Division II football playoff notes

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:

Friday’s games
No. 16 Rancho Cotate (6-4) at No. 1 Petaluma (10-0), 7 p.m.
No. 15 Maria Carrillo (4-6) at No. 2 Casa Grande (9-1), 7 p.m.
No. 14 Mt. Diablo (6-4) at No. 3 Montgomery (8-2), 7 p.m.
Saturday’s game
No. 9 Cardinal Newman (6-4) at No. 8 Windsor (6-4), 7 p.m.

* Rancho Cotate could be missing two of its top linemen. Defensive lineman Scott Reid is out and offensive lineman Andrew Richardson is questionable. Coach Ed Conroy said both were injured against Cardinal Newman on Oct. 30.
* Petaluma coach Steve Ellison hasn’t won a section title in his 31 years at the school. Ellison led the Trojans to nine straight playoff appearances from 1989-97 when Petaluma had a combined record of 79-26-1. But the Trojans were bounced from the playoffs by Marin Catholic in six of those years. The coach for Marin Catholic in four of those wins over Petaluma was Larry Gondola, now the offensive coordinator at Casa Grande.
* Windsor coach Jason Fayter said star QB/S D.J. King is questionable due to a high ankle sprain. On Thursday morning, Fayter said he expected King to practice for the first time that afternoon. If King doesn’t play, either senior Miles Williams or junior Lorenzo Camarena will play QB.
* Fayter didn’t tip his hand regarding what offense the Jaguars would run. With King either out or limited to defense in previous games this year, Windsor used the double wing. “We’re going to try to score more points than the other team,” Fayter said. “We could run the spread. We could run the double wing. We could run the double wing spread.” Double wing spread? Guess I might find out Saturday.
* Cardinal Newman coach Paul Cronin on his team flying under the radar as the No. 9 seed after reaching the Division III state title game two of the past three years, “I don’t think Cardinal Newman will ever be flying under the radar. I think teams will always be pretty focused to beat us, especially this year they might be even more excited to beat us.”
* When the Cardinals switched from the spread to the double-wing offense three weeks ago, Cronin hinted they would eventually pass more out of the run-oriented system. It hasn’t happened yet — Newman had four pass attempts last week — but Cronin said that day is coming, He was reluctant to tip his hand during the regular season. And he didn’t need to as Newman won each of its last three games by at least nine points, “There will come a point when we will use some of this other stuff we’ve been working on,” Cronin said. “But like last week, we were able to win without it. So the idea is to win the game and move on.”
* Cardinal Newman sophomore quarterback/safety Matt Sullivan and freshman defensive lineman Dakota Albaum, who sat out last week’s game for disciplinary reasons, will not play in the postseason.
* Mt. Diablo of Concord is making its first postseason trip in the modern era of the NCS playoffs. NCS championships were not held from 1931-1974. The Red Devils have clinched their first winning season since 1993.