SATURDAY PREVIEW: RANCHO COTATE TAKES ON DIVISION 3 POWER
The games involving the local teams on Saturday should be pretty good.
Rancho Cotate (9-3) is heading south to meet Division 3 power Marin Catholic (9-3).
Meanwhile St. Helena is heading north to meet St. Bernard Catholic, where both teams go into the game 11-1.
DIVISION 2 (Both games Friday at 7 pm)
No. 5 Casa Grande (6-6) at No. 1 Clayton Valley (12-0)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Clayton Valley by 38
No. 11 Pinole Valley (6-6) at No. 2 Concord
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Concord by 35
NCS DIVISION 3 SEMI-FINAL
No. 4 Analy (11-1) at No. 1 Campolindo (12-0)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Campolindo by 20
No. 7 Rancho Cotate (9-3) at No. 3 Marin Catholic (9-3)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Marin Catholic by 5
Division Notes: KSRO 1350 AM-103.5 FM will broadcast both games…
The game between Rancho Cotate and Marin Catholic is between two teams that are used to being in the North Coast Section Championship.
Since 2000, Rancho Cotate is tied with Montgomery for the most appearances by a local team in the NCS title games with six. Cardinal Newman is third with five. A lot of those were when the Section titles for the East Bay and the Redwood Empire were split.
Still under the combined system, Rancho Cotate has made the title game two of the last four seasons.
Meanwhile Marin Catholic has been to four of the last five title games.
So the first time that they are in the same division, of course, they are meeting for a shot to move on to the section championship game.
Like Rancho Cotate, Marin Catholic tied for its league championship, which is the Marin County League. They went 6-1 in league play, the loss is the Wildcasts first league loss since 2008. The loss was a kind of game you just don’t see much more of in football these days, a 3-0 loss to Justin Siena. Marin Catholic had 11 players suspended for that game for reasons that weren’t reported. Apparently none of the 11 players were what you would call key players.
They are full strength now and led by quarterback Darius James Peterson, who is a double threat passing and rushing. If he gains 69 yards he will be a 1,000 yard passing and rushing guy. He has thrown 18 touchdown passes and has rushed for 17 more. When he passes, he spreads the ball around, having hit four receivers with at least 200 yards.
That 3-0 game was not the routine for the Marin Catholic offense, which is averaging over 36 points a game. Since that game they have hit the 40 point mark in every game, including a 48-9 win over Alhambra last week in the second round of the playoffs. Earlier this season, way earlier, Alhambra defeated Rancho Cotate 47-35.
With the kind of offensive numbers these two teams have put up this season there should be some points scored on Saturday. The defensive side of the ball favors Marin Catholic. They are giving up an average of ten points a game. Since the third game of the season the most they have given up is 14 points.
Both teams lost their first two games and have only one loss since.
In the Division power rankings, which are updated each week, Rancho Cotate is at No. 2 and Marin Catholic at No. 4.
Don’t get too wrapped up in this being a No. 7 and No. 3 game in the seedings. When the seedings came out most thought Marin Catholic was a little high and Rancho Cotate was a little low.
They are now where most thought they would be.
DIVISION 5 (Both games Saturday at 1 pm)
No. 3 St. Helena (11-1) at No. 2 St. Bernard Catholic (11-1)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: St. Bernard Catholic by 1
No. 5 Stellar Prep (9-3) at No. 1 Salesian (9-2)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Salesian by 26
St. Helena has the long trip up north to meet St. Bernard Catholic, who is coached by former Piner Head Coach Matt Tomlin.
The Saints better bring their pass defense;
The Crusaders have passed for over 5,000 yards this season and have rushed for 1,300.
Senior quarterback Noah Davis has thrown for over 4,500 yards on the season and 51 touchdown passes. Last week he threw for 282 yards. That was only the second game since the game 2 of the season he didn’t throw for at least 300.
Davis has hit the 400 yard mark in the three games, including going for 614 vs. McKinleyville and 554 against Ferndale two weeks ago in the first round of the playoffs. In eight games he has thrown at least four touchdown passes, including an eight touchdown game against McKinleyville.
Davis spreads the ball around with four receivers who have at least 800 yards and three of them with at least ten touchdowns. Sophomore Jack Rice is the leader with nearly 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns.
St. Helena has seen an offense like this before. That was Fort Bragg and that was a 35-20 loss, its only loss of the season. Fort Bragg’s Kaylor Sullivan, who passed for over 3,000 yards before an injury cut his season three games short, threw for 343 and two scores in the win over St. Helena.
There should be some scoring in this game. Both teams are averaging over 30 points a game. St. Bernard Catholic is averaging nearly 40.
St. Bernard Catholic’s only loss was 35-20 to Justin Siena. Since that loss they have won ten straight.
This is the third straight season St. Helena has won at least one playoff game. Only once did they win the second game to get them to the semi-finals and that was two years ago in which they lost to San Marin 32-26.
Way back in 1976, these two schools met in the Class A championship game with St. Bernard Catholic taking a 21-14 win. That is St. Bernard Catholic’s only section championship in school history. St. Helena got its only section title the next year.
REST OF SCHEDULE NOT INVOLVING LOCAL TEAMS
No. 4 California (9-3) at No. 1 De La Salle (11-0)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: De La Salle by 41
No. 3 Pittsburg (9-2) at No. 2 Foothill (9-2)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Foothill by 2
FRIDAY 7 PM
No. 3 Justin-Siena (9-3) at No. 2 Piedmont (12-0)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Justin Siena by 1
SATURDAY 1 PM
No. 4 San Marin (9-3) at No. 1 St. Mary’s (10-1)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: St. Mary’s by 18
NOR CAL PLAYOFFS—ROUND TWO
No. 4 Sonoma Valley (29-3) at No. 1 Valley Christian (San Jose) (25-12)
The winner will be two wins from a state championship.
Good luck Sonoma Valley.
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