The resurrection of Piner continues, as do the landmark wins.
On November 15th, 2003, Cardinal Newman defeated Piner 34-21. It was the last regular season game and was Piner’s third straight loss to end the league season. The game gave the NBL championship to Cardinal Newman and ended Piner’s regular season at 6-4 overall and 4-3 in league.
Fast forward to yesterday—September 28th, 2013.
Piner rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Petaluma 26-17 to open Sonoma County League play. It is the first time that Piner has been over .500 in league since that November afternoon nearly a decade ago.
That they rallied to win in the fourth quarter, who knows when the last time that has happened.
Piner continues to improve, not in leap and bounds but in baby steps.
The chance for leap and bounds is next week, but more about that in a moment.
Last year Piner started out with a 13-12 loss to Petaluma in the league opener. They missed a two point conversion late in the fourth quarter which decided the game.
It looked like it was going to happening again. After Piner took a 14-3 lead in the first half, Petaluma rallied and took its first lead of the game 17-14 on Gabe Medina’s 26 yard run in third quarter.
But instead of letting things fall apart, Piner had a response. Niko Formosa scored from 8 yards out to give Piner the lead and they went on for the win. It was Formosa’s team high fourth rushing touchdown of the season. He also has caught four touchdown passes.
Junior running back Isiah Carter, who started the scoring with a 15 yard run, rushed for 111 yards. He is the first Piner back to hit the 100 yard mark since last season’s opening 21-8 win over San Rafael when Domenic Wilson went for 109.
2003 was the first season that Paul Cronin took over at Cardinal Newman. A week after Cardinal Newman defeated Piner to take the NBL championship, the two teams met again in the first round of the NCS playoffs. Piner pulled off the upset 21-14 win. The following week Casa Grande ended that season with a 27-0 win. That is the last time Piner made the NCS playoffs. That is also the last time Piner has been over .500 this late in the season. The only other time that Piner has been over .500 period is that win over San Rafael to start last season.
The leap and bounds opportunity coming next week is a road game at the Defending SCL champion Analy.
NORTH BAY LEAGUE
No. 1 Casa Grande 30 No. 5 Montgomery 12
No. 7 Rancho Cotate 43 No. 2 Windsor 14
No. 3 Cardinal Newman 35 Ukiah 7
No. 9 Maria Carrillo 42 No. 8 Santa Rosa 21
SONOMA COUNTY LEAGUE
No. 4 Analy 44 No. 10 Sonoma Valley 14
Healdsburg 52 Elsie Allen 0
Piner 26 Petaluma 17
El Molino (1-3) BYE
NORTH CENTRAL LEAGUE I (ALL GAMES FRIDAY)
No. 6 Middletown 67 Willits 0
St. Helena 42 Kelseyville 21
Fort Bragg 33 Lower Lake 6
Clear Lake 20 Cloverdale 19
NORTH CENTRAL LEAGUE II/BAY
Calistoga 55 Emery 28
St. Vincent 33 Stellar Prep 8
CSD (Fremont) 60 Upper Lake 0
Derek Murphy scored two of his three touchdowns in the third quarter to lead St. Vincent to a comeback win over Stellar Prep in the opening NCL II/Bay League game for both teams.
All the first half scoring came in the first quarter, with Stellar Prep hitting a two point conversion to take its first lead of the season at 8-7.
All the second half scoring came in the third quarter and it belonged to St. Vincent.
Murphy ended up with 108 yards and scored both of his rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. He had started the scoring by catching 9 yard pass that wrap up the first drive of the game.
St. Vincent is 3-1 on the season, the lone loss 12-7 to St. Helena.
Castlemont 6 Tomales 0
No. 5 American River 55 No. 13 SRJC 21
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