At a glance: Rancho Cotate vs. Concord

RANCHO COTATE (12-1)
VS. CONCORD (12-1)

At Oakland Coliseum

Time: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Last week: Rancho Cotate defeated Pinole Valley 24-7. Concord Defeated Casa Grande 26-21.

Notable: The last team that scores could win this matchup of high-powered offenses.

Rancho Cotate quarterback Poueu Peleti-Gore is back after missing the second half at Pinole Valley with what later was diagnosed not to be a concussion. Leading the triple option with a veteran’s decision making, Peleti-Gore and all-time rushing leader Brian Dworkin look to finish their careers with big games. Dworkin ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns last week. Defenses often are fortunate to slow down the Cougars and the Minutemen have given up chunks of yardage on the season. Don’t sell Rancho Cotate short in the passing game. Peleti-Gore and receiver Sean Fish are a dangerous duo.

Concord’s record-setting quarterback Ricky Lloyd will get his passing yards, but the Cougars must limit the big plays. Lloyd threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns against a strong Casa Grande defensive backfield and boasts a gaudy 4,126 passing yards on the season. Much as teams can’t forget about the Cougars’ passing, defenses must respect Concord running back Alec Pica, who ran for 114 yards last week and also catches a handful of passes per contest.

Getting pressure on Lloyd is the goal for Rancho Cotate defensive ends Mike Tuaua — second on the Cougars in tackles — and Forrest Nichols. Linebackers Vaimaa Taito — the team’s top tackler — and Ricky Shelton will support the pass defense led by defensive backs Justin Martin and Jerry Keophilaphanh.

Concord’s defense is anchored by Trent Mahler with Cody Chapple picking off a pass and Willy Thompson scooping up a fumble against the Gauchos last week.

If the game comes down to kicking, Rancho Cotate could have the advantage in Julio Mata, who has kicked a handful of field goals this season including a 37-yarder for the final score in the win over Pinole Valley.

Number to note: Rancho Cotate has won its three playoff games by a total margin of 85 points. Concord has taken its three section contests by a total margin of 75 points.

Pick: Rancho Cotate 31, Concord 28

— Michael Coit, The Press Democrat