It may not be easy to beat a good football team twice in two weeks, but St. Vincent sure made it look that way Saturday afternoon, silencing Calistoga's Wildcats, 34-6 in the first round of the North Coast Section Division 5 playoffs.
The win came just a week after the Mustangs had earned a share of the North Central II Bay Football League title with a 47-21 win in a league game played in Calistoga.
Playing on a bright autumn afternoon on their home field, the Mustangs were even more dominant Saturday.
"We started a little sloppy," noted St. Vincent coach Gary Galloway. "We took too long to get going. We have to clean it up. Every week it is going to get tougher."
Translated, that means St. Vincent didn't score in its first possession — it took until its second. The score culminated a 63-yard drive featuring a 41-yard pass from Mitch Sheppard to Patrick Garcia.
The touchdown came on a nine-yard run by Derek Murphy. For Murphy it was the start of a monster afternoon that saw him run for 170 yards on 30 carries to go over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.
A surprise 67-yard pass from quarterback Orion Harrell to Danny Alfaro set Dylan Alvarado up for a 17-yard touchdown run that, after St. Vincent's Yazen Atallah blocked the attempted Calistoga PAT, left the Wildcats within a point of their host, down just 7-6.
It was a close as the Wildcats were to get.
Before the first quarter had ended, St. Vincent had scored again on a five-yard reverse run by George Sammon and, try as they might, the Wildcats couldn't match the multi-weaponed Mustangs.
By the half, St. Vincent had tacked on two more touchdowns, one on a 12-yard pass from Sheppard to Zach Smith and one on an 11-yard connection between Sheppard and Garcia.
The touchdown throws extended Sheppard's streak of consecutive games with a scoring throw to 22.
Calistoga toughened its defense and St. Vincent quit throwing in the second half, resulting in a rather quiet final two quarters, highlighted by a Smith interception that he took 64 yards to the house.
The Mustang defense, led as it has been through a current six-game winning streak, by Michael Carroll and Murphy, was again staunch against a junior-dominated Calistoga team that is good and is going to be better next season.
St. Vincent will move on to play California School for the Deaf on Saturday, Nov. 17 on the CSD field in Fremont. CSD defeated Tomales, 26-6, in a first-round game Saturday.
St. Vincent and CSD tied for the league championship, with CSD winning their head-to-head battle, 44-17.
For a complete story on the St. Vincent vs. Calistoga game, see Thursday's Argus-Courier.