The North Bay League and NCL I have had similar races. Both leagues had a team that started 7-0 and lost on the same week. That loss created a three way tie for first place. One week later, both leagues are a two way tie, although they got there in different way.
Also on Friday, the first championship pennant was ordered. The second maybe ordered today.
Maria Carrillo 41 No. 2 Windsor 35
No. 3 Rancho Cotate 60 Ukiah 0
No. 4 Cardinal Newman 52 No. 6 Montgomery 13
Santa Rosa (1-7, 1-4) at Casa Grande (2-6, 2-3)
Going into the last week of the NBL Race three teams could still get a championship pennant.
Maria Carrillo isn’t one of the teams in the championship hunt, but they do know how to play the spoiler.
Maria Carrillo pulled off its second upset in the championship race with a trilling 41-35 over Windsor. It was a brutal blow for Windsor, who after a 7-0 start, has lost two straight and needs to get some unexpected help to get a share of the league championship.
It was a brutal loss because of how it affects the race. It was also brutal because of how they lost.
Alex Netherda ended a rally from two touchdowns down with the winning score. Netherda’s run literally ended it, as it came on the last play of the game, capping a 76 yard race to beat the clock. The drive started with 1:57 left.
The game had three lead changes and three ties. Despite that, it appeared Windsor had control. That was after falling behind 14-6 in the first quarter to tie the game at 21-21 at the half. Dmitri Acken, who weighs 275, has the nickname the tank and wears No. 72, scored on two short third quarter runs to give Windsor a 35-21 lead.
Netherda, who had already score twice, took control of the game. First he took a swing pass and zigged and zagged his way through the Windsor defense for an 86 yard score to cut it to 35-28.
Maria Carrillo then tried an onside kick that Windsor recovered. After converting two fourth down plays, Windsor appeared to be on the verge of taking a two score lead, but missed a 29 yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, which kept Maria Carrillo in the game.
After a couple of first downs, Maria Carrillo tried a fake punt which was stopped. That is when Netherda showed up again, this time on defense when he intercepted a pass. Two plays later Josh Groesback scored on a 54 yard run to tie things up with 4:11 left.
The Maria Carrillo defense held and forced a punt to set up the last drive.
Netherda rushed for 102 yards and had 85 receiving yards, most of them on the swing pass that turned the game around. On defense, besides the interception, he led a team high eight tackles. Groesback went for 125 yards on ten carries.
Maria Carrillo has three league losses. One was to Cardinal Newman 42-28, which is the closest league win for the Cardinals. The other was 30-23 to Montgomery when they gave up a kickoff return for the game winning score in the last minute. The other loss was to Casa Grande 19-14.
The loss drops Windsor out of a first place tie in the NBL race. They need some help to pull back into the tie as they end the season at Cardinal Newman.
Rancho Cotate and Cardinal Newman both took care of business with easy wins.
Carlos Franco scored two first half touchdowns as Rancho Cotate took a 60-0 win over Ukiah.
Jordan Brookshire rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns as Cardinal Newman had a surprisingly easy 52-13 win over Montgomery. Craig Lucey also scored three touchdowns and rushed for 171.
Rancho Cotate and Cardinal Newman go into the last week tied for first place one game ahead of Windsor. Rancho Cotate, who defeated Cardinal Newman in overtime to have the tie-breaker advantage, hosts Santa Rosa to end the regular season.
No. 5 St. Helena 46 Willits 6
No. 7 Fort Bragg 20 No. 9 Cloverdale 14
Middletown 42 Clear Lake 0
Lower Lake 49 Kelseyville 28
Fort Bragg won the big game of the night holding off Cloverdale 20-14.
The win keeps the Timberwolves in a first place tie with St. Helena in the NCL I race. Fort Bragg ends the regular season with a home game with Clear Lake. St. Helena will be at Cloverdale. Fort Bragg has the tie-breaker edge because of the 35-20 win over St. Helena last week.
To say that Fort Bragg held on isn’t an understatement. Cloverdale had cut a 20-7 halftime lead to 20-14 on a nine yard run by Luke Bernardi late in the third quarter.
Cloverdale had two chances late in the fourth quarter to steal the win. The first time they drove to the Fort Bragg six yard line, before turning the ball over on downs with 1:17 left. That appeared to seal the win, but two plays later Fort Bragg fumbled the ball to give the Eagles another chance. William Pokorny saved the game with an end zone interception. It was his third interception of the season, the first two were both against St. Helena.
The way the game started it didn’t look like it would take dramatics in this game. In the first half the Fort Bragg offense led by Junior Quarterback Kaylor Sullivan was unstoppable. Sullivan went 20 of 23 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The game turned at the end of the first half when Sullivan, who was trying to score to make it a three touchdown lead, fumbled the ball away at the one yard line. On the play Sullivan injured his wrist and didn’t play much in the second half.
The two touchdowns gives him 29 on the season. He also went over the 3,000 yard passing mark for the season. One went to sophomore Lucas Triplett, which was his 13th touchdown reception of the season.
The touchdown to Triplett came one possession after Mason Meier went 54 yards for a score to cut the lead to 13-6.
St. Helena responded from its first loss of the season better than Windsor did with a 46-6 win over Willits. Davon Browne caught two touchdown passes from 82 and 65 yards. He also returned a punt 39 yards for another score.
Fort Bragg will be a big favorite against Clear Lake, but if they are upset and St. Helena is defeated by Cloverdale there could be a four way tie.
Middletown is that fourth team in the mix after a 42-0 win over Clear Lake.
Wyatt Hall scored the first three touchdowns as Middletown rebounded from last week’s 25-7 loss to Cloverdale.
Isazah King was at it again to lead Lower Lake from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Kelseyville 49-28.
King rushed for 253 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for one more and returned an interception 62 yards for another.
Lower Lake scored three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the first half to wipe out the 14-0 lead.
The win gives Lower Lake a 5-4 record. They haven’t finished .500 since 2010, when they went 5-5. In the last three years they won four games.
No. 1 Analy 68 Elsie Allen 0
No. 10 El Molino 28 Sonoma Valley 19
Healdsburg (1-8, 1-4) at Piner (4-4, 2-2)
No. 8 Petaluma (7-2, 4-1) BYE
The Analy win wraps up its third straight SCL pennant. They have a one game lead over Petaluma which is where the will play for the sole-championship next week.
El Molino pulled out a big win over Sonoma Valley 28-19. El Molino had already qualified for the North Coast Division 4 playoffs. After going 2-8 last season, the Lions are a bubble team for a first round home game.
The Lions scored from every angle. After falling behind 6-0, Eric Wright returned a fumble 45 yards to give them their first lead.
The big play was right before halftime. Tony Gemini returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-6 lead.
After an exchange of touchdowns in the second half, Eddie Taylor returned a kickoff 85 yards for the score that wrapped up the game.
The win keeps El Molino one game behind Petaluma in the battle for second place in the SCL race.
Piner can pull even with El Molino with a win over Healdsburg today.
Next week Piner is at El Molino.
Tomales 36 Calistoga 6
St. Vincent (4-4, 4-0) at Upper Lake (0-8, 0-4)
Willie Lepori rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns to lead Tomales to a 36-6 win over Calistoga.
That would appear to set up a shot for Tomales to share the NCL II crown next week when they end the regular season at St. Vincent.
DeAnza (0-7, 0-2) at SRJC (5-2, 0-2)
KSRO 1350 AM AND 103.5 FM
My email address is [email protected]