FOOTBALL PREVIEW: TWO WEEKS TO GO IN THE REGULAR SEASON
With two weeks to go in the regular season one race is decided, another could be wrapped up this week and the other two, although they could be wrapped, appear to be heading into the last week before the title is decided.
After that will be the North Coast Playoffs begin.
While you are following the end of the local league races, keep an eye on these games that will play a factor when the NCS Seedings come out on Sunday November 10th.
Friday—Clayton Valley at Northgate
Who will it be, Clayton Valley or Casa Grande No. 1 seed?
Northgate is also in Division 2 and is ranked No. 5 in the Power Rankings which is one spot behind Montgomery.
So this game should help one local team.
Cal Preps Projection says Clayton Valley by 16
Saturday—Justin-Siena at San Marin
There is a huge difference in the Division 4 power ranking number between No. 1 San Marin and No. 2 Fortuna. Only one division has a bigger difference between No. 1 and No. 2 and that is Division 1 where De LaSalle is No. 1.
Justin-Siena is No. 3, St. Helena No. 4 and Healdsburg No. 5. There isn’t much of a difference between those three teams.
San Marin ends the regular season against Marin Catholic. That area has been building up to the game as the league championship for some time and a loss to them probably wouldn’t cost them a No. 1 seed. A loss to both might.
Cal Preps Projection says San Marin by 19
PLAYOFF FEVER BEGINS
The NCS fall playoffs season begins next week with soccer. The announcement of the brackets will be on Sunday.
Football and Volleyball pick the brackets on Sunday November 10th.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Gunner Mefferd…Rancho Cotate…It has been an on and off season for the sophomore, but if last Friday is any indication, watch out. Mefferd was 12 of 19 for 213 and tied a school record with five touchdown passes. Rancho Cotate defeated Maria Carrillo 42-28.
DEFINITIONS YOU SHOULD KNOW AS YOU READ ON
LEAGUE CHAMPION: This is for the NCS playoffs. A team that has clinched a tie and has the tie-breaker is league champion. Analy is an example of that in the SCL. YSN has declared them league champion, because they have a one game lead with one league game to go and the tie-breaker advantage over second place Sonoma Valley.
There is only one league champion for NCS playoff consideration.
CHAMPIONSHIP FLAG: Any team that ties for first whether they win the tie-breaker or not. If you have an even number of teams all of them could finish in a first place tie. They would all have to finish .500 which isn’t very likely.
NORTH BAY LEAGUE
Windsor (4-4, 2-3) at No. 1 Casa Grande (8-0, 5-0)
Cal Preps Projection: Casa Grande by 23
No. 3 Montgomery (7-1, 4-1) at Maria Carrillo (3-5, 2-3)
Cal Preps Projection: Montgomery by 13
No. 9 Rancho Cotate (5-3, 3-2) at No. 4 Cardinal Newman (6-2, 4-1)
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Cal Preps Projection: Cardinal Newman by 14
Santa Rosa (2-6, 0-5) at Ukiah (2-6, 0-5)
Cal Preps Projection: Santa Rosa by 7
The North Bay League schedule makers should pat themselves on the back.
Three of the four games have league championship or NCS playoffs ramifications. Two of them have teams who have work to do to qualify for the NCS playoffs and can play spoiler at the same time when it comes to the League Championship.
The only game that doesn’t has its own little drama. That is Santa Rosa and Ukiah, who after back to back weeks of taking turns of scaring the heck out of Montgomery, each try to get league win number one.
Casa Grande, Cardinal Newman and Montgomery still have league championship chances.
It is a little bit ironic that Casa Grande can clinch a tie for its first NBL championship against Windsor, the other team that came with them from the Sonoma County League in the realignment two years ago. The two teams have had a few wars over the years.
Casa Grande can wrap up the league championship with a win and a Cardinal Newman loss.
Windsor needs one win to become eligible for the Section Playoffs. The Jaguars end the season with a home game against Montgomery.
Montgomery and Maria Carrillo is in the category of having both league championship and NCS playoff implications.
Montgomery needs more help than they are probably going to get to become league champion. For that to happen they need to go win its last two and Casa Grande lose its last two. They could still get the championship flag if they win out and Casa Grande loses one. Montgomery cannot be league champion if they end up tied with Casa Grande.
For Maria Carrillo it is all about the playoffs. They need to win out to become eligible. They end the season with a trip to Ukiah.
A win by Cardinal Newman would bring the drama of the NBL championship to the final week, when they host Casa Grande.
Casa Grande wins the three way tie-breaker because of numbers drawn at the beginning of the season. If Cardinal Newman wins its last two games, the worst they would get out the deal is the championship flag.
Rancho Cotate is already playoff eligible and unless something really weird happens will get it. The weird would be a brain lock at the NCS headquarters when they are picking the teams.
That doesn’t mean Rancho Cotate doesn’t need wins. In the power rankings, they are No. 8 in Division 2, which is the lowest seeding you can be to host a first round game. That might not even work in this case. The first round matchup is No. 8 vs. No. 9 and No. 9 at the moment is Washington of Fremont, who is in first place in its league race. A league champion would get home field advantage over a non-league champion in the first round regardless of the higher seeding.
SONOMA COUNTY LEAGUE
Petaluma (4-4, 2-2) at No. 2 Analy (8-1, 5-0)
Cal Preps Projection: Analy by 38
Elsie Allen (1-7, 0-4) at No. 7 Sonoma Valley (6-2, 3-1)
Cal Preps Projection: Sonoma Valley by 45
El Molino (2-6, 1-3) at Piner (3-5, 1-3)
Cal Preps Projection: Piner by 34
Analy has clinched the league championship and can be the only team for the second straight season to get a championship flag with a win over Petaluma. This ends the regular season for Analy who for the second straight year has its bye set up the week the regular season ends for most teams which means they will have two weeks between this game and round one.
It should be a special senior night for Analy as they celebrate the class of 2013 which maybe the best football class in school history.
Of course they would be hoping to say that a year from now also.
Petaluma needs one win to become eligible for the playoffs. They need wins period to make sure they get in and if they do to strengthen their seeding.
The Trojans are No. 18 in the Division 3 power rankings with sixteen teams getting in. Not all the teams ahead of them will be eligible. If they do get in they will probably be meeting one of the Division 3 monsters in the first round.
Petaluma ends the regular season with a home game against Sonoma Valley.
Speaking of Sonoma Valley, they are eligible for the Division 3 playoffs and should get in. They are No. 10 in the power rankings and if they could win out, they might host a first round game. At the very least they would avoid a first round game against one of those monsters.
Coming off the disappointing 19-18 loss to Healdsburg, Piner still has playoffs shot needing to win its last two games. After its last home game against El Molino this week, they are at Elsie Allen next week.
Piner has made a remarkable turnaround the last two years, but if wasn’t for so many near misses it could have been much more. The loss to Healdsburg was the fifth game they have lost by three points or less in the last two seasons. Three of those by one point. They have lost the last two games by a combined three points.
Clear Lake (5-3, 3-2) at No. 5 Middletown (7-1, 5-0)
Cal Preps Projection: Middletown by 41
St. Helena (6-2, 4-1) at Willits (0-8, 0-5)
Cal Preps Projection: St. Helena by 62
Cloverdale (3-5, 3-2) at Fort Bragg (4-4, 3-2)
Cal Preps Projection: Fort Bragg by 3
Lower Lake (3-5, 1-4) at Kelseyville (4-4, 1-4)
Cal Preps Projection: Kelseyville by 23
Middletown appeal of the opening game has been denied so the loss to Salesian stands. So finally, unless something else comes up, that is behind them.
Now they can get down to business of the NCL I league championship, which they will cinch with a win over Clear Lake.
Despite the forfeit loss, Middletown is the front runner for the No. 1 seed in the NCS Division 5 playoffs.
St. Helena, Clear Lake and Fort Bragg have qualified for the playoffs.
Cloverdale and Kelseyville needs one win to qualify, Lower Lake needs two.
This is a good time to note, qualify doesn’t mean make it. There will be few teams in the NCL I world that will qualify and not get invited.
That Cloverdale is on the list of having a chance to qualify makes it a successful season for them. Over the last three seasons they were a combined 2-27-1. This season they are 3-5 and 3-2 in league play. Getting that last win won’t be easy. They end the season with road games at Fort Bragg and St. Helena.
NCL II/BAY FOOTBALL
Tomales (5-3, 2-2) at No. 6 Calistoga (7-0, 4-0)
Cal Preps Projection: Calistoga by 18
Upper Lake (0-7, 0-4) at St. Vincent (5-2, 3-1)
Cal Preps Projection: St. Vincent by 62
CSD Fremont (4-4, 2-3) at Emery (5-3, 2-2)
Cal Prep Projection: Emery by 1
Stellar Prep (2-6) at Livermore Prep (1-7)
This league race is set up in some ways like the NBL, although this one looks like in will have a championship game, no matter what Calistoga does this week.
It would be shocking upset in St. Vincent loses to Upper Lake. That would rank as one of the biggest upset ever in this part of the world. If the upset doesn’t happen Gary Galloway will get his 200th win as head coach at St. Vincent.
St. Vincent ends the regular season with a home game against Calistoga which looks like it will be for the League Championship.
Calistoga is coming into the toughest part of its schedule. So far this season they have met one team over .500. They end the season with Tomales and St. Vincent who are both over that mark.
The Division 5 playoffs should be very competitive. Middletown is the favorite and will probably be the No.1 seed. Calistoga is No. 4 in the power rankings.
NO. 10 SRJC (5-2, 1-1) AT De Anza (3-4, 0-2)
Saturday 1 pm—KBBF 89.1 FM
SRJC is coming off its first league win, which was against one of the two teams under .500 in the Nor Cal League. They now meet the other.
After a 3-0 start, DeAnza has lost four straight. The first three were by a combined 17 points before they lost to No. 1 Butte 52-21 last week.
SRJC is 3-0 in games that David Sowards has started. Sowards missed the most of five games with a separated shoulder. In his first full game back last week he went 20 of 36 for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
The league headline game is on Saturday between No. 4 San Mateo and No. 1 Butte. Both teams are 7-0 overall and 2-0 in league.
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