NEAT PACKAGE: WILD NIGHT SENDS NBL RACE INTO FINAL WEEK OF REGULAR SEASON
The North Bay League has its dramatic finish set up after a night of dramatics that saw two proud champions and a running back from a school that knows a bit about being champions has a game for the ages.
Also Analy is pushed as hard as it has been in SCL play this season and still has a one sided win to finish its undefeated league season, Middletown is NCL I champions and the NCL II/Bay League championship game is all but set in a record setting night for several running backs.
Before getting to the recap portion of this neat package we need to fix a mistake.
In the weekend preview it was report that Clayton Valley was meeting Northgate in a key Diablo Valley League game and a key game for the Division 2 seedings. Everything that was said in the preview about the importance of the game was mostly true, except for one thing, the opponent.
The Northgate game is next week. Last night Clayton Valley met Concord, which had the same amount riding on it as if they were playing Northgate. That turned out to be a game for the ages itself, as Clayton Valley edged Concord 49-48.
Clayton Valley, the defending division 2 champions, is in what is now a three way battle for the No. 1 seed with Casa Grande and Miramonte.
Now back to the regular scheduled neat package.
NORTH BAY LEAGUE
No. 1 Casa Grande 42 Windsor 28
No. 3 Montgomery 39 Maria Carrillo 30
No. 4 Cardinal Newman 42 No. 9 Rancho Cotate 41
Ukiah 36 Santa Rosa 12
The race for the league championship stays the way it was when the night began, but to sum it up that neatly would take away from a glorious night in the NBL in which the three teams in the race for the league title took teams best shot and remained standing.
Casa Grande was never tied in its game with Windsor, but every time they took what look like a commanding lead, Windsor fought back. It was a see-saw game with Casa Grande having a 14 or seven point lead all the way until the Gauchos finally put the game away with three minutes left when they took a 42-21 lead.
The pattern of the game was set six minutes in on two fronts. John Porchivina scored on runs of 36 and 83 to give Casa Grande a 14-0 lead, the first of four 14 point leads that Windsor would cut to seven.
That also started a night for Porchivina, who went for a school record 301 yards and another touchdown in the fourth quarter. The record he broke stood for a little over ten years belonging to Joe Trombetta since September 19th, 2003 when he went for 287 in a 48-31 win over Maria Carrillo.
Casa Grande went over the 500 yard mark for the first time this season. JuJuan Lawson went 12 of 14 for 160 yards and a touchdown.
Daniel Greisen had a three sack game for the second time this season. He has twelve on the season.
Porcivina is now over 1,000 yards for the season and is tied with Lawson for team high for touchdowns with ten.
It appeared as the night went on that Casa Grande, who is already having a record season with a school first 9-0 record, was going to wrap up the NBL championship.
The Montgomery-Maria Carrillo game had the same kind of pattern as the Casa Grande-Windsor game which includes a big night by a running back.
After two lead changes early, Montgomery kept getting two score leads only to see Maria Carrillo come back until late.
The big night belonged to Logan Francavilla who had gone over the 1,000 yard mark before the game began. He rushed for 198 yards and four touchdowns which are both season highs. He is now over the 1,200 yard mark for the season and has scored twenty one touchdowns. His third touchdown came from 39 yards out with 3:27 left to give Montgomery a 39-22 lead and put things away.
Casa Grande was still this close to wrapping up the league championship but Cardinal Newman survived a crazy game against Rancho Cotate.
The other two games had basically the same pattern. This game’s pattern was depending on the way the wind was blowing on a night there was no wind. Each quarter had its own personality and if it wasn’t for a bad snap on an extra point with 2:46 left they maybe still playing. The missed conversion was the first one of the long night after the two teams combined to make 13 straight.
The first quarter belonged to Rancho Cotate as they took a 21-0 lead. The Cougars had a 14-0 lead after running three offensive plays not quite three minutes into the game.
In those first three minutes Carlos Franco was already over the 100 yard mark on his way to a 204 yard night. On the second play from scrimmage he went 72 yards for a score. Then after an interception by Joshua Guerra that ended Cardinal Newman’s first possession, Franco went 58 yards on the next play and just like that it was 14-0.
Rancho Cotate made it 21-0 on a 3 yard run by Gunner Mefferd and then got the second of three interceptions on the night and all signs were pointing to a shocking result.
But Cardinal Newman got its footing just in the nick of time. The offense became unstoppable for most of the rest of the way. In the second quarter they ran a no huddle fast break offense that had Rancho Cotate back pedaling.
Starting quarterback Keaton Dunsford, despite throwing three early interceptions, had one of his best games. In the second quarter he rushed for two touchdowns and when Craig Lucey went in from two yards out late in the second quarter it was a 21-21 game. That was part of a 167 yard rushing night and just half of a fabulous night by the Lucey brothers.
The other one, Kevin, caught 11 balls for 108 yards, rushed for two touchdowns and had a kickoff return for a score called back by a penalty, which he would end the drive with one of his touchdowns that gave Cardinal Newman what seemed to be a safe 42-28 lead with eight minutes left.
But if 21-0 wasn’t safe for Rancho Cotate, 42-28 wasn’t safe for Cardinal Newman. It took Rancho Cotate under a minute and a half to cut it to 42-35 lead. The big play was a 60 yard pass play to the sophomore combination of Gunner Mefferd and Chris Taylor-Yamanoha. Taylor-Yamanoha, who was all over the field all night, made a remarkable one handed catch down the sideline and then broke free and ran it all the way down to the three yard line. Taylor-Yamanoha also had an interception and a 35 yard punt return in the big first quarter.
But as we said Cardinal Newman was unstoppable on offense, until they stopped themselves. After driving for two first downs and eating up half of the six and half minutes left, they fumbled the ball away.
That is when Franco got in the act again. He had back to back runs of 15 and 25 yards. The 15 yard run also had a face mask penalty and gave Rancho Cotate the ball at the five. Tanoa Peleti scored from one yard out and it was 42-41.
Next was the bad snap on the extra point. On a 3rd and 5, Cardinal Newman got the one first down it needed on a 24 yard run by Zach Stoltz that put things away.
So going into the last week of the season Casa Grande has a one game lead over both Cardinal Newman and Montgomery. Next week Casa Grande is at Cardinal Newman, while Montgomery travels to Windsor.
This is a good time for a reminder of something posted in the preview a couple of definitions just in case you missed. This is the shorten version.
LEAGUE CHAMPION…There is only one. If there is a tie for the top spot the tie-breaker decides thing.
CHAMPIONSHIP FLAG…Any team that ties for first place.
The definitions’s apply in the NCL World and when stating Montgomery has been eliminated from winning a league championship, but can still win a Championship Flag with a win and a Casa Grande loss. That would be a three way tie and Casa Grande wins the league championship because of the numbers drawn at the beginning of the season.
This means for Cardinal Newman to win the league championship, they not only would have to win but hope Montgomery losses at Windsor.
As far as playoffs go, Windsor needs the win against Montgomery to qualify and the loss to Montgomery eliminates Maria Carrillo.
In the other NBL game Ukiah snapped a 12 game NBL losing streak with its win over Santa Rosa. Cheyenne Noda and Koa Sibley combined for 231 yards rushing. Chandler Rickel returned the second half kickoff 94 yards for the game’s last score. He also caught a 58 yard touchdown for Noda.
Ukiah’s last league win was a victory over Piner which was the last game of the 2011 League Season.
SONOMA COUNTY LEAGUE
No. 2 Analy 42 Petaluma 13
No. 7 Sonoma Valley 55 Elsie Allen 6
El Molino (2-6, 1-3) at Piner (3-5, 1-3)
Cal Preps Projection: Piner by 34
This was a close won for Analy standards go. The lead was 28-13 in the third quarter before pulling away from Petaluma.
Ja’ Narrick James rushed for 173 yards and the last four touchdowns Analy scored. His 80 yard run gave Analy a 21-10 halftime lead.
Kerr Johnson went 90 yards to start the scoring.
Analy ends the regular season 9-1 and a perfect 6-0 in league play. The Tigers will have a bye before the playoffs start in two weeks.
Petaluma needs to defeat Sonoma Valley to be eligible for the Division 3 playoffs.
Sonoma Valley continues its fine season with a win over Elsie Allen. Dan Deely threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two mores as the Dragons are now 7-2 on the season. It is the second game that Deely has thrown three touchdown passes and gives him 15 for the season.
Piner host El Molino today and both needs to win its last two games to be eligible for the NCS playoffs.
No. 5 Middletown 38 Clear Lake 6
St. Helena 60 Willits 0
Kelseyville 59 Lower Lake 29
Cloverdale 42 Fort Bragg 27
Middletown clinches the league title with the win over Clear Lake. Middletown has a one game lead over St. Helena with one to go and beat them head to head so they have the tie-breaker.
Middletown running back Austin Benson rushed for a school record 256 yards and four touchdowns. Benson had three of his touchdowns in the third quarter as they pulled away from a 16-6 halftime lead.
Besides the win by Middletown, the biggest league win of the night belonged to Cloverdale who went on the road to defeat Fort Bragg.
Josh Holden threw two touchdown pass and ran another one in. Luke Bernardi added two scores for the Eagles who raise its record to 4-5.
NCL II/Bay League
No. 6 Calistoga 52 Tomales 16
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
Dylan Alvarado rushed for 166 yards to help Calistoga past Tomales. The big night gives hit 1,690 yards on the season which is a Calistoga record.
Unless there is a major upset today, Calistoga will travel to St. Vincent next Saturday in what would be the NCL II/Bay League Championship game.
NO. 10 SRJC (5-2, 1-1) AT De Anza (3-4, 0-2)
Saturday 1 pm—KBBF 89.1 FM
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