This is the shortest week of the high school football season.
It is also the week we say good bye to the 2013 regular season.
A lot will be decided this weekend, including a few league championships. Those headlines won’t last long.
The final regular season games in this area will be played on Saturday. One of the games is Calistoga at St. Vincent, which will decide the NCL II/Bay Football League championship. The headline of a championship won will be gone twenty four hours when people will be going over the NCS football playoff bracket.
It isn’t fair, but that is the way sports are. That is what life is, moving on to what to the next event or challenge.
Not only that, as we are looking at the games this week, it is impossible to mention the games, some that will decide a league championship, without mentioning what might be riding on what effect it will have on the playoffs.
The plan is to do an early Sunday preview of what to look for when the picks are made later that day.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
John Porchivina, Casa Grande…This was a no brainer. A record 301 yards rushing and three touchdowns as Casa Grande defeated Windsor 42-28. The big game puts Porchivina over 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
NORTH BAY LEAGUE
No. 1 Casa Grande (9-0, 6-0) at No. 4 Cardinal Newman (7-2, 5-1)
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CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Casa Grande by 7
No. 3 Montgomery (8-1, 5-1) at Windsor (4-5, 2-4)
Cal Preps Projection: Montgomery by 3
No. 9 Rancho Cotate (5-4, 3-3) at Santa Rosa (2-7, 0-6)
Cal Preps Projection: Rancho Cotate by 23
Maria Carrillo (3-6, 2-4) at Ukiah (2-7, 0-6)
Cal Preps Projection: Maria Carrillo by 18
Casa Grande is not only playing Cardinal Newman, but they are playing against a very good school history. A win will give them the first undefeated regular season in school history and its first North Bay League football championship.
Four times since 2003 they have finished the regular season 9-1. In none of those seasons have they gone into the last game undefeated. A win could lead to another first, a No. 1 seed in the North Coast Section playoffs, although that isn’t a guarantee. A win keeps things simple and gives them an undisputed NBL championship. A loss and the championship isn’t out of the question. In fact, they will get its first championship flag no matter what happens. But they might not get that first league championship.
A Cardinal Newman win will moved them into a first place tie with Casa Grande and if they are the only two teams tied, because of the head to head win, Cardinal Newman will be NBL champions.
That brings us to the Montgomery-Windsor game. If Montgomery wins it will be a three way tie. What that comes down to is the tie-breaker number drawn by each team. Casa Grande drew a one and low number wins, so in a three way tie scenario Casa Grande is your champion.
As for the Casa-Newman game itself you have the two best offenses in the North Bay League. They are the only two teams averaging over 30 points a game in league play and they aren’t that far from 40.
They also have two of the best quarterbacks, if not the best, in the area.
Casa Grande’s JaJuan Lawson has passed and rushed for a combined 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Cardinal Newman quarter Keaton Dunsford has passed for nearly 2,000 yards and has thrown 19 touchdown passes and has rushed for eight more.
The other side of the ball has been a big difference between the two. Casa Grande is giving up an average of 14 points a game, the only team in the league that has given up less than 20 in league play. Cardinal Newman has given up 22.
Even if the Montgomery-Windsor game doesn’t have an effect on the NBL championship, it will still have an effect. Windsor has more riding on the game than spoiling Montgomery’s bid for a possible championship flag. Windsor needs the win to become eligible to play another game. They are in good enough shape in the power rankings to make the playoffs, as is Maria Carrillo. Maria Carrillo isn’t going to the playoffs because they don’t qualify. Again to win you have to past the .500 test and if you don’t, no matter where you are in the power rankings, you don’t qualify. Windsor needs this win to past the .500 test.
Rancho Cotate goes into its game with Santa Rosa qualified and pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot. They are on the bubble for a first round home game.
If the seedings go as the power rankings are, a first round game would be No. 9 Concord at No. 8 Rancho Cotate.
Doesn’t that bring back memories?
Santa Rosa has been qualified for the playoffs since they were 2-0. Since then they have lost seven straight.
SONOMA COUNTY LEAGUE
No. 7 Sonoma Valley (7-2, 4-1) at Petaluma (4-5, 2-3)
Cal Preps Projection: Sonoma Valley by 11
No. 10 Healdsburg (5-4,3-2) at El Molino (2-7, 1-4)
Cal Preps Projection: Healdsburg by 36
Piner (4-5, 2-3) at Elsie Allen (1-8, 0-5)
Cal Preps Projection: Piner by 41
No. 2 Analy (9-1, 6-0) BYE
Analy is finished with its regular season and awaits the NCS picks on Sunday to find out its next opponent. The Tigers do have so interest in the NBL drama. Analy and Cardinal Newman are both in Division 3 and it is a close call who will be the highest seed which would be the deciding factor who will host a potential playoff game between the two.
In the power rankings Analy is No. 4 and Cardinal Newman No. 5. If that was the actually seedings, that would be a potential second round game.
A win for Sonoma Valley will give them a six game winning streak, its best regular season since 2001. They long ago qualified for a NCS Division 3 playoff spot.
Petaluma is also playoff eligible but are in the same situation as last season, which they lost to Sonoma Valley in the final game and even though they were playoff eligible, didn’t make the playoffs. They need a win to impress the playoff committee. A win will also gives them their first .500 regular season finish since the monster 10-0 of 2009.
A win will be a .500 finish for Piner also, it’s first since 2003. That was also the last time they went to the playoffs, a streak that appears to be ending this season. A win over Elsie Allen would give them a good chance of getting a first round home game.
A win over El Molino might be enough to get Healdsburg a top four seed in the Division 4 playoffs.
El Molino two wins is over teams with a combined record of 1-17. They are 1-2 vs. Division 4 teams, so if they pull this off they will qualify for the North Coast Section playoffs.
No. 5 Middletown (8-1, 6-0) at Lower Lake (3-6, 1-5)
Cal Preps Projection: Middletown by 52
Cloverdale (4-5, 4-2) at No. 8 St. Helena (7-2, 5-1)
Cal Preps Projection: St. Helena by 24
Fort Bragg (4-5, 3-3) at Clear Lake (5-4, 3-3)
Cal Preps Projection: Clear Lake by 1
Willits (0-9, 0-6) at Kelseyville (5-4, 2-4)
Cal Preps Projection: Kelseyville by 50
Middletown has wrapped up the league championship and will be outright champion and probably a No. 1 seed in the Division 5 playoffs.
NCL I is part Division 4, part Division 5.
St. Helena is a Division 4 team and hoping for a top four seed. A win over Cloverdale will help that cause.
Kelseyville and Fort Bragg are both in Division 4, have qualified and should get in.
Clear Lake and Cloverdale are both in Division 5 teams, have qualified and might not get in.
While the rest of the divisions have up to sixteen, the most Division 5 can have are eight. Last season was the first time in three seasons that the Division had a complete bracket.
Both Clear Lake and Cloverdale are not in the top eight in the power rankings, but have games this week that could help in that department. If it comes down to those two teams for the final spot: advantage Clear Lake because of a 20-19 win over Cloverdale which opened league play.
NCL II/BAY LEAGUE
Upper Lake (0-8, 0-5) at Tomales (5-4, 2-3)
Cal Preps Projection: Tomales by 41
No. 6 Calistoga (8-0, 5-0) at St. Vincent (6-2, 4-1)
Cal Preps Projection: Calistoga by 5
The Calistoga-St. Vincent game is for the league championship.
Calistoga has already clinched a championship flag and try to reverse the winless regular season just two years ago by finishing this one undefeated. Either way the school will get a championship flag for the first time since 1997.
Running back Dylan Alvardo has broken the season rushing record for Calistoga with just under 1,700 yards and his 22 touchdowns ties the school record.
St. Vincent is coming off the 200th career win of Gary Galloway’s coaching career. Win number 201 will give him his 11th league championship in his thirty year coaching career.
The two teams are a combined 14-1 vs. Division 5 teams so win or lose they should both will have another game.
It is a busy Saturday at St. Vincent with two football games and a NCS Girls second round soccer game. The JV football game starts at 11 which will be followed by the football game at 1. The Girls soccer team host Roseland Prep University at 3 pm.
OTHER GAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON
FRIDAY—Clayton Valley (8-1, 4-0) at Northgate (8-1, 3-1)
The power rankings in Division 2 are different then the human ones. It is generally considered that if Casa Grande isn’t the No. 1 seed, Clayton Valley would be. In the power ratings though Clayton Valley is No. 4 and Northgate is No. 3.
Maybe this game will break up the confusion.
Cal Preps Projection: Northgate by 1
SATURDAY—Marin Catholic (9-0, 6-0) at San Marin (8-1, 6-0)
This is for the Marin County Championship. Marin Catholic might be No. 1 in Division 3. San Marin will be No. 1 in Division 4
Cal Preps Projection: Marin Catholic by 13
No. 11 San Francisco (6-2, 2-1) at No. 10 SRJC (6-2, 2-1)
SATURDAY 1 PM—KBBF—89.1 FM
A month ago you would have gotten good odds on SRJC being rated higher than San Francisco when the two teams met.
San Francisco was the preseason No. 1 ranked team and was still No. 1 before losing two of its last four games.
The two teams are in a three way tie with San Mateo for second place one game behind No. 1 in the standings and the rankings Butte.
This is SRJC last home game of the season. They end the regular season next week at San Mateo who is No. 4 in the state.
Next week San Francisco is at Butte.
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