Empire Teams Climb In NCS Football Top 20

Posted by Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

A pair of dominant section semifinal playoff wins moved Rancho Cotate and Cardinal Newman up the North Coast Section prep football rankings, and Middletown entered the Top 20.

Making the biggest climb in the rankings by PrepFeed.com was Rancho Cotate, rising five spots to No. 5 after handling Pinole Valley 24-7. The Cougars earned a Division II finals berth against top seeded Concord at McAfee Coliseum on Saturday.

Cardinal Newman’s third playoff romp, 42-17 over Miramonte, lifted the Cardinals three places to No. 10. Next is Encinal in the Division III finals Friday at Rancho Cotate High School.

The third Empire team still playing is Middletown following a 10-0 win over top seed Healdsburg. The Mustangs – ranked No. 20 — face familiar opponent Salesian in the Division IV finals at Alhambra High School on Saturday.

All game times are 7 p.m.

Casa Grande is No. 12 in the latest NCS poll after the Gauchos’ season ended with a tough26-21 loss at Concord in the Division II semifinals.