De La Salle, El Cerrito and McClymonds all received good news when the California Interscholastic Federation announced its Northern California regional football pairings Sunday.
De La Salle (Open Division) and McClymonds (Division IV) earned repeat trips to next weekend's games while El Cerrito was picked for the Division III contest.
But Miramonte learned that its impressive playoff run was not enough to catapult it into the Division II game.
Regional winners move on to the state bowl games, scheduled for Dec. 20-21 at the StubHub Center in Carson.
Besides being selected to the premier game again, De La Salle (13-0) also got its wish to play closer to home. The four-time defending state champions draw Folsom (14-0) for the second straight year, but this time will play at Diablo Valley College at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. They played at Sacramento State last time with De La Salle prevailing 49-15.
McClymonds (10-2) and Central Catholic-Modesto (13-1) will hold their rematch at Lincoln High in Stockton on Friday. El Cerrito (12-2) faces Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton (12-1) at DeAnza High on Saturday in a regional-game debut for both programs. All games will start at 7:30 p.m.
Miramonte, however, was left out of the Division II contest in favor of Enterprise-Redding and Manteca in what the CIF's Mike Garrison called one of the toughest decisions of the day.
"That was a very in-depth discussion," Garrison said of the Division II matchups. "That was probably one of the longer discussions we had on the day. It was a challenge for our commissioners."
The Matadors (12-2) won the NCS Division II title Saturday night as the No. 3 seed, beating Clayton Valley Charter and Casa Grande-Petaluma in the final rounds.
Miramonte coach Jack Schram thought his team had a 50-50 shot at being selected due its superior strength of schedule, which included six league champions.
"I think (the committee) just looked at overall record," Schram said. "That part's disappointing, but it doesn't take away from a great season and what our team accomplished. We just would have loved to have an opportunity."
The Bay Area will play host to three games this year after all local teams were forced to travel for the inaugural year of the regional championships in 2012. The Open Division and Division I will be played at smaller community college stadiums rather than Sacramento State, which holds about 20,000 fans.
"What it came down to is we were very conservative last year because we had no idea what to expect from these games," said the CIF's Ron Nocetti.
The goal this year was to give the higher seeded team in each game the opportunity to host if it could provide a suitable venue.
DVC holds about 6,500 fans including standing room, but extra bleachers can be added to expand its capacity by a couple thousand more, Nocetti said. He also noted that the Spartans have hosted marquee games against national powers in the past at the venue.
Nocetti estimated that about 8,300 attended last year's Open Game.
Open: De La Salle (13-0) vs. Folsom (14-0) at Diablo Valley College, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Division I: Del Oro-Loomis (12-2) vs. Serra-San Mateo (11-2) at San Jose City College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Division II: Manteca (13-1) vs. Enterprise-Redding (12-0) at Lincoln HS-Stockton, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Division III: El Cerrito (12-2) vs. Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton (12-1) at DeAnza HS, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Division IV: McClymonds (10-2) vs. Central Catholic-Modesto (13-1) at Lincoln HS-Stockton, Friday, 7:30 p.m.