Friday football: Games of the Week

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Healdsburg quarterback Max Opperman. (KENT PORTER / PD)

MONTGOMERY (1-3) AT RANCHO COTATE (3-1)
Time:
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Montgomery beat Ukiah, 35-14. Rancho Cotate beat Piner, 49-6.
Notable: While both teams rolled up big wins to open North Bay League play, Rancho Cotate has been consistently explosive while Montgomery has struggled to score. Still, the Vikings could be dangerous after playing a tough non-league schedule. Pacing the Cougars is running back Brian Dworkin, a three-year starter who had yet another 100-yard game in the win at Piner. Not a big back, Dworkin is strong and has great instincts, making him hard to tackle. But he is not alone — five different backs scored last week — as Rancho Cotate’s triple option is operating on all cylinders. Quarterback Ricky Garcia directs an offense that challenges defenses to read and react. An improving Vikings’ defense must contain Rancho Cotate enough to give Montgomery’s offense a chance. Rotating six defensive linemen, Montgomery aims to plug holes so linebackers, led by Tarin Easton, can make stops. Linebacker/safety Alex Ciudad-Real is another defensive standout. Also the Vikings’ top back, Ciudad-Real averages 124 yards rushing per contest. Danny McCray has filled in well at quarterback for injured starter Kurtis Ceniceros, throwing for 76 yards a game.
Number to note: Montgomery has a swarming defense with no player averaging more than seven tackles per game.
Pick: Rancho 21, Montgomery 13.

HEALDSBURG (5-0) AT ANALY (3-2)
Time:
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Healdsburg beat Petaluma, 33-0. Analy lost to Windsor, 6-3.
Notable: Healdsburg has been tested in going undefeated so far this season, but Analy always is a tough Sonoma County League foe despite the disappointing loss to Windsor. Leading the Greyhounds’ offense are quarterback Max Opperman — averaging 100 yards total offense per game — and running back Carson Seanor, with 119 yards per contest and 11 touchdowns on the season. On defense, Healdsburg has shut out two teams. Adam Hendrickson averages nine tackles and Travis Arreguin averages seven. While the Tigers’ passing game was grounded by Windsor, expect Analy to let the ball fly because quarterback Jake Zanutto has a strong, accurate arm and two dangerous targets. Julius Titus-Patino is the possession guy who can go deep and Aaron Maher averages 23 yards per catch with four touchdowns. Dallas Hamilton is the defensive anchor, averaging 10 tackles.
Number to note: With only 30 players, Healdsburg is a small squad that relies on team play as much as any North Bay prep football squad.
Pick: Healdsburg 27, Analy 14.

UKIAH (1-3) AT SANTA ROSA (2-2)
Time:
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Ukiah lost to Montgomery, 35-14. Santa Rosa beat Elsie Allen, 62-0.
Notable: Both teams have showed flashes on offense and defense, but consistency has been a problem. Ukiah hung in against traditional powers Casa Grande, Eureka and Montgomery. Santa Rosa has two shutout wins bookending two defeats without scoring a point. Look for a contrast in styles as Ukiah likes to throw while Santa Rosa mixes the run and pass. Trevor Taylor throws for 131 yards a game with Aaron Dhuyvetter averaging 17 yards per catch. Leading rusher Ben Brooks also tops Ukiah in tackles with 10 per contest, just ahead of Mason Colombo. Leading the Panthers are running backs Ethan Rosselli — converted from linebacker — and Jaray Hayes. Kalen Rosselli has been solid at quarterback when not harried by defenses.
Number to note: Dhuyvetter is Ukiah’s all-purpose offensive player. With nearly 84 receiving yards per game, he also averages 15 yards per punt return and 24 yards on kickoff returns.
Pick: Ukiah 21, Santa Rosa 13.

WINDSOR (5-0) AT SONOMA VALLEY (1-3)
Time:
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Windsor beat Analy, 6-3. Sonoma Valley lost to Dublin, 31-14.
Notable: Windsor is a team on the rise and Sonoma Valley is trying to stay competitive in the SCL. With a handful of senior starters bolstered by top players from last year’s undefeated junior varsity, Windsor is challenging for the SCL title. The Jaguars’ offense has struggled some of late, but Christian McAlvain is a dynamic quarterback averaging 152 total yards per game and Jerad Leon leads a pack of backs with 60 yards per contest. Windsor has only scored 29 points in the past three games, but they all were wins thanks to a stout defense. Linebacker Kevin Brown averages 13 tackles and Louie Correa follows with 11 a game. Sonoma Valley has struggled on offense, leaving the Dragons’ defense on the field for long stretches. Running back Joey Casias has been a nice find at running back averaging 56 yards and remains Sonoma Valley’s top defensive back. First-year quarterback Sam Morgan has shown promise when he has time to throw, with his top target Steve McGunagle at 16 catches overall and 63 yards per contest. Linebackers Eric Clouse — averaging 13 tackles — and Sean Daly — with 12 a game — have kept the Dragons in games with their play.
Number to note: Windsor kicker Lee Aranda has reached the end zone for 13 touchbacks on 21 kickoffs.
Pick: Windsor 24, Sonoma Valley 7.