HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Trojans in dangerous Hound country
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.
Casa Grande, St. Vincent and Tomales show their high-octane offenses to the home folks this week, while Petaluma visits the traditionally unfriendly kennel of Healdsburg's Greyhounds.
The Gauchos, coming off an impressive dismantling of Montgomery in their first North Bay League game, entertain Santa Rosa's much-improved Panthers. St. Vincent continues to play at home against a good California School for the Deaf team and Tomales tries to continue to roll against Emery in this weekend's games. Petaluma's Trojans ride the emotion of their first win of the season to Healdsburg to play at Recreation Park against the Greyhounds. All games, except St. Vincent's, are Friday night. The Mustangs play, as usual, Saturday afternoon.
Tough place to play
Petaluma takes its quest for a second straight SCL win to Recreation Park in Healdsburg, a notoriously difficult place for visiting teams to win against the homestanding Greyhounds.
The game will match two teams that both recorded victories in their opening league games, but in dramatically different fashions.
Petaluma had to battle to the final buzzer to beat Piner, 13-12, while Healdsburg enjoyed a 51-0 romp over Elsie Allen. Overall, Petaluma is 1-4, while Healdsburg is 3-2, although one of its wins was a forfeit victory over Castlemont.
For the first time in 24 years, the Trojans will be meeting a Greyhound team not coached by Tom Kirkpatrick, who retired after last season. He has been replaced by his longtime assistant, Todd Beth.
A key player for Healdsburg is returning two-way starter Jared Walker, who is the Greyhounds' leading rusher on offense and leading tackler on defense. Last week against Elsie Allen, he ran for a touchdown on offense and returned an interception for a touchdown on defense. Combined with Trystan Cleaver, he gives the Greyhounds a difficult to contain one-two rushing punch.
Although Healdsburg will do more running than passing, the Greyhounds have an outstanding quarterback in Scott Reynolds, moving up from the junior varsity, and a fine receiver in returning starter Andrew Kozel.
The combination has helped the Greyhounds score at least three touchdowns in each of their games this season.
They will be running against a Petaluma defense that had its best effort of the season in last week's win over Piner. Scranton and Augie Bundesen were the noticeable standouts for the Trojans, but everyone had a hand in shutting down the Piner running game and containing, if not totally stopping, outstanding Piner quarterback Noel Hernandez.
Petaluma's own offense came to life against Piner, with the Trojan line taking charge and helping alternating fullbacks Sam Spurling and Nikko Respeto combine for 113 rushing yards. Quarterback Patrick Bailey finally hooked up with talented wide receiver Eric Hunsicker for a touchdown on a perfectly executed fade pass.
Gauchos rolling again
Casa Grande's Gauchos, after being ambushed by Napa's Indians in their final pre-league game, began life in the North Bay League with an enjoyable 49-19 rout of Montgomery in Santa Rosa last week. Friday night, back on their home turf, they face Santa Rosa's high-scoring Panthers.
The Panthers are 2-2 on the season, but have shown an ability to score lots of points in a hurry. Only Analy, in the third game of the season, has been able to slow the Santa Rosans.
Even in their league-starting loss to Maria Carrillo last week, the Panthers scored 34 points.
Santa Rosa features a two-pronged attack, with quarterback Vince Jones a threat with both his legs and his arms and super-quick running back Jahray Hayes a danger ready to explode from any spot on the field. Each had more than 100 yards against Maria Carrillo.
After opening the season on the road at St. Bernard's, St. Vincent has now played three straight home games and will make it four in a row Saturday afternoon when it hosts California School for the Deaf from Fremont.
CSD players may be hearing impaired, but they are definitely not adverse to physical football, and they bring a good team onto Yarborough Field, matching the Mustangs with a 3-1 overall record for the season.
CSD started the season with three straight wins, defeating Texas School for the Deaf, 27-12; Calistoga, 35-29; and Richmond. 20-3, before losing its league opener to Upper Lake, 47-0, last week.
Led by record-setting quarterback Mitch Sheppard, St. Vincent has scored 150 points in just four games, an average of better than 37 points a contest.
Tougher Tomales task
Tomales faces a tougher task in the second week of NCL II/Bay Football League play than it did in its opener last week. The Braves rolled by St. Elizabeth, 54-8, in its first game in the new league, but faces a more difficult foe Friday night when it hosts Emery.
Emery has a 2-1 record, and also won its first league game last week, besting a reportedly good Calistoga team, 34-10.
Both teams faced Elsie Allen in pre-league play, with Tomales winning, 68-14, while Emery recorded a 22-0 shutout.
Tomales' only loss during a 3-1 season was to St. Helena, 41-14, while Emery lost its opener to Berean Christian, 10-8, before coming back for the wins over Elsie Allen and Calistoga for a 2-1 record.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
You'll find a number of new technology features available from this site. With personalized news sent straight to your mobile device.
post your stuff
Petaluma360.com is here for you to post your comments, photos, news and events with the community. Post it now!
Have something to say? Join the conversation!
Upload your photos of community events, holidays, pets, cute kids, breaking news and more, and vote for your favorites!
Submit your area events to encourage others in your community to attend.