High school football previews: Friday’s games

Montgomery running back Logan Francavilla has scored 15 of the Vikings’ 21 rushing touchdowns. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

Montgomery running back Logan Francavilla has scored 15 of the Vikings’ 21 rushing touchdowns. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)



Rancho Cotate (4-2, 2-1 NBL) at Casa Grande (6-0, 3-0 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Rancho Cotate lost at Montgomery, 28-3. Casa Grande defeated Maria Carrillo, 37-18.

Notable: Cougars coach Ed Conroy said his team will have to play a perfect game if they’re to upset the No. 1 team in the Redwood Empire. He was encouraged after his team had its best practice of the year Wednesday night. Of the lopsided loss to Montgomery, Conroy said: “We made so many mistakes. We didn’t give ourselves a chance.” … Casa is one of 73 unbeaten teams in the state and one of seven in the North Coast Section. A total of 1,076 California schools field football teams … A big reason for the Gauchos’ success is their plus-18 turnover ratio … Counting the five fumble recoveries against Maria Carrillo, the Gauchos have snapped up 16 fumbles and intercepted eight passes. The also have 24 sacks (eight by Daniel Greisen) to their credit … “I feel we’re getting better each game and each practice,” coach Trent Herzog said. “Team chemistry is great and we have great leadership.” … In its last 30 home games, Casa is 24-6 … Rancho has won the last two in the series.

The pick: Casa Grande


Maria Carrillo (3-3, 2-1 NBL) at Cardinal Newman (4-2, 2-1 NBL)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: Maria Carrillo lost to Casa Grande, 37-18. Cardinal Newman defeated Santa Rosa, 45-0.

Notable: For the first time this season, coach Paul Cronin said his team is completely healthy … For Carrillo, tight end Nate King will sit out the game. “King and our other starting tight end Jared Brazis both missed the Casa game,” coach Jay Higgins said. “Jared has been cleared to play and that makes us a better team.” … Higgins says his team must play fundamentally sound defense and protect the ball on offense. Against Casa, the Pumas lost five fumbles … Two of Newman’s most-improved players are offensive linemen Sean Mayer and Aaron Sousa … Home field is the difference in this one.

The pick: Cardinal Newman


Ukiah (2-4, 0-3 NBL) at Montgomery (5-1, 2-1 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Ukiah lost to Windsor, 37-14. Montgomery defeated Rancho Cotate, 28-3.

Notable: The Vikings played their most complete game of the season against Rancho. “We put it all together on one night,” coach Dean Haskins said. “The offense, defense and special teams were all outstanding.” … The past three weeks, Montgomery has faced three of the top teams in the NBL (Rancho, Newman and Casa) and tonight entertain a team at the bottom of the standings … “The mantra this week is to make sure there’s no letdown,” Haskins said. “We’ve been telling the kids we’re in this position (5-1) because of hard work. We have to continue to play at that level.” … Wide receiver Justin Eatmon, quarterback RJ Flores and running back Logan Francavilla have been lights out for the Vikings in recent weeks … Francavilla has scored 15 of the Vikings’ 21 rushing touchdowns.

The pick: Montgomery


Healdsburg (4-3, 2-1 SCL) at Sonoma Valley (4-2, 1-1 SCL)

Kickoff: 7.30 p.m.

Last week: Sonoma beat Piner, 32-30. Healdsburg lost to Analy, 57-7.

Notable: It’s homecoming on the Dragons’ campus … Coach Bob Midgley believes the Sonoma defensive line is the key to the game. “Healdsburg runs the ball better than they pass,” he said. “We need the defensive line to stop the run and make them throw the ball.” … Trystan Cleaver is the Greyhounds’ top runner. He gained 201 yards two weeks ago against Petaluma … Quarterback Dan Deely was outstanding against Piner. He threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two more … Running back Austin Bailey, who missed the Piner game because of concussion symptoms, is questionable for tonight’s game.

The pick: Healdsburg


Clear Lake (5-1, 3-0 NCL I) at St. Helena (4-2, 2-1 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Clear Lake beat Lower Lake, 35-20. St. Helena lost at Middletown, 21-6.

Notable: Cardinals quarterback Adrian Adams was nearly perfect against Lower Lake as he completed eight of 10 passes. David Mansell caught six of those … Defensive end Gabe Oilar-Strong intercepted two passes including one for a pick-six … The winner of this game should finish second in the league … Saints running back Sebastian Segura is a top Empire rusher.

The pick: St. Helena


Santa Rosa (2-4, 0-3 NBL) at Windsor (3-3, 1-2 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Santa Rosa fell to Cardinal Newman, 45-0. Windsor beat Ukiah, 37-14.

Notable: The Jaguars return to their home field after four consecutive road games … For the first time this season, coach Vic Amick had no major injuries to report. “We’re healthy,” he said. “We picked up some momentum in the Ukiah game and we’re focused to finish the season strong.” … Santa Rosa will likely be without quarterback Vince Jones (bruised knee) and receiver Alfredo Carretero (shoulder sprain). Both also sat out the Newman game.

The pick: Windsor


El Molino (2-4, 1-1 SCL) at Analy (6-1, 3-0 SCL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: El Molino lost to Petaluma, 57-0. Analy defeated Healdsburg, 57-7.

Notable: This won’t be pretty. The Tigers score an average of 41 per game and the Lions give up an average of 38 … Analy running back J’Narrick James is averaging eight yards per touch and has scored 13 TDs … The Tigers quarterback duo of Will Smith and Jacob Royer has completed 62 per cent of their passes (109 of 177).

The pick: Analy


Elsie Allen (1-5, 0-2 SCL) at Petaluma (3-4, 1-2 SCL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Elsie Allen did not play. Petaluma beat El Molino, 57-0.

Notable: The Trojans didn’t throw a pass in the El Molino game … Elsie Allen quarterback Jalen Busby will miss the first half and likely the entire game for violation of team rules. Freshman Tyler Bounmy will be the starting signal caller.

The pick: Petaluma


Middletown (5-1, 3-0 NCL I) at Kelseyville (3-3, 0-3 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Middletown defeated St. Helena, 21-6. Kelseyville lost at Fort Bragg, 44-42.

Notable: After defeating St. Helena, the Mustangs appear to have a clear path to the NCL I title. Last year, they finished in third place behind Fort Bragg and the Saints … Middletown’s defense has been outstanding and gives up an average of 3.3 points per game. They’ve shut out four of their six opponents and had gone 19 quarters without allowing a score until giving up a 97-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter against St. Helena … It will be interesting to see how Kelseyville’s Kevin Duty does against the iron-curtain defense. Last Friday night against Fort Bragg, he rushed for 266 yards, four touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. The 210-pound senior has scored 98 points this season.

The pick: Middletown


Cloverdale (2-4, 2-1 NCL I) at Lower Lake (2-4, 0-3 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Cloverdale beat Willits, 40-0. Lower Lake lost at Clear Lake, 35-20.

Notable: The Eagles are the most-improved small school in the Empire. They’ve won two straight and prior to that dropped a one-point game to Clear Lake … Coming into this season, Cloverdale had a record of 3-27-1 dating back to 2010 … Lower Lake has had road games four of the past five weekends … The Trojans went 1-3 in the away games … They are much better at home, especially on homecoming night.

The pick: Lower Lake


Fort Bragg (3-3, 3-1 NCL I) at Willits (0-6, 0-3 NCL I)

Kickoff: 8 p.m.

Last week: Fort Bragg edged Kelseyville, 44-42. Willits lost to Cloverdale, 40-0.

Notable: It’s been a long season for first-year coach Nick Williamson and his squad. The defense has given up 262 points and the offense has scored only 12. The Wolverines have been shutout four times and scored six in each of their other games … Fort Bragg has been outscored, 194-134, this year..

The pick: Fort Bragg


Tomales (4-2, 1-1 NCL II) at Stellar Prep (1-5, 1-2 NCL II)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.mI .

Last week: Tomales defeated California School for the Deaf, 30-20. Stellar lost to Calistoga, 47-6.

Notable: Running back Anthony Feliciano is healthy and when he’s in the line-up, the Braves are a different team. The senior missed two games but he’s still his team’s leading ground gainer with 469 yards on 87 carries … On defense, William Nunes (64) and Danny Moretti (49) lead the team in tackles … Dante Feliciano has 10 sacks.

The pick: Tomales


Potter Valley (1-5, 0-4 NCL III) at Laytonville (0-4, 0-2 NCL III)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Potter Valley lost to Rincon Valley Christian, 48-16. Laytonville lost to Point Arena, 38-30.

Notable: Nearly 75 per cent of the Bearcats’ plays have been runs. In Willie Kile and Jake Howard, coach Dan Taber has a solid rushing game … Leading the team in tackles are Will Eddie (45) and Doran Jacquet (44) … Home field a big advantage in this eight-man game. The Warriors will get their first win..

The pick: Laytonville


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