Saturday’s football playoff capsules

10/2/2010: C5: PC: Maria Carrillo's Nick Pinney breaks up a pass intended for Cardinal Newman's D.J. Mayogarl and Maria Carrillo's Sam Atoe intercepted the ball as it came out of Mayogarl's hands during the game held at Maria Carrillo High School, Oct. 1, 2010. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / PD)

DOUGHERTY VALLEY (5-5) AT
MARIA CARRILLO (6-4)

Time: 7 p.m.
Last week: Dougherty Valley lost to

Dublin, 27-21. Maria Carrillo lost to Rancho Cotate, 20-14.

Notable: Home field would seem to give an edge to Maria Carrillo in what appears an evenly matched contest between teams that like to run. After a promising start in Diablo Foothill Athletic League play, Dougherty Valley lost a pair of tight contests that have the Wildcats hungry for a win. Maria Carrillo finished strong, going 5-1 with only a tough overtime loss to North Bay League champion Rancho Cotate halting the Gauchos’ streak. Lucas Raventos — third in the DVAL with more than 100 yards a game — leads a Dougherty Valley offense averaging more than 220 yards on the ground per contest. Michael Spivey, a load of a fullback, is the other primary back. While the Wildcats were near the bottom of their league in defense, the Wildcats only had three losses by more than 10 points. Spivey anchors the unit, averaging 11 tackles at linebacker with defensive back Martin Walker roaming for 7 tackles a game. Quarterback Sam Atoe leads Maria Carrillo with a combination of speed and strength that can get the Pumas going quickly. A trio of backs make the Pumas tough to stop — Jake Delfino, Emilio Pollock and Zach Bluestone. For the Pumas to slow down the Wildcats, linebacker Anthony Ezrim needs to have a big game with Atoe and Delfino on the other side of the ball as well.
Number to note: This is Dougherty Valley’s first NCS playoff appearance after the high school opened four years ago.

Pick: Maria Carrillo 20, Dougherty Valley 14

AMERICAN (5-5) AT
CASA GRANDE (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Last week: American defeated Mission San Jose, 62-0. Casa Grande defeated Healdsburg, 27-6.

Notable: In a streaky season, American won four of its last five to finish third in Mission Valley Athletic League and returns to the sectionals after a two-year absence. Casa Grande comes in with another nine-win season, but that is just a start as the team’s goal has been to win the Division II playoffs after losing in the semifinals last season. The Eagles average nearly 300 yards a game on the ground with 1,100-yard back Roderick Johnson complemented by Shawn Wwong with 900 yards on the season. But look out for Kevin Basilio, a big play threat with five of his 15 receiving touchdowns going for more than 24 yards. American relies on a big-play defense (33 sacks), led by George McCloud with a half-dozen sacks and Daniel Luty averaging seven tackles a game. Rolling up 100 yards or more offense per contest, Casa Grande’s balance behind Nick Sherry’s arm and Javonie Oden’s legs makes the Gauchos favorites. Sherry averages 200 yards passing and has only four interceptions against 16 touchdowns. Also a sack-happy defense, the Gauchos have 37 tackles for loss, led by defensive ends Luis Araiza and Mat Floerke, with seven each.

Number to note: Casa Grande has five receivers with at least 16 catches this season led by Anthony Poole’s 46 grabs and Makana Garrigan’s 7 touchdowns.

Pick: Casa Grande 28, American 7

CLAYTON VALLEY (5-5)
AT WINDSOR (7-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Last week: Clayton Valley lost to College Park, 27-21. Windsor lost to Petaluma, 27-0.

Notable: Both teams backed into the playoffs. Clayton Valley got the nod based on playing in the tough Diablo Valley Athletic League. Windsor started the season on a seven-game win streak. Offensive struggles define these teams — Clayton Valley averages 240 yards and Windsor 264 yards. Look for the offenses to control the ball and rely on strong defenses. Clayton Valley’s running game by committee is led by Jeff Dominguez and Joe Prothroe. When the Eagles throw, they can score with Kunle Fashola and Brenden Eddy each catching three scoring passes. An improving Eagles defense relies on defensive linemen Nick Mazza and Kevin Jo. Windsor also gets multiple backs into the game with Jerad Leon out front and quarterback Christian McAlvain willing to keep the ball and grind out yards. Mixing short passes with deep routes, Windsor spreads with Kyle Smith and Lorenzo Camarena primary receivers. On defense, the Jaguars rely on an active corps of linebackers to support the run defense and get sacks. Taylor Biaggi leads with a 6 sacks and Darrian Roman has a handful.

Number to note: Timmy McDevitt, Clayton Valley, and Lee Aranda, Windsor are a pair of kickers with strong, accurate legs. Each has booted six field goals.

Pick: Windsor 20, Clayton Valley 10

PETALUMA (4-6) AT
EUREKA (6-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Last week: Petaluma defeated Windsor, 27-0. Eureka defeated Del Norte, 26-15.

Notable: Coming off their biggest wins of the season, both teams have momentum entering a rematch of last year’s decisive semifinal sectional playoff win for the Loggers as Eureka went on to take the Division II title. Both teams dropped to Division III this year due to enrollment. Neither squad is as formidable. Yet they are improving — Petaluma on offense and Eureka on defense. Struggling to score in opening the season with five losses, Petaluma has averaged 26 points a game in winning four of five to secure a winning record in league play and sneak into the playoffs. Quarterback Spencer Neve runs well out of the triple option offense and has a corps of solid backs led by Casey Rodd. Neve, a strong-armed catcher in baseball, and the Trojans receivers have helped open up the offense with Adam Nizibian a prime scoring target.

Eureka averages a gaudy 350 yards rushing — Jeff Faulk has 903 and Zach Wilkinson has 543 on the season — and even quarterback John Demartini has nearly 300 yards on the ground. Kenny Spaight is the deep threat with 19 catches at 17 yards a reception and 4 touchdowns. On defense, the Loggers have forced 25 turnovers. The leading tacklers are Casey Mckenzie, Ben Gibson and Jose Manzo, all with 7 per contest.

Numbers to note: 13 — Petaluma’s point total in opening the season with four losses, three by shutouts. 26 — Petaluma’s scoring average in winning four of five.

Pick: Eureka 27-21.

BEREAN CHRISTIAN (7-3) AT
FORT BRAGG (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Last week: Berean Christian lost to Salesian, 46-18. Fort Bragg defeated Kelseyville, 43-6.

Notable: Fort Bragg will be challenged to defend its NCS Division IV title as this year’s eighth seed received a tough opening game with Berean Christian out of the Bay Football League. Both the Eagles and the Timberwolves have balanced, high-powered offenses. Logan Lisle and Lujke Minor are a pair of talented runners behind Eagles quarterback Matt Morgan. Keeping defenses honest are receivers Tyler Charette and Ryan Goetting.
Rarely did Berean Christian give up more than two scores in a game. Devin Alexander and Connor Cabral lead a defense that has a half dozen impact players across the field. Fort Bragg’s offense is led by Alfredo Huerta and Josh Norton up front and linebackers Tyler Lander and Nick Ryken. If the Timberwolves can get their offense on the field enough, Fort Bragg is formidable. Record setting quarterback Brandon Freitas has receivers who get open and score — Cody Ryden and Huerta — and a speedy back in Caleb Cunha. The team that plays better defense and limits mistakes should win.

Number to note: Both teams scored 356 points for nearly a 36 average per contest.

Pick: Berean Christian 35, Fort Bragg 21

KELSEYVILLE (7-3) AT
EL MOLINO (6-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Last week: Kelseyville lost to Fort Bragg, 43-6. El Molino lost to Healdsburg, 47-21.

Notable: Both teams have enjoyed resurgent seasons and feature contrasting styles. Kelseyville has a power running offense led by backs Nick Rodrigues and Geno Poloni . Quarterback Chris Aguon can make big plays with his arm. Anchoring the Knights defense are linebackers Ethan Rohner and Devin Baker with Michael Davis an active free safety.
El Molino averages nearly 200 yards passing a game with quarterback Mike Pierson one of the empire’s top signal-callers. Another top area player is receiver Joe Douglass, with 40 catches, 8 for scores. Sharing rushing duties are Tommy Krausman, Chet Lambert and Douglass, who combine for about 130 yards per contest. Linebackers Douglass, Garit Afman and Eric Reab lead a defense that keeps the Lions in games. Playing in the SCL, where six teams made the section playoffs, should give El Molino a significant edge.

Number to note: Pierson has 16 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions.

Pick: El Molino 41, Kelseyville 14

CALISTOGA (5-5) AT
ST. VINCENT (3-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Last week: Calistoga lost to Tomales, 52-6. St. Vincent defeated Cloverdale, 21-6.

Notable: Calistoga could have its first winning season in three years with a victory. St. Vincent has its first losing season in four years. Calistoga averages 240 yards rushing a game with 1,000-yard back Jose Sanchez leading a trio that includes Lucas Fernandez and Chris Flores. The Wildcats have a defense led by three standouts: Jose Vega averages 12 tackles per contest; Lincoln Fox has 10 sacks on the season; Fernandez has nearly half of Calistoga’s dozen interceptions. In contrast to the Wildcats impressive running game is the Mustangs’ success throwing the ball. Conor Brown completes more than half his passes and averages nearly 140 yards and more than a touchdown a game. Brown also is St. Vincent’s leading rusher and totals more than 165 all purpose yards each time out. Top receiver Josh Mehta is third on the Mustangs in tackles with defensive stalwarts Anthony Battaglia and Jesse O’Keeffe getting 10 and 8 stops respectively per contest.
Number to note: St. Vincent has five receivers in double figures for catches — Mehta and Michael Meiswinkel lead the pack -— and six receivers have caught scoring passes.

Pick: St. Vincent 21, Calistoga 12

— Michael Coit, The Press Democrat