothill rivals Benicia and Las Lomas have met since 2019. The visiting team is 4-0. The rainy weather dampened the offenses. Benicia had 208 yards of total offense, Las Lomas had 225. “We couldn’t throw the ball much (Friday) night,” Benicia coach Craig Holden said. “The field was soaked. All the scoring came in the second and fourth quarters. Benicia took a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard pass from quarterback Tyson Wallace to Tommy Turner. Later in the period, Nick Barrett booted a 21-yard field goal for Las Lomas to make it 7-3 at the half. That was all the scoring until the wild 3:53 of the final period. — Mike Lefkow

No. 1 Windsor 33, No. 4 El Cerrito 32: The Gauchos nearly climbed all the way back from a 33-7 deficit midway through the third quarter. El Cerrito scored on four straight possessions, three on touchdowns by Aaron Miles. The scoring spree began with Robert Freeman going 63 yards on a catch and run to make it 33-13. Then Miles took over. He took a tipped pass 67 yards to cut Windsor’s lead to 33-19, had a 43-yard TD run after the Gauchos recovered an onside kick, then added a 60-yard touchdown catch that made it 33-32 with about six minutes left. Despite the time remaining, the El Cerrito coaching staff went for the 2-point conversion and missed. Until then, the Gauchos were 2-for-3 on PATs but had failed on their previous 2-point conversion try. El Cerrito got the ball back one last time at its 45 with 3:55 left, but got stopped on a fourth-and-3. From there Windsor ran out the clock. El Cerrito finished the season 8-3. Windsor (10-1) will host Benicia on Friday at 7 p.m. for the D-III title. — Mike Lefkow

Division IV

No. 2 Cardinal Newman 44, No. 3 Tennyson 22: The dream of a perfect season for the Lancers came to an end on a cold and wet night in Santa Rosa. Tennyson, which finished 10-1 overall, kept it tight in the first half behind a 90-yard kickoff return to the house and a 28-yard rushing TD by Taeshaun Lyons, but Cardinal Newman (8-3) opened up a 31-14 lead at intermission. Cardinals QB Lucas Knechtle tossed a 60-yard TD to Zachary Kelly and also scrambled for a 12-yard score, while Santino Acevedo crossed the goal line from 8 and 3 yards out. Cardinal Newman will play the winner of No. 1 Marin Catholic and No. 4 Tamalpais in next week’s title game. — Vytas Mazeika 

Division V

No. 2 Del Norte 42, No. 6 Miramonte 13: Visiting Miramonte (6-5) fell behind 14-0 before scoring a touchdown, but Del Norte tacked on another score before the first quarter ended and led 34-13 at halftime. Miramonte quarterback Luke Duncan threw touchdown passes to Ben Murphy and Tyler Dutto in the first half. Del Norte improved to 10-1 and will visit top seed San Marin next Friday in the championship game. San Marin edged St. Bernard’s 26-25. — Phil Jensen 

Division VI

No. 1 Salesian 42, No. 4 Middletown 21: Salesian got some revenge on Saturday after Middletown won 28-14 three years ago in the NCS championship game. Devin Quinn rushed for two touchdowns and Noah Del Sol scored twice. Salesian (8-2) will host third-seeded Justin Siena next Saturday at 1 p.m. The game was tied 7-7 after one period, then Salesian went on a 35-0 run. All six touchdowns scored by Salesian came on the ground. Quarterback Nick Fontanilla had the other six-pointer. Coach Chad Nightengale was very pleased with his defense. “We played really well in the second quarter, and the defense was outstanding,” he said. — Mike Lefkow

Oakland Section

No. 1 McClymonds 54, No. 4 Oakland Tech 0: McClymonds advanced to the Silver Bowl for the 13th straight season by beating Oakland Tech in the Oakland Section semifinals. The Warriors (9-1) will play Skyline next Saturday, with the time and location to be announced. Quarterback Dreyan Paul threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more, and Michael Dansby caught five passes for 116 yards, He also took a 47-yard interception to the house. Dwayne McDougle had five receptions for 136 yards and a score, and Jay’Vion Cole scored a TD on a 65-yard punt return. Oakland Tech concluded a 5-5 season. — Mike Lefkow

No. 2 Skyline 38, No. 3 Castlemont 6: Skyline kicker Jose Perez had a perfect night for the Titans, going 5-for-5 on extra points and nailing a second-quarter field goal. Skyline (6-4) is going to the Silver Bowl for the third straight season. The Titans scored four of their five touchdowns on the ground, the one exception being a blocked punt for six. Lucas Gerbelot, Deonte Johnson, Devin Wysinger and Te’Jon Nalls each scored running touchdowns. Castlemont finished the season 3-6. — Mike Lefkow