WALNUT, Calif. (KGET) — Shafter High School advanced to the CIF Division 5-A state football championship after defeating Walnut in the Southern California Regional Championship, 20-16.

Shafter will now be looking to win the school’s first ever state football championship next week.

The Generals known as the Cardiac Kids during this postseason needed to mount another comeback, but this time against Walnut High School.

Walnut opened scoring in the first quarter when quarterback Sal Quintanilla scored on a keeper from a yard out. Walnut led by 10 points in the second quarter, but Shafter scored a field goal just before halftime to make it 10-3.

In the third quarter, Shafter’s Chris Espinoza scored the first of two touchdowns to tie the game at 10. Espinoza’s second score put the Generals in the lead but Walnut kept it close.

Walnut’s Quintanilla connected with Lorenzo Lara for six points, but a missed extra point allowed Shafter to keep the lead 17-16 in the third quarter.

A field goal sealed the game for the Generals and they held on 20-16 to win the CIF Division 5-A Southern California Regional Championship.

“These kids, they have to make it interesting. They’re cardiac kids for a reason, but in the end, we scored more points than they did, and that’s all that matters,” coach Jerald Pierucci said.

“We’re tough-nosed people. We go to work every day, we grind every day, and to come down here and get a win in the way that we did, I think it’s just awesome.”

Division 5-A Southern California Regional Championship

Shafter 20 – Walnut 16, Final

The Generals will play Orland High School next week. The game will take place in Orland, a city about 100 miles northwest of Sacramento, on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.