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Very happy homecoming for Petaluma

Petaluma High School's varsity football team made homecoming happy for Trojans past and present Friday night, whomping El Molino's undermanned Lions, 51-0.

Playing before their largest crowd of the season, a stands-full contingent that included graduates and high-spirited current students, the Trojans dominated both sides of the football from start to finish.

The win was the third straight for the Trojans, with all three victories coming in Sonoma County League play where they are still undefeated.

"A little bit of success gets the kids a little hungry for more," said Petaluma coach Rick Krist, whose team lost all four pre-league games before their current success in SCL games.

"Even when things were going bad, the kids never let down. It makes it easier to turn things around when the kids stay positive. We never abandoned anything. We stayed with what we were doing."

What the Trojans were doing, and what they did exceptionally well Friday night, was run their triple-option offense, with fullback Sam Spurling plowing up the middle for tough yards, quarterback Patrick Bailey keeping for good gains and, most impressively against the Lions, speedster halfbacks Vince Raffaelli and Danny Murphy ripping off huge chunks of yardage with pitches left and right.

Defensively, Petaluma, bolstered by the return of 210-pound senior lineman Maxwell Krieg, completely stuffed the El Molino offense, holding the people-thin Lions to just three first downs in the game.

El Molino dressed less than 20 players, and was just no match for the Trojans, who dressed close to 40 and used them all, most before the end of the first half.

By the numbers, Petaluma scoring came from Spurling on an 18-yard gallop up the middle; Spurling on a five-yard push up the middle; Teddy Scranton who scored on a lateral from teammate Kreig who stripped a Lion ball carrier, but was forced to lateral to his teammate after having the ball nearly punched from his hands on the way to the end zone; Spurling for the third time up the middle (from seven yards); and Raffaelli with a 32-yard field goal.

That was just in the first half.

With all hands in the game in the second half, the Trojan march continued with Murphy scoring from two yards; Bailey scoring from 16 and Brian Mayer counting from the 10-yard line.

For complete game details, see Thursday's Argus-Courier.


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