Friday football preview: NBL

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Cardinal Newman (3-2, 1-0) at Elsie Allen (0-4, 0-1)
Time:
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Cardinal Newman defeated Maria Carrillo, 28-0. Elsie Allen lost to Santa Rosa, 62-0.
Notable: Just how good were the three non-Empire teams that Newman played to begin the season? The record indicates they were better darn good. ..Central Catholic, a 24-21 loser in the season opener for both teams, has won its last three by a 33-point margin … Valley Christian, the team that defeated the Cardinals 34-0, is 5-0 and has won those games by average of 39 points … Palma, the school that beat CN, 31-7, is rolling along with a 3-0-1 mark … Newman coach Paul Cronin was hoping the tough pre-conference schedule would get his team ready for the NBL and if opening week was an indication, the answer is most definitely yes. Against Maria Carrillo, the Cardinals scored 14 in the first quarter and the defense did the rest.
Number to note: 44 — That is Elsie Allen’s average losing margin this year. However, don’t forget what happened in 1996. The Lobos defeated Newman, 16-7, in one of the Empire’s most shocking upsets.

Maria Carrillo (1-3, 0-1) at Piner (0-4, 0-1)
Time:
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Last week: Maria Carrillo lost to Cardinal Newman, 28-0. Piner fell to Rancho Cotate, 49-6.
Notable: Both teams found themselves down 14-0 after one quarter in their last game … Carrillo couldn’t get anything going offensively as quarterback Sam Atoe completed only one pass for 10 yards in 10 attempts. Atoe was the Pumas’ leading rusher with 64 yards … Israel Sanchez has scored all five of Piner’s touchdowns this year. The senior rushed for three of those and caught passes for the other two … The game against Rancho marked the varsity debut of quarterback Austin (Tex) Nahmens. The sophomore responded by completing eight of 13 passes for 106 yards … Coach Matt Tomlin has changed offensive schemes, going from the spread to a double wing.
Number to note: 40 — That was the winning margin for Maria Carrillo when the two schools played last year.

NOTE: If you don’t see an NBL game of interest here, check out this link for Games of the Week.