Top Empire Efforts In NCS Football Quarterfinals

Posted by Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

A number of standout performances highlighted Empire football teams advancing to the North Coast Section semifinals.

Passing for a pair of touchdowns and scoring two more on long runs, Poueu Peleti-Gore showed just how explosive Rancho Cotate can be in the decisive win over Clayton Valley. The quarterback ran for 156 yards and passed for 117 yards. On defense, the Cougars’ Ricky Shelton had a sack and interception, Vaimaa Taito shared in a sack for a safety and snagged an interception, and Justin Martin picked off two passes.

Rushing for 232 yards and scoring five touchdowns, Cardinal Newman back Stephen Tomasin helped carry the Cardinals to a huge road win against Bishop O’Dowd. Tomasin showed his versatility by also catching 4 passes for 76 yards.

Healdsburg had a familiar star in Carson Seanor, who ran for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns, capping the win over Fort Bragg with a 55 yard interception return for a score. Backup quarterback Luis Nieves played well, passing for 134 yards and a touchdown — Dom Tynan had 6 catches for 102 yards. On defense, the Greyhounds intercepted the Timberwolves three times and recorded 8 sacks – 4 by Gary Randolph.

Casa Grande’s offense gets much attention, but the Gauchos defense shut out Northgate. Makana Garrigan had 13 solo tackles – 16 overall – and interception from his safety spot while linebacker Michael Ielmorini was credited with 12 tackles.  The team had three interceptions and recovered five fumbles. Nick Sherry was very efficient throwing 4 touchdowns — each to a different receiver — among his 7 completions for 198 yards.

Tomales was tough up front and on the ground in beating St. Vincent. Leading the Braves’ offense was back Michael Guerrero running for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns including the score to put the Braves ahead for good.

With a healthy Jake Davis in the backfield, Middletown’s running game was dominant in the Mustangs’ win over El Molino. Jake Davis carried 15 times for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns. David Pike had 151 yards on 22 rushes and a score. The one pass Middletown quarterback Kyle Brown completed went for a touchdown to Wesley Davis.