Sierra Canyon wins its fifth Southern Section Championship


 WEST HILLS — The Sierra Canyon football team won its fifth Southern Section championship Friday night after an easy 35-7 victory against Chaminade to claim the Division 2 title.

 The Trailblazers won their fourth championship in the past five years and their second consecutive after winning the Div. 3 championship last year with a victory against Cajon.

 Trailing 7-3 in the second quarter, Sierra Canyon (13-1) took control when Chayden Peery connected with Donovan Williams for an 11-yard touchdown and three plays later D.J. Harvey returned a punt 78 yards for another touchdown.

 The scoring plays came just 1:37 apart and gave the Trailblazers a 20-7 lead. Sierra Canyon would never look back.

 Hunter Williams added two second half rushing touchdowns and Chaminade would not score again. Sierra Canyon ended the game with 32 unanswered points.

 Peery completed 11 of 17 passes for 164 yards. Harvery caught five passes for 91 yards. Williams finished with 55 yards receiving. All three players return next year.

 The running attack led to a balanced effort for the Trailblazers, who knocked off Santa Margarita, Vista Murrieta and Rancho Cucamonga to reach the final.

 Brendon Gamble, J.D. Sumlin, Williams, Jason Jones and Peery combined for 200 yards rushing.

 Chaminade’s only score came when Narbonne transfer Jaylen Henderson connected with freshman Ian Duarte on a 31-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter. The Eagles (7-6) had a difficult road to the championship. Chaminade blew an 18-point lead at Norco before scoring a touchdown with just seconds remaining for its first-round win, needed more heroics to beat Upland in overtime and advanced to the championship when No. 2 seed San Clemente was kicked out of the playoffs for using an ineligible player all year.

 Sierra Canyon’s last three championship have come in Divs. 4, 3 and 2; in 2016, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The Trailblazers won state championships in 2012 and 2016 while finishing runner-up to Liberty of Brentwood in 2018 at Cerritos College.

 Sierra Canyon now travels to La Mesa near San Diego to play Helix in the Div. 1-AA regional bow game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.