On the surface and on the scoreboard, Petaluma High School’s 50-19 Sonoma County League football victory over Piner looks like a routine win by an SCL power over a league also-ran.
But whenever Petaluma plays Piner, especially on Piner’s frayed synthetic turf, the game is never routine.
Such was the case Saturday when the Trojans had their hands full with the fired-up Prospectors until the final minutes of the first half, when the visitors scored two touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Still, Piner battled to the end, beating a running clock to score a satisfying final touchdown as the game was drawing to a close.
Piner played hard on a hot, but not sweltering, autumn afternoon. In the end, Petaluma had too many weapons, particularly up front on the offensive and defensive lines.
When it was all totaled up, the Trojans had their usual dominating offensive game with 340 yards rushing and another 96 passing behind alternating quarterbacks Justin Wolbert and Cole Powers. Both played well and each ran for a score.
As usual, Petaluma used a bevy of rushers, with nine Trojans getting a chance to pack the football, led by Wolbert with 104 yards. Sixty-nine of those yards came on a scoring run. Garrett Freitas, given a chance to run between the tackles as opposed to his usual procedure of attacking an opponent’s flanks, responded with 79 yards, with Jacob Rollstin adding 67, Erick Diaz 28 and Dominick Ayers 25.
Powers completed four of seven passes for 82 yards, while Wolbert was 2-of-4 for 14 yards. Donovan Castillo was a workhorse for Piner, running for 73 tough yards on 21 carries and also roaming the field on defense.
Quarterback Mason McClintock completed 11 of 22 passes for 159 yards and all three Piner touchdowns.
Petaluma touchdowns came from Powers on a 1-yard run, Freitas on a 6-yard run, Wolbert on his 69-yard scamper, Rollstin on a 1-yard run, Freitas on a 21-yard run, Justin Turner on a 1-yard run and Diaz on a 5-yard run.
Up front defensively, Xavier Crysdale, Luke Haggard, True Overton and several other rotating players made rushing life difficult for Piner, and when Prospector carriers did manage to sneak by the original front line of defense, linebackers Nick Ayers and Derrick Pomi were there to finish the job with Pomi having an especially outstanding game.
Petaluma dropped to 6-1 on the season and 2-1 in Sonoma County League play.