There might be a rule somewhere deep in the high school football rule book that says when Petaluma and Rancho Cotate meet in the playoffs, controversy has to part of the equation.
Rancho Cotate defeated Petaluma 35-28 in what, may have been the best playoff game of the weekend.NCS color logo
Unfortunately the game is being remembered for a play that apparently, at the very least, cost Petaluma a chance to win the game.
Before going too much into that, I will come clean. I wasn’t at the game. I had planned to be, but the day just got too long. I went to Marin Catholic for some of that game against Fort Bragg. Then I hustled to the KSRO studios for the coverage of the SRJC game. The mental part of me had planned that if things were close at the Rancho Cotate game, I would run over there at the end of the JC game. The game was close, but I guess you could say I’m not as young as I used to be and pased on it.
When I got home a post on the YSN Facebook page popped up. It said, “Petaluma recovered a fumble and returned it for a 57 yard gain with 2:52 left but didn’t count due to an inadvertent whistle blown by the line judge.” That post came after the post with the final score.
There has been some reaction. Petaluma fans are angry. A Petaluma city councilman called it “the worst call ever”. Then there was a view that I received from a Rancho Cotate fan that said it didn’t cost them the game. It stated had the fumble been called, Rancho could still have stop them.
The Press Democrat version of the events written by Peter Fournier said, “What could have been a fumble recovered for a touchdown turned into a second-chance for Rancho Cotate.” In the same article Moziah Ward says he was down.

I just saw the video and it was obviously a fumble.  Remember Petaluma would have still be behind by one.  Would they have gone for two?  Who knows what would happen next.  It is too bad that happened.

One ironic thing about it is when SRJC lost its final regular season game, it was thought they would have to go on the road for its bowl game. If that would have happened the Bowl Game wouldn’t have been on KSRO and somebody from YSN would have been there with a video camera in hand, or the game would have been on KSRO, or if neither of those happened, I would have been there with my eyes.
I guess you can’t be everywhere.
By the way, there is a rule that an inadvertent whistle wipes out the play and it is treated like it never happened. I have seen that before, a “Do-over.”
There are two things you can say about Petaluma.
No. 1 is they have been underrated all season. After the 0-2 start, they were underrated in the rankings and in the minds of almost everyone. It was taken for granted that Analy would win the SCL championship game and that Rancho Cotate would win that game Saturday night.
No. 2:  if they were in a close game, talk about the officials would follow. Against Analy it was the question on whether the Hail Mary was a touchdown or not. The day after the game I wrote after looking at the video that it looks close, but I’m don’t think it would be overturned with that replay. I have seen a picture since that changes my mind on that. He looked down to me.
Then there is the whistle from Saturday Night.
I mentioned at the start of this about there might be a rule that there has to be a controversial ending. In a 2009 first round game, Petaluma defeated Rancho Cotate 12-7. This was Petaluma’s undefeated team and Steve Ellison’s last. On the last play of the game, Rancho Cotate was ruled down on a quarterback sneak inches short of the game winning touchdown and the clock ran out. There has been a debate since on whether it was a touchdown.
That was a game I was at, right at the goal line and I will tell you without a doubt, I don’t know, there were just to many bodies.
Maybe the Petaluma-Rancho Cotate pre-league game should return. If nothing else, it is good on the drama scale.
No. 1 Clayton Valley Charter 52 No. 9 Windsor 6
No. 2 Miramonte 47 No. 7 Casa Grande 29
No. 3 Concord 26 No. 6 Maria Carrillo 21
The NBL season in Division 2 comes to an end.
Maria Carrillo had the best shot to win. Concord scored the winning touchdown with eleven minutes left. The biggest scoring margine in the game was seven points.
Concord running back Harold Tidwell rushed for 257 yards and a touchdown.
Maria Carrillo took its only lead of the game on a three yard run by Josh Grosbeck with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Grosbeck rushed for 135 yards.
Maria Carrillo ends 7-5.
Casa Grande had one of the most thrilling half’s of the season. The game had three lead changes in the first quarter and four in the first half. There was only one in the second half and that was Miramonte taking the lead for good.
The turning point of the game was late in the second quarter. Casa Grande had taken a 29-15 lead midway through the second quarter. By halftime it was 29-27. After Miramonte scored to get it close, they intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Miramonte quarterback Tim Tague passed for 397 yards and five touchdowns.
Casa Grande quarterback JJ Anderson threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns.
Casa Grande, after a 0-4 start, ends the season 5-7.
Windsor was behind 20-0 before they ran their first offensive play. After scoring two first quarter touchdowns, Clayton Valley Charter recovered onside kicks and the game was decided early.
Windsor ends the season at 7-5.
No. 2 Analy 38 No. 7 El Cerrito 22
No. 3 Rancho Cotate 35 No. 6 Petaluma 28
No. 3 Rancho Cotate (9-3) vs. No. 2 Analy (12-0) at Santa Rosa High School
Analy did all its scoring in the first half to defeat El Cerrito. Analy quarterback Jack Newman threw for over 400 yards and six touchdowns in the first half. That was about it, but the defense kept things under control and the game wasn’t in doubt.
Before the controversial finish, Rancho Cotate led Petaluma most of the way. After falling beind 6-0, Rancho Cotate led 21-6 after one and 28-18 at the half.
Petaluma’s season ends 8-4.
No. 2 Cardinal Newman 47 No. 7 Justin Siena 6
No. 1 Marin Catholic 49 No. 8 Fort Bragg 0
No. 3 Fortuna (12-0) at No. 2 Cardinal Newman (10-2)
Jordon Brookshire took the first play 70 yards for a score and the route was on as Cardinal Newman breezed past Justin Siena.
Cardinal Newman has outscored its first two playoff opponents 103-13. The first win over Healdsburg was expected. The game vs. Justin Siena figured to be closer. The halftime score was the same as the final score. The second half was played with a running clock.
Fort Bragg trailed 7-0 after one quarter and had the ball fourth and goal at the one and was stopped. Marin Catholic then went on a 99 yard drive to take a 14-0 lead.
It is easy to say that was the turning point, but Marin Catholic was deeper and much bigger. There will be more about this game soon.
Fort Bragg ends the season 11-1.
No. 2 St. Bernard Academy 25 No. 7 Middletown 14
This was another close game with the local team on the wrong end. There were three lead changes before St. Bernard Academy scored the last 16 points of the game.
Ty Chortel rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Middletown ends, what wouldn’t be an understatement saying, “the most challenging season in school history, with a record of 6-5.”
No. 14 SRJC 38 No. 23 Modesto 18
SRJC went out with a bang, playing one of its best games of the season.
Quarterback Mitch Hood, a Sonoma Valley graduate, definitely had his best, passing for 371 yards and four touchdowns. Kerr Johnson, an Analy graduate, caught six balls for 100 yards and a touchdown.
The SRJC defense, which has been the strength of the team all season, showed up big again. Modesto went into the game averaging 40 points a game.
SRJC’s season ends at 7-4.
No. 1 Redwood 3 No. 2 Maria Carrillo 0
No. 1 SF Waldorf  3 No. 2 Anderson Valley 0
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