Welcome back Montgomery.
If you had doubts that Montgomery is back, we present you Exhibit A, the game Friday Night.
Montgomery made things official with a 31-25 overtime win over Cardinal Newman in a game that if you tried to make sense of, it would drive you crazy.
Montgomery took its first lead two and a half minutes into the game and basically controlled every aspect of the game. Yet, there they were at the end of regulation, holding its collective breath as a field goal attempt by Cardinal Newman to win the game just went wide to force the overtime.
The missed field quarter wrapped up a crazy fourth quarter in which saw half the game’s points score.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Montgomery took a 19-10 lead on a two yard run by Logan Francavilla. It was the second of three touchdowns that he would score. He was the weapon in which Montgomery controlled things with.
It was also a reason why they didn’t have the dominating lead.
When Montgomery scored that touchdown, it ended 16 play drive that took over seven minutes. Earlier in the game, they had a 17 play, nine minute drive and later they would have 10 play drive that took over five minutes.
For the game, at least the part where the clock was running, Montgomery had the ball for 32 minutes of the 48 minute game. The clock doesn’t run in OT.
The reason is they kept giving the ball to Francavilla. Over and over and over again they gave it to him. When all was said and done, he carried the ball 43 times for 172 yards. The average is exactly four yards, his longest run of the night went for 17 yards, which was late in the fourth quarter. By then the powerful running game had worn down the Cardinal Newman defense.
Montgomery had the lead two and a half minutes in. On the first play of the game they recovered a Cardinal Newman fumble at the 34 yard line.
On the touchdown drive that followed, we got a preview that we would see most of the night. It took Montgomery six plays to get the game’s first score which was a 13 yard run by Francavilla. One play before the touchdown, they converted a fourth and 2 play.
After Cardinal Newman kicked a field goal to start the second quarter, Montgomery went on the nine minute, 17 play drive that ended up on six yard touchdown run, this one by Henry Stelzner, to give the Vikings a 12-3 lead.
It was only 12-3 because Montgomery failed on each extra point and the missed extra point wound be heard from again to see up crazy ending.
As would a segment before halftime, in which Montgomery was in scoring range and had a pass intercepted by Ryan O’ Leary, to barely keep Cardinal Newman in the game.
The second half started out like it was going to be a different half, which it definitely was, but not the kind of the half it started out as. After a three and out and a bad punt, Cardinal Newman had the ball in good field position. Keaton Dunsford threw an 18 yard score to Zach Stoltz to make it a 12-10 game.
Montgomery then went on long drive number two. This was the 16 play 72 yard one. Francavilla carried the ball eleven times on the drive, including the final play which was his second 13 yard run for a touchdown and Montgomery was up 19-10.
Cardinal Newman then responded with its best drive, going 70 yards for a score to cut the lead back to 19-17. Montgomery was doing it their way and Cardinal Newman did it their way. They drove 70 yards in eight plays and three and a half minutes. Dunsford ended the drive with a 25 yard pass Dylan Holman. On the drive, Dunsford complete five of six throws for 53 of the 70 yards. The reception by Holman was one of his two in the game. The first was on the play before, when Cardinal Newman converted a 4th and 3.
Then Montgomery did it again. This time it was the 10 play 77 yard drive. Francavilla carried it six of the ten plays. He might have been supposed to carry it for play number seven, but on a broken play from the one, RJ Flores, who was starting his first game, dived in for the score to make it 25-17 with 3:06 left.
How that touchdown scored was a signal, let the madness begin. The extra point, which was needed to give Montgomery its two score lead back, hit the left upright and bounced away.
It didn’t take long to find out how important that would be when Kevin Lucey took the kickoff on an electrifying journey of 95 yards. It was officially 95 yards, but he traveled about 150, starting up the middle, veering to the left sideline and ending towards the right sideline. Lucey then caught a pass from Dunsford for the two point conversion to make it a 25-25 ballgame with 2:46 left.
Flores played admirably, especially for his first start and the considering that first start was in this game. He was replacing Elijah Hicks who separated his shoulder last week against Casa Grande, and will be out for most of the rest of the season. Flores went 12 of 16 for 112 yards. But he threw two interceptions, both to O’ Leary, one towards the end of the first half which might have cost Montgomery points and the other at the end of the second half which almost cost them the game.
The second one was on a 2nd and 8 play from the Montgomery 46 and the return gave Cardinal Newman the ball at the Montgomery 45 with :54 left.
Cardinal Newman moved it to the 21 yard line with :12 left and set up Trent Klein for a 38 yard field goal that would amazingly win the game for the Cardinals. The kick had plenty of distance and the big crowd waited for what seemed like hours for the official to signal that it was just wide left and onto overtime we would go.
The rules for overtime are the offensive starts at the ten yard line. Each team gets a chance until the tie is broken, which mean if the first team scores a touchdown, the second team gets to take its chance.
Cardinal Newman got the first possession and on the first play Montgomery recorded its only sack of the night. The momentum changed on an eight yard run by Dunsford plus a questionable late hit which moved the ball to the five yard line. The Montgomery defense stood up, stopping two Cardinal Newman running plays, the last one which started at the one yard line.
After the stand it took three Francavilla runs, the last from five yards out to give Montgomery the breathtaking win.
It was a classic game which reminds us why we love sports.
It also reminds us that the Montgomery-Cardinal Newman rivalry is pretty special.
NORTH BAY LEAGUE
No. 1 Casa Grande 35 Santa Rosa 0
No. 5 Montgomery 31 No. 2 Cardinal Newman 25 (OT)
No. 4 Rancho Cotate 28 Ukiah 0
No. 7 Maria Carrillo 21 No. 8 Windsor 14
Casa Grande, Rancho Cotate and Maria Carrillo are undefeated in league play.
Casa Grande is 5-0 overall for the first time in school history. Nine players rushed for over 270 yards as the Gauchos jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead in its win over Santa Rosa.
Casa Grande has given up 51 points in five games.
Gunner Mefford passed for 166 yards and two touchdowns to lead Rancho Cotate over Ukiah. Two third quarter touchdowns put things away.
Take away the game at American Canyon, Rancho Cotate has given up 35 points in the other four games.
There was one other close game with Maria Carrillo defeating Windsor.
Alex Netherda started his 190 yard game with a 44 yard touchdown run to give Maria Carrillo a 7-0 lead. Quarterback Clayton Pool also rushed for two scores.
Windsor made a run at things with a fourth quarter touchdown to cut into a 21-7 Maria Carrillo lead. They also had the ball with 1:30 left before Maria Carrillo intercepted a pass to seal the win.
Next week Maria Carrillo hosts Casa Grande while Rancho Cotate travels to Montgomery.
SONOMA COUNTY LEAGUE
No. 3 Analy 53 No. 9 Piner 6
Healdsburg 46 Petaluma 15
El Molino 20 Elsie Allen 10
Kerr Johnson returned the opening kickoff 87 yards and the tone was set in the Analy win over Piner. It was the first of four touchdowns for Johnson, who also returned a punt for a score and caught two touchdown passes.
Seven of the eight Analy touchdowns were 30 yards or more including a 40 yard fumble return by Alishua Johnson.
After a wild start Healdsburg took a one sided win over Petaluma. Healdsburg had a 20-15 lead midway through the second quarter and controlled things the rest of the way.
Ramsey Wilke threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
Analy and Healdsburg are tied for first in the SCL race at 2-0 and meet next week in Healdsburg.
The El Molino-Elsie Allen game turned on one play. Elsie Allen had a 10-0 lead and were lining up for a field goal to end the first half. El Molino blocked it and returned it for a touchdown to get back into the game and then controlled the second half.
Sonoma Valley 21 Kennedy (Richmond) 14
Sonoma Valley rallied for the win. The big play was a 35 yard interception return by Tristen Merten, which was one of his three interceptions and came with Kennedy leading 14-6.
Cordell Kenniston had the only touchdown of the second half on a five yard run part of his 112 yard rushing night.
Sonoma Valley is 3-2.
No. 6 Middletown 42 Fort Bragg 0
St. Helena 44 Lower Lake 6
Cloverdale 23 Kelseyville 22
Clear Lake 53 Willits 6
Middletown and St. Helena wins puts them both at 2-0 and sets up a showdown at Middletown next week.
Clear Lake is also 2-0.
Cloverdale got its first win over the season rallying with two fourth quarter touchdowns to hand Kelseyville its second straight loss.
Cloverdale has one win in each of the last two seasons.
NCL II/BAY FOOTBALL
St. Vincent (3-1, 1-0) at CSD Fremont (2-2, 1-1)
CSD Fremont 28 St. Vincent 21
Upper Lake (0-4, 0-1) at Stellar Prep (0-4, 0-1)
Stellar Prep 50 Upper Lake 0
Tomales (3-1, 0-0) at Emery (3-2, 0-1)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Tomales by 2
No 10 Calistoga (5-0, 2-0) has a bye.
St. Vincent rallied from an early 14-0 deficit to take a 21-20 fourth quarter lead but couldn’t hold on. Jax Pederson scored from two yards out with 6:30 left to take the win.
Derek Murphy turned the momentum around by returning a kickoff for a 95 yard score to make it 14-7. He also scored from one yard out to give St. Vincent the fourth quarter lead.
Calistoga and Tomales are the only teams left in league play undefeated. Calistoga is 2-0 and had the league bye. Tomales plays its first league game today.
No. 11 Fresno (3-1) at No. 17 SRJC (3-1)
Special Broadcast of this game on KSRO 1350 AM with the pregame beginning at 4:35.
The game will also be broadcast on KBBF 89.1 FM
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