High school football: Friday's game previews


A closer look at Friday's area high school football games:

CARDINAL NEWMAN (4-0, 1-0) at MONTGOMERY (1-3, 0-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Cardinal Newman defeated Ukiah, 53-0. Montgomery lost to Casa Grande, 49-19.
Notable: Asked about the key to Cardinal Newman’s perfect start, coach Paul Cronin said the reason is his squad plays as a unit … “Everyone focuses on doing their job,” he said. “What’s great about this group is that there are no egos and when that happens, it always starts with the team leaders. They are the driving force behind the improvement each day at practice. We had a total team effort in the Ukiah game. Everyone played a part in the victory.” … Two players who continue to impress are Nolan Nagle and Zak Faber … “In the Ukiah game, Nagle played extremely well on both sides of the ball (center and nose guard),” Cronin said. “Faber is one of the most unselfish players that we’ve had since I’ve been at Newman. He does a great job all week as a scout quarterback and always makes plays when he gets in.” … Faber, the second-string QB, had four completions and a touchdown against Ukiah … Montgomery will again be without Etienne Ezeff, one of the Empire’s top receivers. He suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago … He is one of four Vikings who are hurt.
The pick: Cardinal Newman 48, Montgomery 7

MARIA CARRILLO (2-2, 1-0) at WINDSOR (1-3, 0-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Maria Carrillo defeated Santa Rosa, 50-34. Windsor lost to Rancho Cotate, 43-9.
Notable: This game matches teams going in opposite directions … The Pumas have won two straight and the Jaguars have lost two in a row … Carrillo coach Jay Higgins said what impressed him most in the win over Santa Rosa was “the opportunistic defense and creating turnovers.” … Overall, Higgins felt his team played pretty well, but still has room for improvement … .Windsor coach Vic Amick knows what the Jaguars need to do to turn around their season: “We must do a better job controlling the line of scrimmage, we have to tackle better and we have to make better decisions on offense.” … The Jags lost three starters in the Rancho game: Christian Delagnes (knee), Alex Tietsort (bursitis sac) and Trey Tobon (concussion).
The pick: Maria Carrillo 35, Windsor 14

SANTA ROSA (2-2, 0-1) at CASA GRANDE (3-1, 1-0)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Santa Rosa lost at Maria Carrillo, 50-34. Casa Grande won at Montgomery, 49-19,
Notable: An assistant coach from the University of Washington sat in the stands last Friday to watch Casa quarterback JaJuan Lawson and running back Elijah Qualls … .”JaJuan is getting more interest than any player we’ve had at Casa during their junior season,” coach Trent Herzog said. “He’s getting emails, mail, Facebook messages, and I’m getting a lot of phone calls.” … Lawson has completed 61 percent of his passes. Both he and Qualls average about 8 yards per rush … Herzog said the defense and special teams had their best game of the year at Montgomery … Against Carrillo, the Panthers fell behind 28-0 in the first quarter … “On a positive note, the kids didn’t give up and played well in the second half,” coach Dave Duncan said. “Obviously, we must follow our game plan early to have a chance against Casa.” … Panthers left tackle Justin Bates will miss the game with a high ankle sprain.
The pick: Casa Grande 55, Santa Rosa 13

PETALUMA (1-4, 1-0) at HEALDSBURG (3-2, 1-0)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last game: Petaluma edged Piner, 13-12. Healdsburg won at Elsie Allen, 51-0.
Notable: Longtime Healdsburg coach Tom Kirkpatrick retired after last season, but Petaluma coach Rick Krist said little has changed with the Greyhounds … “Traditionally, they’re very scrappy and this year’s team is no different,” he said. “The new coach (Todd Beth) is using a similar offense and defense to what Tom Kirkpatrick used.” … That’s not surprising as Beth was an assistant before moving into the top spot … Krist said there were numerous heroes in the win over Piner. “Teddy Scranton and J.P. Crudo played great on defense. Each had nine tackles and two sacks. Fullback Sam Spurling ran hard and Eric Hunsicker made a nice play for a touchdown. Also, I don’t want to leave out the offensive line. They played well.”
The pick: Healdsburg 40, Petaluma 13

RANCHO COTATE (4-0, 1-0) at UKIAH (1-3, 0-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Rancho won at Windsor, 43-9. Ukiah lost at Cardinal Newman, 53-0.
Notable: Cougars coach Ed Conroy said Jalon Luque is playing the tailback position as good as any player in school history. Conroy is in his 25th year at the Rohnert Park school … Luque, a 160-pound senior, is averaging 11 yards per touch … In past years, Conroy’s team used the veer offense exclusively and the rushing numbers always eclipsed the passing figures …In 2012, The Cougars’ stats are even, 171 both passing and rushing … The offensive line has allowed only one sack. QB Michael Courchaine is completing 68 percent of his passes, including eight TDs … Prior to allowing Newman 53 points, the Ukiah defense had been allowing only eight points per game.
The pick: Rancho Cotate 42, Ukiah 7

ELSIE ALLEN (0-5, 0-1) at EL MOLINO (0-4, 0-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Elsie Allen lost to Healdsburg, 51-0. El Molino did not play.
Notable: Elsie Allen has been shut out in three of its five games and El Molino has yet to score in 2012 … If the Lions do score, expect Owen Sunke to be carrying the ball. He has nearly half of his team’s carries … On the defensive side, Sunke and Ryan Holden are El Mo’s leading tacklers … Home field, plus an extra week to get healthy, just might translate into a Lions victory.
The pick: El Molino 14, Elsie Allen 8

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Willits defeated Kelseyville, 32-0. Middletown handled Upper Lake, 55-12.
Notable: Points will be hard to come by in this battle between NCL I elite teams … The Willits defense has allowed only 13 points while Middletown has given up 27 … The Mustangs’ offense has been more potent, scoring 124 points (20 more than the Wolverines) … Middletown has won three straight following an season-opening loss to Salesian (7-3). Salesian is the reigning NCS Division 4 champ.
The pick: Middletown 20, Willits 7

FORT BRAGG (3-1) at LOWER LAKE (0-4)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Fort Bragg defeated Clear Lake, 22-0. Lower Lake lost at Middletown, 55-12.
Notable: Even though Fort Bragg is playing on the road, the Timberwolves should still win easily … The Lower Lake defense is yielding 47 points per game.
The pick: Fort Bragg 41, Lower Lake 6

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: St. Helena won at Cloverdale, 40-0. Kelseyville lost at Willits, 32-0.
Notable: The Saints average victory margin is 29 points. Quarterback Richard Hoppe is completing 70 per cent of his passes,10 of those for TDs … Sebastian Segura and Danny Brink lead the ground game … On offense, Kelseyville prefers to run the ball. Sophomore Robert McLean is averaging nearly seven yards per carry and has scored four TDs. John Mark Reagan is averaging nearly 10 per touch and has scored three times.
The pick: St. Helena 42, Kelseyville 7

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Cloverdale lost to St. Helena, 40-0. Clear Lake fell to Fort Bragg, 22-0.
Notable: Until running into unbeaten St. Helena, Cloverdale was involved in close games. The Eagles had been getting beat an average of 6 1/2 points per game … Clear Lake has been unstoppable on its home field, outscoring opponents 79-7.
The pick: Clear Lake 28, Cloverdale 7

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Potter Valley did not play. Anderson Valley lost at Laytonville, 72-0.
Notable: After opening the season with a win over Anzar, Potter Valley has lost its last two by wide margins … Scott Johnston is averaging nine yards per carry for Anderson Valley and Jesus Hernandez has been the defensive nucleus.
The pick: Potter Valley 35, Anderson Valley 20

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: St. Elizabeth lost to Tomales, 54-8. Calistoga was beaten by Emery, 34-10.
Notable: The Wildcats return home following two straight road losses … After a winless 2011 campaign, look for Calistoga to get win No. 3 tonight … St. Elizabeth has been outscored an average of 56-15 in its games this year.
The pick: Calistoga 33, St. Elizabeth 14

EMERY (2-1) at TOMALES (3-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Emery defeated Calistoga, 34-10. Tomales beat St. Elizabeth, 54-8.
Notable: Tomales hasn’t played a close game this season. The team’s average victory margin is 49 and its lone loss was by 27 to St. Helena … The Braves average 280 on the ground with the bulk of the yardage being picked up by Anthony Feliciano, Cody Titus and Kyle Bianchi.
The pick: Tomales 27, Emery 15

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Stellar Prep lost at St. Vincent, 51-7. Upper Lake defeated California School for the Deaf, 20-3.
Notable: Upper Lake returns home after back-to-back road games … To thwart Stellar, the Cougars must stop sophomore Dante Johnson. The running back is averaging 14 yards per carry.
The pick: Upper Lake 54, Stellar Prep 7