, Graves passed for three touchdowns and ran for three, raising his state-record total to 85 touchdowns this season to highlight Folsom's 48-20 victory over Gardena Serra in the CIF state championship Division II bowl game Saturday.
Graves broke the state record of 76 touchdowns passing and running set last year by San Diego Mission Bay's Dillon Baxter, now at USC
. His three touchdown passes gave him 62, one short of tying the state season record.
But his most startling play was a backflip of the football to avoid a sack in the second quarter. On most occasions, a referee seeing a quarterback backflip the ball for an incompletion would call intentional grounding. Graves was too convincing and too tricky, and avoiding the sack set up a go-ahead touchdown.
Although Graves was the facilitator Saturday, he had plenty of help in handing Serra (14-1) its first defeat since 2008. Tyler Trosin caught touchdown passes of eight, 42 and 27 yards, and Jordan Richards returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown.
Folsom (14-1) led, 21-20, at the outset of the fourth quarter, then broke open the game by scoring three touchdowns in 28 seconds.
After Graves scored on a one-yard run, the Bulldogs recovered the ensuing kickoff. Then Graves connected with Trosin for 27 yards, and Richards followed with his interception return.
It gave Northern California teams at least three bowl victories this weekend, something that hadn't happened in the five-year history of the CIF bowls. The weather appeared to be a factor, with Southern California teams looking lost and uncomfortable.
"We try not to let the weather stop us," said Graves, who rushed for 83 yards and completed 11 of 30 passes for 214 yards.
There was a scene reminiscent of Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers
, where workers go up and down the field trying to clear snow. The difference at the Home Depot Center was they were trying to push puddles of water to the sidelines with squeegees.
Serra thought it had a strategy, showing up with three-quarter-inch cleats, but Richardson alerted officials that the shoes were illegal, and the Cavaliers were forced to change to half-inch cleats, delaying the start of the game by 10 minutes.
Folsom scored touchdowns on two of its first six plays to take a 14-0 lead.
Serra turned to its dynamic duo of Marqise Lee and George Farmer to get back into the game.
First, Lee broke several tackles en route to a 25-yard touchdown catch. And Farmer delivered a 66-yard scoring reception, using his speed to run away from defenders.
Richard's 16-yard run gave the Cavaliers a 20-14 lead. But Graves rallied Folsom, picking up a first down with a fourth-down scramble and later scoring on a two-yard run for a 21-20 lead.
Serra failed to convert on a 22-yard field-goal attempt as time expired to end the half.
"In the second half, we had a lot of opportunities and turned the ball over too much and didn't make the plays when we had to," Coach Scott Altenberg said.