FOOTBALL THIS WEEK
Now it's the Pumas' turn to take aim at Casa's unbeaten Gauchos
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
The target on the backs of Casa Grande High School's football Gauchos gets bigger with each win. Taking aim this week are Maria Carrillo's Pumas in a Friday night game at Santa Rosa.
Casa Grande 35, Santa Rosa 0
Healdsburg 46, Petaluma 15
Montgomery 31, Cardinal Newman 25 (OT)
Maria Carrillo 21, Windsor 14
Rancho Cotate 28, Ukiah 0
Analy 53, Piner 6
El Molino 20, Elsie Allen 10
Sonoma Valley 21, Kennedy 14
Middletown 42, Fort Bragg 0
St. Helena 44, Lower Lake 6
CSD 28, St. Vincent 21
Clear Lake 53, Willits 6
Stellar Prep 50, Upper Lake 0
Cloverdale 23, Kelseyville 22
Emery 40, Tomales 32
Cloverdale 23, Kelseyville 22
Casa Grande at Maria Carrillo
Cardinal Newman at Santa Rosa
Rancho Cotate at Montgomery
Petaluma at El Molino
Healdsburg at Analy
Sonoma Valley at Piner
St. Helena at Middletown
Willits at Cloverdale
Lower Lake at Clear Lake
Kelseyville at Fort Bragg
NCL II/Bay League
CSD at Tomales
Stellar Prep at Calistoga
Emery at Upper Lake
Also on Friday, Petaluma plays in friendly Forestvile where El Molino's Lions can be decidedly unfriendly to visiting teams, while Tomales' Braves have a must-win home match against California School for the Deaf in a key North Central II/Bay Football League game. St. Vincent's Mustangs reluctantly have a weekend off after their scheduled foe, Livermore Valley Prep cancelled the scheduled game.
A top team
Casa Grande coach Trent Herzog says Maria Carrillo is one of the top teams not only in the North Bay League, but also in the entire Redwood Empire. “They're good, an upper echelon team,” Herzog said. “I expect them to be a playoff team. They are not really big, but they are very athletic and fast.”
Casa Grande will be looking to extend its school-record win streak to start a season to six after establishing the record at five last week with a 35-0 victory over Santa Rosa.
Maria Carrillo lost its first two games to Analy, 34-30, and Benicia, 35-7, but have since won three straight, defeating Alhambra, 42-21; Santa Rosa, 42-21, and, last week, Windsor, 21-14. “They fumbled on the three-yard line or they would have beaten Analy,” Herzog pointed out.
The Pumas have a roster load of talent, returning seven players who received all-league mention last season. Herzog called Puma running back Alex Netherda, a 190-pound load of speed, “one of the best running backs in our league.” Netherda made a believer out of Windsor last week, rushing for 190 yards as the Pumas piled up more than 400 yards in total offense.
The Casa Grande offensive line, getting better each week, will have its hands full trying to clear Maria Carrillo's 275-pound nose tackle Alex Wrenn out of the way to make running room for running backs John Porchivina and Cody Hughson. The line, along with fullback Casey Longaker, will also have to keep veteran Puma linebackers Jake Boes and Sawyer Thompson from getting to quarterback JaJuan Lawson, who is perhaps the Redwood Empire's most exciting dual threat either passing or running.
Lawson passed just 12 times against Santa Rosa last week, but completed nine for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He ran only four times, but gained 38 yards and scored a touchdown.
He played just a bit over two quarters as the Casa Grande coaches cleared the Gaucho bench. Junior Brent Eger replaced Lawson and performed well. He could have led the Gauchos to at least one touchdown had the coaches really wanted to unleash the Casa reserves. The game ended with Eger taking a knee at the Santa Rosa 14-yard line. Herzog said getting everyone in the game helped bring the Gauchos closer as a team.
Trojans in Lions den
On the surface, Petaluma's visit to El Molino to face the Lions looks like a game the Trojans should win, but look closely and the Lions actually have a better record than the Trojans. El Molino is 2-3 overall and 1-0 in Sonoma County League play. Petaluma is 2-4 overall and 0-2 in league play.
The two wins represent twice as many as the improving Lions won all of last year.
Of course, a legitimate argument could be made that Petaluma has played a much tougher schedule than El Molino, whose wins have come over Willits (0-5) and Elsie Allen (1-5), while Petaluma has beaten Tamalpais (3-3) and Jefferson from Daly City.
But, El Molino, under new coach Randy Parmeto, has the look of a program on the rise, and it is never easy for any team to play the Lions on their home turf.
Regardless of records, Petaluma will have to deal with rugged El Molino running back Gonzalo Santibanez, one of the better runners in the Sonoma County League.
Petaluma has a pretty fair running back of its own in senior Gabe Medina who gained 175 yards against a tough Healdsburg defense last week. It was the third consecutive game he has rushed for more than 100 yards, including a 200-yard performance in the win over Jefferson. As he showed with a 75-yard burst against Healdsburg, he is capable of breaking for a score from anywhere on the field.
Quarterback Patrick Bailey is also a threat to break a long run at any time. The senior gained 100 yards against the Greyhounds.
Defensively, the Trojans are led by linebackers Joe Lynch and Hunter Williams with Jeremy Splaetta and Nick McCloskey anchoring the front line.
Tough Tomales task
Tomales' Braves face a tough task as they host California School for the Deaf's Eagles. CSD is riding high after knocking off St. Vincent, 28-21, last week. That win took a little of the sting out of a North Central league II/Bay Football League loss to Calistoga that left CSD 3-2 for the season and 2-1 in league play. Tomales is also 3-2 on the season, but lost its league opener to Emery, 40-32, last week.
The Tomales defense will be tested by CSD quarterback Zane Pederson who passed for two touchdowns and ran in two more against St. Vincent.
Tomales, as it always does, will attempt to help its defense by keeping the ball away from Pederson and the Eagles as long as possible with its grind-it-out offense led by backs Anthony Feliciano and Willy Lepori.
Through no fault or desire of their own, St. Vincent's Mustangs take the week off. Livermore Valley Prep, a team that had already been beaten, 39-0, by CSD from St. Vincent's NCL II/Bay Football League, cancelled its scheduled Saturday afternoon game at St. Vincent. The cancellation was particularly tough on the St. Vincent students who are celebrating homecoming this week. Those festivities, including all spirit events will go on as scheduled, but the homecoming game, with returning alumni specifically invited, will happen Nov. 2 when the Mustangs host Upper Lake.
St. Vincent takes its unwanted break with a 3-2 record and a 1-1 league mark following last week' tough 28-21 loss to CSD.
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