Prep football previews: Small schools

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

NCL I NORTH

Fort Bragg (5-0) at Lower Lake (4-1)

Time: Friday, 5:30 p.m.

Tomales QB Javier Isais. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / PD)

Last week: Fort Bragg upended St. Helena, 34-14. Lower Lake got a road win at Cloverdale, 26-6.

Notable: This is the North Central I North opener for both teams … If numbers are a true indicator, Fort Bragg will win this game by 45 points. The Timberwolves beat St. Helena by 20 and Lower Lake’s only loss was to the Saints, a 37-12 drubbing … Fort Bragg, under Jack Moyer, has been one of the Empire’s winningest programs in recent years. Since 2008, the T’wolves have amassed a 25-5 record … This year’s team is stingy on defense, allowing only 10 points per game … This is Fort Bragg’s third straight road game.

Numbers to note: 111-6 — Fort Bragg has outscored Lower Lake by that total in the last two meetings.

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Willits (4-1) at Kelseyville (4-1)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Willits beat St. Vincent, 36-22. Kelseyville defeated Upper Lake, 39-0.

Notable: This North Central I North opener pits two teams that have both won four in a row … Willits was hammered by Ferndale, 40-12, in its opener and then defeated St. Helena, Cloverdale, Clear Lake and St. Vincent … Kelseyville lost its curtain-raiser to Hamilton and then rebounded to defeat Cloverdale, Clear Lake, St. Helena and Upper Lake in succession … The Knights gain more than 400 yards per game with a majority coming on the ground. They rush for an average of 328 yards and pass for 96 … Nick Rodriguez (averaging 8.57 yards per carry) and Geno Poloni (7.5 per carry) are the workhorses for Kelseyville The two are responsible for 102 points this season … Chris Aguon has completed 17 of 31 passes.

Number to note: 40 — Solo tackles by Kelseyville’s Mike Davis. The senior has assisted on 13 others. He is also averaging 22 yards per punt return.

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NCL I

Middletown (4-1) at St. Helena (1-4)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Middletown defeated Clear Lake, 42-0. St. Helena lost to Fort Bragg, 34-14.

Notable: In recent weeks, Middletown’s defense has been one of the tightest in the Empire. The Mustangs have two straight shutouts and have allowed only one TD in their last four games … Coach Bill Foltmer’s program is one of the area’s most successful. Since 2008, Middletown is 24-5 … St. Helena relies on the run. The Saints are averaging 179 yards on the ground and 88 through the air … You wouldn’t blame coach Brandon Farrell for looking forward to next year’s St. Helena team. His statistical leaders are underclassmen … Sophomore quarterback Richard Hoppe has tossed six touchdowns, but also five interceptions … Junior Alex Quiric has caught only eight passes, but four of those were for TDs … Junior Charles Bertoli is rushing for 100 yards per game.

Number to note: 41 — St. Helena junior linebacker Dominic Skinner has piled up that many solo tackles.

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NCL I SOUTH

Cloverdale (0-5) at Clear Lake (0-5)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Cloverdale lost to Lower Lake, 26-6. Clear Lake fell to Middletown, 42-0.

Notable: These winless teams have faced three common opponents. Clear Lake lost by 14 to Kelseyville while Cloverdale came up nine points short. Willits beat Cloverdale by two and Clear Lake by 17. The most telling stat against common opponents is the fact that Cloverdale scored 40 against Middletown and lost by nine. Clear Lake was walloped 42-0 by the Mustangs … Cloverdale is in rebuilding mode after being hit hard by graduation … Among those gone from last year’s 9-2 team are quarterback Jerod Domenichelli, leading rushers David Whitaker and Javier Eligio and top receiver Casey Berry … Cloverdale has been outscored 185-86 this season while Clear Lake has given up 191 points while scoring only 46.

Numbers to note: 17-6 — that was the score of last year’s game, won by Cloverdale.

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Upper Lake (1-4, 0-1) at St. Vincent (1-4, 0-0)

Time: Saturday, 2 p.m.

Last week: Upper Lake was beaten by Kelseyville, 39-0. St. Vincent lost at Willits, 36-22.

Notable: St. Vincent will be trying to snap a four-game losing streak … The Mustangs trounced Tomales in their season opener before losing to Lower Lake, Middletown, Fort Bragg and Willits … This is the North Central I opener for St. Vincent, while Upper Lake is 0-1 in league … Aziz Atalla and Conor Brown carry the ball most of the time for the Mustangs. QB Brown has thrown seven TDs, three of those to Michael Meiswinkel … Jesse O’Keefe has been the leading tackler the first half of the season … Upper Lake is dependent on its rushing game … The Cougars have been passing an average of six times per game while averaging only 13 yards … Led by Jason Harlan, Upper Lake is gaining 174 per game on the ground … The Cougars have lost their last four games by an average of 44 points.

Number to note: 8 — Upper Lake has lost eight fumbles this season.

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NCL II

Tomales (4-2, 3-0) at Potter Valley (2-1, 2-1)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Tomales lost to McKinleyville, 34-16. Potter Valley was beaten by Calistoga, 49-8.

Notable: The team that stops the other team’s running game figures to win. Both get a majority of their yardage on the ground … This season, Potter Valley has 367 rushing yards and only 76 through the air … Tomales is gaining twice as many yards on the ground as through the air … Junior Mike Guerrero is adept at both running and receiving for the Braves. The junior has caught four TDs and is averaging almost nine yards per carry on nine carries … Quarterback Javier Isias has thrown for 10 scores, but has also tossed four interceptions … For Potter Valley, Bryce Jacquet has been hard to bring down. The junior has run the ball nine times and is averaging 27 yards per carry … This is the third of four straight home games for Potter Valley … Last year, the Warriors were 0-10.

Number to note: 3 — Tomales lineman Danny Sanchez has that many sacks and defensive back John Dalmolin has that many interceptions.

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Laytonville (3-2, 2-1) at Calistoga (2-3, 2-1)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Laytonville defeated Rincon Valley Christian, 47-12. Calistoga beat Potter Valley, 49-8.

Notable: Laytonville’s offense is extremely well-balanced. The Warriors average 150 on the ground and 146 through the air … Ron Rosenthal gets the ball twice as often as any of his teammates. He’s carried 45 times while averaging six yards per carry … Quarterback Jesse Hence has thrown six TDs, five of those to Brandon Sutherland … Calistoga has won two straight after opening the season with three losses … The Wildcats rely on their running game, picking up 275 per game on the ground, compared to only 40 passing … Quarterback Lucas Fernandez has thrown seven interceptions … Jose Sanchez has already rushed for 730 yards and scored five TDs.

Number to note: 25 — Jose Vega has that many solo tackles for Calistoga and has assisted on 17 others.

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Rincon Valley Christian (2-3, 0-3) at Point Arena (1-2, 1-1)

Time: Saturday, 2 p.m.

Last week: RVC was beaten by Laytonville, 47-12. Point Arena beat Anderson Valley, 24-12.

Notable: If the RVC defense can stop the run, it can probably beat Point Arena … The Pirates are averaging 230 rushing yards, but only 38 passing … Quarterback Brendon Radtkey has two interceptions in 19 attempts … Ky Laiwa has been effective in close for Point Arena. He’s scored three times, with his longest run being eight yards … This is the third of five consecutive road games for Point Arena … RVC has been soundly beaten in its last two … The Eagles’ last win came September 25 against Alma Heights of Pacifica (66-12)

Number to note: 3 — Categories led by Point Arena’s Laiwa. The senior is his team’s leading receiver, scorer and tackler.