By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Rancho Cotate wrapped up a perfect regular season and a North Bay League title Friday night by defeating visiting Santa Rosa, 40-0.
“It feels great because this doesn’t happen very often,” coach Ed Conroy said. “Overall, the kids played a very good game.”
The Cougars grabbed a 12-0 lead after one quarter and increased the margin to 33-0 at halftime.
Running back Jalon Luque scored three touchdowns and quarterback Michael Courchaine threw for three.
Courchaine got his team off to a quick start with a pair of scoring strikes in the first quarter. The senior connected with Carlos Soto for 10 yards and hit Sofala Poti from three yards out. His final scoring pass came in the third quarter, a 29-yard throw to Thomas Sory.
Luque’s touchdowns came in the second quarter on runs of 39, 10 and 42.
The senior rushed for 169 yards on 16 carries. For the regular season, he gained 1,451 yards.
The Rancho defense got its fourth shutout and completed the regular season allowing opponents an average of 7.7 points per game.
Against Santa Rosa, Luque, Soto and Chris Taylor-Yamanoha each had a pick. Fono Misi was the leading tackler with 10.
Rancho completed the regular season 10-0 and 7-0 in league. Santa Rosa winds up 4-6 and 2-5.
“I think we should get the No. 1 in the (NCS Division 2) tournament,” Conroy said. “However, we’ll be ready to play no matter where we’re seeded.”