There were two games featuring local teams on Saturday with mixed results.
No. 17 SRJC 30 No. 11 Fresno 23
It was a wild game that SRJC never trailed and wasn’t decided until Rancho Cotate graduate Vaimaa Taito intercepted a pass with 1:50 left to stop Fresno in attempt to get the game in to over time.
Fresno turned the ball over the first two times they had the ball and SRJC took advantage to take a 10-0 lead.
That started a pattern in a game that saw SRJC get ahead and Fresno in rally mode to make it a game.
A 28 yard run by Micah Ledezma and an interception by Isaac Sarate led to a touchdown and a field goal that made it a 10-10 with 6:50 left in the first half.
SRJC responded with its best drive of the game going on a 80 yard 10 play drive that ended on a 22 yard scoring pass from Mike Pierson to K’Lan Anderson. Pierson, the El Molino grad starting his third game, went 21-37 for 227 yards and had two touchdowns and two interceptions. One interception came in the third quarter that helped add some suspense to the game.
Andre Davis returned the second half kickoff 98 yards to give SRJC a 23-10 lead and Fresno was in comeback mode again.
That is when Pierson interception threw the game changing interception. SRJC was setting up a screen and Pierson had his pass intercepted by Justice Sarcedo and returned 20 yards to cut the lead to 23-17.
SRJC had one first down in the third quarter and Fresno drove 40 yards for a field goal to cut the lead to 23-20.
Special teams were the offense to start the second half and it turned the game SRJC’s way in the fourth quarter. A blocked punt gave SRJC the ball and the five yard line and on the next play they took a 30-20 lead with 6:21 left on a 5 yard run by Anderson. That was about all that Anderson did on the ground, but he had a big game by catching nine balls for 122 yards which included the second quarter touchdown.
That appeared to put the game away, but Fresno responded again. They went on a 65 yard drive for a field goal to cut it to 30-23 with 3:19 left and got the ball back and have the ball at midfield when Taito’s interception sealed the win.
The win gives SRJC a 4-1 heading into a bye week. When they next play they will open league play on Friday October 18th when they host No. 2 Butte. Three of the top seven ranked teams in the state are in SRJC league including No. 1 San Francisco and No. 2 Butte.
Emery 40 Tomales 32
Playing shorthanded, Tomales ran out of gas in the second half after taking a 32-12 lead at the half.
Going into the game, because of injuries and SAT test day, Tomales had only 14 players. It didn’t help that running back Willy Lepori , who rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown, injured a knee in the third quarter and was lost for the game.
Anthony Feliciano rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Tomales couldn’t keep up with quarterback Nate Walker who threw for 140 yards and rused for 205 yards and threw and ran for two touchdowns each. The shortest touchdown he had was 34 yards.
The two teams combined for over 600 yards of rushing offense.
The game was the first league game and it also leaves Calistoga, at 2-0, the only undefeated team in the NCL II/Bay Football race.
There were four games in the NCL I and the average spread was 32 points and that included Cloverdale’s 23-22 win over Kelseyville.
Cloverdale trailed 22-8 in the fourth quarter when Luke Bernardi rushed for one score and then caught the winning touchdown for Josh Holden with 1:16 left. Bernardi rushed for 168 yards.
The win was Cloverdale’s first win of the season. Since going 9-2 in 2009, the Eagles are 3-31-1. Things do look like a step up though. This season they look more competitive, losing to 4-1 Clear Lake by one point and in another game driving for the tying score when an interception was returned for a touchdown.
That is the good news. The not so good news is they still have Middletown and St. Helena on the schedule.
NBL—Casa Grande, Maria Carrillo and Rancho Cotate are 2-0. Cardinal Newman and Montgomery are 1-1. Next week: Casa at Carrillo and Rancho at Montgomery
SCL—Analy is at Healdsburg next Friday Night. Both are 2-0. El Molino is the only other undefeated team at 1-0.
NCL I—Clear Lake, Middletown and St. Helena are 2-0. St. Helena at Middletown next week
NCL II—As mentioned Calistoga is the only undefeated team left in league play. Five teams have one league loss. Calistoga is hosting Stellar Prep next week who are one of the one loss teams.
KSRO GAME OF THE WEEK
Casa Grande at Maria Carrillo
Broadcast time 7:05 Friday Night
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