The Journey For Miramonte To The NCS Title Game
The first thing you should know about the Miramonte Matador football team is that just because the experts thought that Clayton Valley would be in this game, it isn’t a fluke that they are in the NCS Division 2 championship game against Casa Grande.
Miramonte is used to the NCS playoffs. There was a time around the beginning of the century that they had a dynasty going when they won five of seven NCS 2A East Bay Championships.
They were in the Division 3 playoffs the last five seasons and the last three have ended with one sided losses, two of those was to the section champions.
Maybe because of that, they applied to move to Division 2. Whatever the reason for the move, it has worked out as they go for the school’s first section championship since 2003.
Here is how they got to it.
August 31st…Marin Catholic 45 Miramonte 14
Talk about jumping into the schedule and a reminder why they wouldn’t miss Division 3. Miramonte led 14-10 at the half. Marin Catholic scored three third quarter touchdowns and pulled away.
September 6th…Miramonte 36 St. Mary’s 13
The schedule took a step down (almost had to), but not as much as thought. This Saturday afternoon St. Mary’s is meeting Fortuna for the Division 4 championship.
Senior quarterback Drew Anderson passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns. It was the first of six 300 yard games. Two of the touchdown passes were in the fourth quarter as they pulled away from a 21-13 lead.
September 13th…Miramonte 25 Analy 13
This was Miramonte’s first trip to Sonoma County this season. The second trip is Saturday.
The game was more one sided than the score as they outgained Analy by 250 yards. Anderson passed for 354 yards and two touchdowns. It would be the last time he hit the 300 yard mark for the next month. During that time they showed they also have a running game.
It would be the last win Miramonte scored under 30 points.
September 20th…Miramonte 44 Alameda 14
This is the same Alameda team that Casa Grande defeated in the first round of the playoffs 45-14. At the half, Casa Grande led that game 45-0 while Miramonte led this game 37-0. Only matching opponent of the season and the biggest difference is the two month between games.
Senior receiver Dominic Paoletti scored three touchdowns, catching one, running in another and returning a punt for yet another.
September 27th…Miramonte 35 Dublin 0
This was the only shutout of the season against a Dublin team that went 1-5 in league. Senior running back Ray Clark scored a season equaling high three touchdowns.
October 4th…Campolindo 38 Miramonte 10
Campolindo handed Miramonte its only league loss on its way to its third straight undefeated league title. Campolindo ended the regular season undefeated before losing to El Cerrito in the Division 3 semi-final. It was also another reminder that they wouldn’t miss the Division 3 playoffs.
October 11th…Miramonte 41 Acalanes 28
Clark rushed for a season high 232 yards in a game that Miramonte saw a 28-7 halftime lead cut to 28-21. Acalanes would go to the Division 3 playoffs and defeat Sonoma Valley 49-10 in the first round before losing to Campolindo in Round Two.
Miramonte had season best in 314 yards rushing and with 577 yards of total offense.
October 25th…Miramonte 55 Dougherty Valley 24
Dougherty Valley also had one league win, but still made the Division 1 playoffs losing to California 37-12 in the first round. California meets De La Salle for the championship this week.
Miramonte had a 38-7 halftime lead.
November 1st…Miramonte 42 Las Lomas 21
Miramonte pulled away with two fourth quarter touchdowns. Anderson threw for 385 yards, which is a season high and five touchdowns which isn’t. Poeleti caught 12 passes for 234 yards, which were both season highs. The other senior receiver Will Fuller caught nine balls, three of them touchdown.
Both receivers had over 1,000 yards in receiving on the season.
Las Lomas was the No. 7 seed in the Division 2 playoffs and after an overtime win in round one, they lost Clayton Valley 59-13 in round two.
November 8th…Miramonte 56 Alhambra 28
Miramonte had a 56-6 halftime lead over the third 1-5 league team. Anderson threw a season equaling high six touchdown passes, three of them to Paoletti.
Next up was the playoffs as the #3 seed behind Casa Grande and Clayton Valley.
November 16th…NCS First Round…Miramonte 54 Tennyson 25
Miramonte steadily pulled away from a Tennyson team that had won six of seven, the lone loss to Alameda. Clark rushed for a season high three touchdowns.
November 23rd…NCS Second Round…Miramonte 66 Northgate 48
For the second game in two weeks in two weeks Anderson throws six touchdown passes. That gave him 21 touchdown passes in four games. Three of them in this game went to his young brother Ryan, who is a sophomore.
Miramonte had a 24-21 lead late in the first half and scored on the last possession of the first half and the first of the second half to take 38-21 lead.
The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense and that is not counting Paoletti returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.
Actually Northgate outgained Miramonte by over 100 yards with running back Eric Haynes rushing for 370 yards and five touchdowns. Haynes rushed for over 2,000 yards on the season and thirty six touchdowns.
Despite that, Northgate never got closer than ten points in the second half.
You could go on and on about this game.
November 29th…NCS Semi-Final…Miramonte 44 Clayton Valley 38
The headlines said shocked. That was how Miramonte win over Clayton Valley was described. Despite the No. 2 seed Clayton Valley was the favorite to win the Division.
Anderson threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns. Clark rushed for 115 and scored two more. Fuller caught seven balls for 115 yards. Two of Anderson’s three touchdowns went to younger brother Ryan.
Clark has rushed for over 100 yards in all three playoff games and scored seven touchdowns. It was the second straight game Fuller had seven catches. Younger brother Ryan has six touchdown catches on the season, five of them in the last two weeks.
Miramonte trailed 22-13 in the second quarter and scored two touchdowns in the last minute and a half of the second quarter to take the lead for good. After the first score, Miramonte hit a two point conversion and Clayton Valley was called for a late hit. After the 15 yard penalty on the kickoff, Miramonte recovered an onside kick, which set up the leading touchdown.
Miramonte did give up another big game to a running back. Miles Harrison rushed for 237 yards to put him over the 2,000 yard mark for the season.
After taking a 44-30 lead, Xavier McDaniels returned a kickoff 93 yards to cut it to 44-38 with five minutes left. Miramonte recovered the onside kick and then ran out the clock, getting the first first down by converting a 4th and 7.
Miramonte has a seven game winning streak and as you can tell by the numbers they have been an offensive machine. They have scored at least 40 points in every game during the streak and hit the 50 point mark twice and 60 once.
During the streak the average score of a Miramonte game is 51-30.
They have a quarterback who has passed for over 3,600. Two receivers are over 1,000 yards and have caught double digits in touchdowns. Add to that they have a running back with over 1,400 yards and eighteen touchdowns. All those players are seniors.
NCS DIVISION 2 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
No. 1 Casa Grande (13-0) vs. No. 3 Miramonte (11-2)
Saturday December 7th
Rancho Cotate High School
RADIO: KSRO 1350
Broadcast time: 6:30
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