Football is not over yet
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 2, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.
As a wise Yogi once said, “It’s not over until its over and it’s not over yet.” To carry it a thought farther, it won’t be over for local high school football teams even after its over.
There are some big games on the schedule as the regular season ends this weekend, but, win or lose, the season won’t end for local teams, who can still look forward to the North Coast Section playoffs.
Mathematically, Casa Grande and St. Vincent still have a chance to share in league championships, but realistically, only St. Vincent has more than an outside chance, and it won’t be easy for the Mustangs.
St. Vincent can earn a share of the new North Central II/Bay Football League with a win at Calistoga Friday night. California School for the Deaf, the team tied with the Mustangs at the top of the league standings, finishes in Oakland against St. Elizabeth’s, a team it is expected to handle easily.
Casa Grande needs to do its job while receiving unlikely help if it is to share the North Bay League championship.
Petaluma finishes its season at Sonoma Valley against a very good Dragon team with the winner claiming second place in the Sonoma County League behind unbeaten and regular-season finished Analy.
Casa Grande’s home game against Cardinal Newman lost a little of its luster when the Cardinals were beaten last week by Rancho Cotate. In the unlikely event that Rancho Cotate is upset by Santa Rosa, the winner of the Newman-Casa game would share the North Bay League title with Rancho.
Regardless of what happens Friday night, Casa Grande, Petaluma and St. Vincent should all reach the North Coast Section playoffs.
Tomales is in a more tenuous position, likely needing a win at Upper Lake Saturday afternoon to be assured a playoff spot.
Still a big game
Even though they will likely be playing for second place, the much anticipated match between the Gauchos and Cardinals is still a big game. Not only will it be for pride between two of the best teams in the Redwood Empire, but it could also have NCS seeding implications and possibly determine which team gets a first-round home game in their respective divisions. Casa is in Division 2 and Cardinal Newman in Division 3.
Casa Grande has had a successful run in its first year in the NBL, compiling a 5-1 league record and a 7-2 overall mark. Cardinal Newman is 8-1 overall and 5-1 in league. Both teams’ only loss in league was to Rancho Cotate. The Gauchos lost to the Cougars by a deceptive 28-7 score, while the Cardinals were beaten last week, 21-14.
Friday’s game will match two of the best balanced teams in the Redwood Empire, with both solid defenses and lethal offenses.
The game will also match two of the best quarterback’s in the Empire with both Casa Grande’s JaJuan Lawson and Cardinal Newman’s Keaton Dunsford doubly dangerous both passing and running.
The Cardinals, like the Gauchos, prefer to balance their offense between run and pass using the speed of Kenny Carter to offset Dunsford’s accurate passes.
A key to the Cardinal Newman success has been its swarming team defense, a defense that has recorded three shutouts on the season.
Trojans play for second
While the SCL focused on unbeaten Analy and the rebound of Petaluma’s Trojans from an 0-4 start, Sonoma Valley’s Dragons quietly put together an outstanding season, and they figure to be a handful for the Trojans as the two collide in a battle for second place Friday night.
Analy, already finished with its regular season with perfect 10-0 overall and 6-0 league records, is the SCL champion. Petaluma and Sonoma Valley are both 4-1 in league with each having lost in league only to Analy. Petaluma needs a win for a break-even season, standing 4-5 going into the contest. Sonoma Valley is 6-3.
The Dragons will present a severe test for the Petaluma secondary. Junior quarterback Dan Deely has already passed for almost 1,400 yards and thrown for 19 touchdowns. He is also the team’s second-leading rusher with 449 yards and nine running touchdowns.
The Dragons’ go-to running back is senior Justin McDonald, who averages better than five yards per carry.
Key to Petaluma’s SCL success has been dramatically improved line play on both offense and defense. Even in last week’s loss to Analy, the Trojans had several sustained drives against the Tigers’ big and mobile defense front.
Mustangs still hopeful
St. Vincent is still hopeful of gaining a share of the North Central League II/Bay Football League title at Calistoga Friday night. Since Calistoga has no junior varsity team, the varsity kickoff has been moved up to 7 p.m.
St. Vincent goes into the game matching California School for the Deaf with a 5-1 league record. Since CSD finishes with winless St. Elizabeth, the Mustangs almost assuredly need a win to share the title.
Getting that win at Calistoga may prove difficult.
Since dropping its junior varsity program and combining its teams four weeks ago, the Wildcats have rolled off four straight wins. In the last two weeks, they have beaten up-to-then unbeaten Upper Lake, 10-6, and knocked off defending NCL II champion Tomales, 33-14.
St. Vincent goes into the game playing what coach Gary Galloway calls, “our best football of the year.” St. Vincent was close to perfect last week in a 42-6 win over Upper Lake. The only possessions that didn’t end up in St. Vincent scores came at the end of both halves, when the Mustangs kneeled to run out the clock.
Braves need a win
Tomales, in the midst of a rare two-game losing streak, seeks to end its season on a high note and assure itself a winning record.
The game matches two good teams who have hit rough spots in their season. The host Cougars, after winning their first four league games, have lost their last two, falling to Calistoga 10-6, and St. Vincent, 42-6.
Both teams are 5-4 on the season.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
You'll find a number of new technology features available from this site. With personalized news sent straight to your mobile device.
post your stuff
Petaluma360.com is here for you to post your comments, photos, news and events with the community. Post it now!
Have something to say? Join the conversation!
Upload your photos of community events, holidays, pets, cute kids, breaking news and more, and vote for your favorites!
Submit your area events to encourage others in your community to attend.