Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic quarterback Jared Goff has just missed winning a CIF-NCS title the last two years, but Goff is hoping his last shot doesn’t just win him an NCS title, but also a chance at the state title.
Goff was a freshman when the Wildcats won the CIF-NCS title in 2009 and lost a 24-20 heartbreaker in the CIF State D-III title game to a Gardena (Calif.) Serra squad that featured Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.
When he took over the starting reins, he figured they would have much of the same success, but twice, they fell short of a CIF-NCS title, losing in the semifinals in 2010 and in the finals in 2011, a loss that also knocked them out of the state title hunt.
Back for one final attempt at winning a section championship and another shot at a state title, Goff has made the Wildcats his focus this year.
And that was a big reason why the four-star picked Cal during the spring- he didn’t want to worry about recruiting when he knew where he wanted to go and when he knew what his biggest motivation would be this season.
“It was a big relief coming into the season, knowing where you’re going,” said Goff. “And coming into the school year, knowing I’m leaving in January, just to get this semester done and I can just focus on school and winning with my team. I don’t have to worry about recruiting and I can just focus on my team. I only have one coach a week I have to talk to, and it’s Coach (Jeff) Tedford. I had a good feeling things would turn around and he’s really optimistic and so am I.”
Since a Week Two loss to Vacaville, Marin Catholic has outscored their opponents 222-39, and are currently projected by GoldenStatePreps.com to represent the North in the CIF State D-III bowl game. But Goff insists he’s not looking that far down the line.
“I feel like the season has been going really well,” said Goff. “We had that one loss early, but we played so well, it didn’t feel like a loss because they’re a bigger school in a bigger class than us. Right now, though, our motto is just to finish. Every day, every practice, we need to execute and take it one game at a time. We need to win each game, one at a time and not worry about the state game. Me personally, I’d love to win a state championship, but I want to win the section title because we lost the last two years when we came close.”
Over the summer, Goff was selected to the Elite 11, an experience he said was unlike anything he’s gotten to do in football.
“I learned so much, so many little things, like footwork, looking off receivers, reading defenses and coverages,” said Goff. “I was so happy I was able to be a part of it. Working out with guys like Max Browne, Troy Williams and Josh Dobbs, we’ll all be in the Pac-12 together. I still talk to Max from time to time and I talk with Johnny Stanton and Cooper Bateman. It’s been great to form those friendships.”
Goff is another in an increasingly loaded group of passers from Northern California.
“Everyone focuses on quarterbacks in Southern California, but we feel like it’s our job to keep Northern California on the map. The best two quarterbacks in the NFL are from Northern California in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.” said Goff. “And we have another good group coming soon, the next class of juniors is strong as well.”
With Zach Maynard graduating after this season, and a handful of quarterbacks already in Berkeley, including two NorCal natives in Kyle Boehm and Zach Kline, Goff will get there in time for spring practice to make a pitch for the vacated job.
“You always want to go there and compete,” said Goff. “I don’t know how much of a chance at the starting job I’ll have next year but I just want to be able to compete for it. I’m looking forward to graduating early and getting adjusted to the new lifestyle and stuff like that.”