Weekend football preview: NBL

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Maria Carrillo star Sam Atoe. (THE PRESS DEMOCRAT)

Here’s a look at this weekend’s North Bay League football games:

Ukiah (2-5, 1-3) at Maria Carrillo (4-3, 3-1)

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Ukiah lost to Rancho Cotate, 42-6. Maria Carrillo defeated Elsie Allen, 41-6.

Notable: If Carrillo can win its last three games, the Pumas have a chance to win or share the North Bay League title. Going into Friday’s games, Cardinal Newman does not have a loss and like Maria Carrillo, Rancho Cotate has lost one … After Ukiah, the Pumas finish league with a visit to Montgomery and a home game with Rancho … The Pumas are on a three-game winning streak, beating Piner, Santa Rosa and Elsie Allen by an average of 34 points … Last Friday against Elsie Allen, Sam Atoe returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. By the time the first quarter ended, the Pumas led 26-0 … Ukiah needs to win its final three games to finish at .500 … Following the Carrillo game will be winnable games against Elsie Allen and Piner … The Wildcats like to pass, averaging 195 through the air and 56 on the ground. Junior quarterback Trevor Taylor has completed nearly 60 percent of his attempts.  However, he has 12 interceptions to go with his eight touchdowns … Aaron Dhuyvetter is the leading receiver with 40 catches.

Number to note: 42 — Number of points Ukiah has yielded in each of its past two games, losing by 36 to Rancho Cotate and 35 to Cardinal Newman.

——————————————————–

Elsie Allen (0-7, 0-4), at Piner (0-7, 0-4)

Time: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Last week: Elsie Allen lost to Maria Carrillo, 41-6. Piner was edged by Santa Rosa, 32-28.

Notable: This Saturday game could be dubbed the “Something’s Gotta Give Bowl.” … Both teams are seeking their first win … Each year since 2006, Piner has finished with a 2-8 mark. To achieve that in 2010, the Prospectors need to beat two of their final three opponents — Elsie Allen, Cardinal Newman and Ukiah … Piner almost got that elusive first win last Friday, leading 28-14 going into the final quarter at Santa Rosa. However, the Prospectors were outscored 18-0 in the final 12 minutes. The winning TD was especially painful as the Panthers. Tyree Collins recovered an onside kick with 2:07 left. Then, on fourth-and-16, Collins took a reverse pitch and scampered  23 yards for the score … Piner’s defense has been a problem all year, yielding an average of 48 points per game … The Lobos haven’t won since Sept. 26, 2008, when they journeyed to Richmond and returned with a 25-12 victory … Elsie Allen has scored six points in its last four games, those coming in the fourth quarter against Maria Carrillo.

Number to note: 78 — The yardage of the scoring pass from Eric Flores to Rocky Champagne that broke Elsie Allen’s scoring drought.

NOTE: Looking for Cardinal Newman-Rancho Cotate or Santa Rosa-Montgomery? Both contests are among the Games of the Week. Read those previews by clicking on this link.