Friday football preview: Small schools


St. Vincent's Josh Mehta celebrates a touchdown. (Crista Jeremiason / PD)

Point Arena (0-2) at Anderson Valley (2-1)

Time: Friday, 6 p.m.

Last week: Point Arena lost at Laytonville, 18-12. Anderson Valley lost to Tomales, 56-14.

Notable: Quarterback Mike Blackburn has been the offensive leader for Anderson Valley. The 5-8, 170-pound senior has completed 20 of 55 passes, including three touchdowns while the senior has run 47 times for 631 yards. He’s rushed for five touchdowns while averaging 13 1/2 yards per carry … Omar Benavides has been the leading receiver with 12 receptions good for 132 yards … Anchoring the defense is Marcos Espinoza with 30 tackles … Point Arena has only 12 players on the roster … Quarterback Brendon Radtkey has seven completions from 15 passes, but has also thrown two interceptions … .Ky Laiwa has been the Pirates’ leading rusher, averaging 5 1/2 yards per carry with 137 total on 20 runs.

Number to note: 38 — Anderson Valley’s scoring average, which could go even higher if Point Arena’s 12-man roster tires.


Cloverdale (0-3) at Middletown (2-1)

Time: Friday, 5:30 p.m.

Last week: Cloverdale lost to Willits, 42-40. Middletown topped St. Vincent, 36-7.

Notable: Undoubtedly coach Rick Berry has spent the week trying to develop defensive schemes that will slowdown high-powered Middletown. The Mustangs have averaged 48 points per game and would’ve been over the 50 mark had coach Bill Follmer not instructed his quarterback to take a knee in the final moments of last Saturday’s game rather than trying to score inches from the SV goal line … Meanwhile, the Cloverdale defense has been giving up an averaging of 37. The last two games, Kelseyville and Willits both scored 42 against the Eagles … Quarterback Kyle Brown, at 6-2 and 175 pounds, has been effective for the Middletown and with the high-powered Mustangs’ offense, kicker Danny Cardenas has gotten plenty of opportunities.

Number to note: 7 — The total points allowed by the Middletown defense in its last two games.


St. Helena (1-2) at Kelseyville (2-1)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: St. Helena defeated Lower Lake, 37-12. Kelseyville beat Clear Lake, 34-20.

Notable: This will be the third straight road game for St. Helena … The Kelseyville offense is powered by Nick Rodrigues. The 185-pound senior is averaging nine yards per carry..Quarterback Chris Augon has been throwing fewer than 10 times per game. The senior has one TD pass and two interceptions.

Number to note: 14 — The number of tackles Kelseyville’s Devin Baker has made this season.

Upper Lake (1-2) at Lower Lake (2-1)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Upper Lake lost to Fort Bragg, 48-12. Lower Lake fell to St. Helena, 37-12.

Notable: Lower Lake has already surpassed last year’s win total when the Trojans went 1-9 … Lower Lake opened the season beating Swett (22-19) and St. Vincent (26-14) … Upper Lake quarterback Michael Diconza has only thrown twice in three games and both tosses resulted in touchdowns. The Cougars rely on running back Jason Richard for a majority of their offense. Despite missing the loss to Middletown (56-0), the running back has carried the ball 44 times for 259 yards.

Number to note: 42 — Last year, Lower Lake went to Upper Lake and won by that margin.


Willits (2-1) at Clear Lake (0-3)

Time: Friday, 5:30 p.m.

Last week: Willits beat Cloverdale, 42-40. Clear Lake lost to Kelseyville, 34-20.

Notable: Clear Lake wide receiver Tanner Mansell is averaging 33 yards per catch. The senior’s longest reception was 88 yards … Kyle Swartz has been the Cardinals’ leading rusher with 42 yards on 19 carries … Willits was hit hard by graduation. Gone from last year’s team are quarterback Danny Guitierrez, leading rusher Dylan McGinty and standout defenseman Matthew Campbell … Coach Nat Collicott’s team lost its opener to Ferndale (40-12) and then defeated St. Helena (35-12) and Cloverdale (42-40) … In addition to Kelseyville, Clear Lake has lost to Fort Bragg (36-6) and Durham (6-48).

Number to note: 11 — The number of tackles recorded by Steven Edwards, Jake Chapin and Kyle Swartz to lead the Clear Lake defense.


Round Valley (0-2) at Tomales (3-1)
Time: Friday, 8 p.m.
Last week: Round Valley lost to Calistoga, 46-8. Tomales beat Anderson Valley, 56-14.
Notable: This game is a contrast in offenses. In its last two games, Tomales has averaged 65 points. In two games, Round Valley has scored only eight…Braves quarterback Javier Isias has a remarkable completion-to-touchdown ratio. The 5-7 senior has completed 19 passes in four games and nine of those have paid off in TDs.  John Dalmolin and Michael Guerrero have each been on the receiving end of four Isias scoring throws…Round Valley quarterback  Marcis McCarty has been plagued by interceptions. The senior has had four picked off while throwing for only one TD…Running back Vince Cordova has been a bright spot for the Mustangs, averaging 7 1/2 yards per carry.
Number to note: 11 — Average yards each time Tomales’ Michael Guerrero has run the ball.
Potter Valley (1-0) at Rincon Valley Christian (2-1)
Time:  Saturday, 2 p.m.
Last week: Potter Valley did not play. RVC defeated Alma Heights, 66-12
Notable:  Potter Valley has had two weeks off since opening the season September 17 with a 46-6 win over Laytonville.  Wing back Bryce Jacquet had a career day as he averaged nearly  27 yards on nine carries…Adam Kile lent support with 127 yards on 12 carries…RVC’s scoring stats must have coach Brad Rickard scratching his head.  The Eagles put 68 points on the board when beating Cornerstone Christian in their opener and  had a 66-point performance when blasting Alma Heights. However, they were shut out by Tomales (74-0) in their second game of the season. 
Number to note: 10 — Losses last year by Potter Valley. The Bearcats failed to win, which means they have bettered their 2009 record after only one game this season.

Time: Saturday, 2 p.m.

Last week: Fort Bragg beat Upper Lake 48-12. St. Vincent lost to Middletown 43-7.

Notable: Starting the season with three wins, Fort Bragg has picked up where the Timberwolves left off following last season’s North Coast Section title. St. Vincent has a rebuilding season after last year’s section playoff appearance. Quarterback Brandon Freitas has been a prolific passer for Fort Bragg — four touchdown tosses last week — and has a sturdy running back in Caleb Cunha. Alfredo Huerta is a load on the defensive line. St. Vincent is still seeking balance from its offense. While quarterback Conor Brown has been steady, throwing for 121 yards a game and five touchdowns overall, the running game is mustering only 63 yards per contest. Leading the Mustangs in receptions are Josh Mehta and Michael Meiswinkel. Linebacker Jeff Matthews and defensive lineman Jesse O’Keeffe both average more than 9 tackles a game.

Number to note: Fort Bragg has a nine-game winning streak dating back to last season.

The pick: Fort Bragg 34, St. Vincent 14

— Previews written by Press Democrat correspondent Howard Senzell and Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit