I like playing with numbers.
I mean in the sporting sense.
My daughter, who is in high school, and my son who has graduated, knew it would be frustrating to ask me for help when it comes to algebra and geometry.   I might be smarter than a fifth grader when it comes to math, although with what they may have for fifth grade math these days that might be debatable, but when you throw in letters and planes and all that stuff, forget it.
But with simple numbers I can do almost anything.
Playing with numbers is a playground when reviewing the Cardinal Newman-Rancho Cotate game.

CTY Catch
Rancho’s Chris Taylor-yamanoha leaps high in the air to catch the games final TD in Overtime.

It took nearly eighteen minutes for the first touchdown of the game to be scored.   In the next eighteen there were seven, which mean there was a touchdown every three and a half minutes.  Five of the touchdowns were in the third quarter and all five were scored on drives longer than 50 yards.
Starting with the last touchdown of the first half, there were eight straight touchdowns scored and they were all lead changes.
With all those lead changes there wasn’t a tie until the field goal in the last minute which got it into overtime.
The two teams combined for over 800 yards in total offense, nearly half of that was in the third quarter.
The kickers, Kevin Nguyen of Rancho Cotate and Aidan Nagle of Cardinal Newman hit all 13 of the extra points and both field goal attempts.   In last year’s game, which Cardinal Newman won 42-41; the same two kickers were 13 of 14 on extra points.   The lone miss was because of a bad snap after the last touchdown that would have tied the game with less than three minutes to go.
Doing the math for the last two games the score is Rancho Cotate 86 Cardinal Newman 80.
If you are hoping the two teams might meet in the Division 3 playoffs, so am I.
PLAYING WITH NUMBERS PART TWO
Cal Preps has been doing its projection for the last two weeks and we add it to our weekly previews.
These are the kinds of things that are right up my alley to play with numbers.
Two weeks is a small sampling size, but here are some early returns.
If your Cloverdale, you hope Cal Preps does not pick you to win.   In the first two weeks in picking winners Cal Preps has been right on eleven of thirteen games each week.   In both weeks the picks were wrong for Cloverdale.    One week they picked Cloverdale to win, which they lost.   Then last week they took Cloverdale to lose, which they won.
Cloverdale hosts Lower Lake this week and is a nine point favorite.
If you are a NBL team, hope they take you to win big.  There have been three games that the spread was seven or less and the underdog won two of three.
Last week it was Rancho Cotate defeating Cardinal Newman, the week before it was Santa Rosa over Ukiah.  The favorite to win was Casa Grande beating Ukiah last week.  So Ukiah has played the role of close favorite and close underdog and went 0-2.
If your team is underdog by a spread from an 8-21, it will be closer than that.  Six games have had that range and only one time has the favorite won by a bigger score than the number.   That was Rancho Cotate over Montgomery two weeks ago.  Rancho Cotate was a 21 point favorite.  The Cougars won by 22.
In all four NCL I games last week the spread was seven or less.   The favorite won three of the games and won by more of than the spread.  The only favorite that didn’t cover or win was Willits, who lost to Cloverdale.
PRETTY GOOD COMPANY
The NCL I is one of two leagues in the North Coast Section that every team is at least .500 on the season.
The other league is the power pack Bay Valley League, which has seven Division 1 teams.  The six team league starts league play this week.   Liberty of Brentwood is 5-1.  Every other team is 4-2.   According to the power rankings it is the best league in the division.   Pittsburgh, who lost to Analy last year, and Deer Valley who has beaten Santa Rosa in each of the last two seasons are in that league.  The league has had a comeback season.   Last season two teams went 1-9.
As for the NCL I Clear Lake, Lower Lake and Willits are 3-3.   Lower Lake travels to Willits on October 24th.  Clear Lake has the toughest road to finish .500 with both St. Helena and Middletown on the schedule.   Lower Lake ends the regular season at Middletown while Willits is at St. Helena on Halloween Night.
The NCL I is a different world than the Bay Valley League.    The league has four each in Division 4 and 5.
OUTSIDE THE AREA
With the regular season coming into the home stretch, teams are not only competing for a league championship, but jockeying for an NCS playoff position.
Eleven of the twenty teams we cover are either in Division 2 or 3.
In those two divisions, the top teams in the power rankings are from the same league, the top two in Division 2 and the top three in Division 3.
The top two teams in Division 2 are the familiar teams of Clayton Valley Charter and Concord from the Diablo Valley League.   Windsor is No. 3.
The top three teams in Division 3 are Campolindo,  Acalanes and Las Lomas from the Diablo Foothill League.   Analy is No. 4.
Both Clayton Valley Charter and Concord are undefeated and of course since they are in the same league they will meet.   That meeting will be at Concord on October 24th.   In the human polls Clayton Valley Charter is ranked a lot higher that Concord.   For example, in the Chronicle Bay Area Rankings Clayton Valley Charter is No. 3, Concord is at no. 16.  You would think they would change if Concord won that game.
The top three from Division 3 are Campolindo, Acalanes and Las Lomas.   Campolindo is the only team undefeated and the only one of the three teams in the Chroncile rankings at No. 6. In the next three of four weeks there will be games between these teams.
This week Campolindo hosts Las Lomas and according to Cal Preps is a 14 point favorite.
On Halloween Night, Las Lomas goes to Acalanes and then the regular season ends with Las Lomas at Campolindo.
The local fans probably should be rooting for the ranked teams to win the showdowns.   If they get upset they would fall very far.
St. Helena is the highest ranked team in the power rankings at No. 2 in Division 4.
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