Santa Rosa 33, Petaluma 0: Panthers turn fast start into runaway win

By PHIL BARBER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa's Jahi Hayes tries to evade Petaluma's Adam Campiglia during their game in Petaluma on Friday, August 30, 2013. (Photo by Christopher Chung, The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa’s Jahi Hayes tries to evade Petaluma’s Adam Campiglia during their game in Petaluma on Friday, August 30, 2013.
(Photo by Christopher Chung, The Press Democrat)

PETALUMA — If Friday night’s game at Petaluma High is any indication, the disparity between the Redwood Empire’s two large-school leagues has never been wider.

Santa Rosa, a team expected to finish near the bottom of the North Bay League, systematically dismantled Petaluma, a team that entered the game with aspirations of vying for the Sonoma County League title. The visiting Panthers scored touchdowns the first four times they got the ball, forced six turnovers by the Trojans and left with a convincing 33-0 victory.

“We planned on racking up points quickly,” said senior quarterback Vince Jones. “But I didn’t expect it to be that fast.”

Jones played a big role in the outcome, tossing three touchdowns to three different receivers, completing 7 of 9 passes for 110 yards and adding a 5-yard touchdown run.

“He’s matured,” Santa Rosa coach Dave Duncan said of Jones, who has started since midway through his sophomore season. “He’s coming into his own. He’s been a great leader all year — 100-percent attendance all year. (Casa Grande’s JaJuan) Lawson and (Cardinal Newman’s Keaton) Dunsford get all the attention, because of where they are. … He’s underrated because last year he played with Jahray Hayes. You don’t have to go airborne very much when you’ve got a guy who rushes for 1,500 yards.”

At times Friday, it was hard to remember that Hayes has moved on to San Francisco City College, because his kid brother Jahi displayed a lot of the same moves and toughness. Jahi Hayes ran for 138 yards on 16 carries against Petaluma, including 122 in the first half when the game was still in question.

Santa Rosa was simply too big up front for the Trojans, and too fast at the edge.

Petaluma’s first possession of the game would be a taste of things to come. So would the Panthers’. On the second play from scrimmage, Trojans quarterback Patrick Bailey had trouble handing off to Angelo Lippi; the ball wound up on the ground, and Santa Rosa’s Justin Hoberg recovered at the Petaluma 21 (one of his two fumble recoveries Friday). It took just one play for Jones to loft a timing pass to Alfredo Carretero for the touchdown.

Turnovers would haunt the Trojans all night. They would lose three fumbles — all of them on bad exchanges — and quarterback Brendan White would throw three interceptions. Petaluma coach Rick Krist alternated Lippi and White at QB, but neither found much of a rhythm. Lippi completed one of two passes for 8 yards. White completed just two of 11 for 17 yards.

The Trojans’ best chance at scoring came with about six minutes left, when they capitalized on a fumble recovery of their own to move to the Santa Rosa 10-yard line. But Panthers junior linebacker Harvey McPeters ended the threat with an interception at the 3, punctuated with a 57-yard return.

Petaluma’s final drive ended much the same way, on an interception by junior Eamon Reed.

Meanwhile, those timing patterns proved to be easy pickings for Jones, as his receivers continually ran past the Petaluma cornerbacks. Shane Simpson scored on a similar play late in the second quarter.

“We’ve been watching a lot of film lately,” Jones said. “We noticed that their corners love to go inside, so we just stayed outside.”

It was that easy for the Panthers, not that they played perfectly. They were penalized 11 times, they missed three extra-point attempts (one after a penalty moved back the kick) and Jones had to deal with numerous off-target snaps in shotgun formation.

“We do have some things to work on,” Duncan said.

But not nearly as many as Petaluma, which plays at Tamalpais next week. Santa Rosa has a bye before playing at Antioch, a tough Division 1 opponent, in two weeks.

You can reach Staff Writer Phil Barber at 521-5263 or phil.barber@pressdemocrat.com.

Comments are closed.