OAKLAND -- After storming through the Oakland Athletic League undefeated, the McClymonds High football team is back in familiar territory -- playing in the Silver Bowl for the Oakland Section championship.
The Warriors will be looking for their fourth straight Silver Bowl title when they take on Oakland High on Friday at 1 p.m. at Laney College.
For the second consecutive season, Mack will have a lot more on the line than just being crowned Silver Bowl champion. With a victory over the Wildcats, the Warriors will put themselves in prime position for another spot in the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV North Regional championship game.
The Warriors (9-2) played in the North Regional final a year ago, falling to Central Catholic-Modesto 42-12.
But before they can think about a potential rematch with the Sac-Joaquin Section power, the Warriors must face a much-improved Oakland squad that they beat 32-10 on Nov. 9. A win Friday would make McClymonds eligible to be selected for the Division IV North Regional title game Dec. 13, possibly against Central Catholic.
"They are a very different team than the team we played three weeks ago," McClymonds coach Michael Peters said of Oakland. "Watching them on film this week, they seem to be playing with a lot of confidence right now."
The game marks the first time since 1994 that the Wildcats have advanced to the Silver Bowl, and they will be looking for their first Silver Bowl victory since a 27-14 win over Skyline in 1993.
Behind a stellar performance from quarterback Kesomi Mafi, Oakland (4-7) knocked off Skyline 24-6 in the section semifinals last week. Mafi ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns, and he also completed 10 of 16 passes for 128 yards.
Oakland will need a strong performance by its defense, as the Wildcats have given up just eight points a game in four wins but have allowed an average of 34 points in their seven losses.
Defensively, McClymonds made adjustments since a 47-40 loss to Menlo on Oct. 4. In their last six games, the Warriors have allowed just 30 points.
"We moved some guys around between the linebacker and safety positions, and the unit has really stepped it up and responded," Peters said.
Another surprise for the Warriors has been the play of senior quarterback Emoni Fountain. In last week's 48-6 section win over Oakland Tech, Fountain threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns and added 54 yards and two scores on the ground.
"(Emoni) has shown so much improvement and has done a tremendous job running our offense," Peters said of the first-year player.