High school football previews: Friday’s games


Cardinal Newman (5-2, 3-1 NBL) at Windsor (4-3, 2-2 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Cardinal Newman beat Maria Carrillo, 48-27. Windsor defeated Santa Rosa, 59-19.

Notable: As the 2013 league season enters the homestretch, coach Paul Cronin said his offense has to become more consistent … In the Carrillo game, the Cardinals rushed for only 113 yards and quarterback Keaton Dunsford was sacked three times … When he had time, Dunsford was accurate as he completed 18 of 26 passes with four of those going for touchdowns … The Cardinals have averaged 46 points the past two games and 35 for the season … To beat Windsor on its home field, Cronin said the Cardinals will have to play error-free on defense … Windsor is on the upswing having won two straight. Last week, the Jaguars returned home after four straight road games … “Cardinal Newman has a great football tradition but they put on their pants and cleats the same way we do,” Windsor coach Vic Amick said. “We’re healthy for this game and it should be a good show for our fans.” … Jaguars quarterback Colin McAlvain was nearly perfect against Santa Rosa as he completed 15 of 18 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

The pick: Cardinal Newman

Ukiah (2-5, 0-4 NBL) at Casa Grande (7-0, 4-0 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Ukiah lost to Montgomery, 38-35 (OT). Casa Grande beat Rancho Cotate, 42-13.

Notable: When coach Jeff Burrell took over the floundering program in Ukiah this season, his goal was to make the once-feared school respectable again. The Wildcats took a big step forward with a triple overtime loss at highly-regarded Montgomery last Friday … Cheyenne Noda, who moved from running back to quarterback, was nearly unstoppable with close to 300 yards of total offense … If the Wildcats can stay close to undefeated Casa Grande, the top school in the Redwood Empire, they’ll really raise eyebrows … “I was very impressed with the effort and passion that Ukiah displayed against Montgomery,” Gauchos coach Trent Herzog said. “They have great size and good speed. Noda is a tremendous athlete and moving him to quarterback makes them extremely dangerous.” … The offense, led by JaJuan Lawson and John Porchivina, has gotten most of the ink for the Gauchos but the defense has been just as good. Casa gives up an average of only12 points a game … Excelling have been Miles Gardea (59 tackles), Daniel Greisen (nine sacks), Casey Longaker, Alec Runge, Brad Freitas and Cody Hughson … Tonight will be the first time this year that the Gauchos’ starting offensive and defensive line will all play.

The pick: Casa Grande

Maria Carrillo (3-4, 2-2 NBL) at Rancho Cotate (4-3, 2-2 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Maria Carrillo lost to Cardinal Newman, 48-27. Rancho Cotate lost to Casa Grande,42-13.

Notable: Both teams will have to finish strong to get a postseason invitation … “I think this is a game between two unpredictable teams,” Cougars coach Ed Conroy said. “Both of us have had stretches where we’ve been very good and other times we’ve been inconsistent. The last two games we’ve struggled offensively. I just haven’t been able able to get a handle on my team.” … Rancho is 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road.

The pick: Maria Carrillo

Santa Rosa (2-5, 0-4 NBL) at Montgomery (6-1, 3-1 NBL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Santa Rosa lost at Windsor, 59-19. Montgomery edged Ukiah, 38-35 (OT).

Notable: Monty’s Logan Francavilla figures to go above the 1,000-yards rushing plateau tonight. He comes in with 951 after averaging 136 per game … Henry Stelzner has more than twice as many tackles as anyone on the Vikings roster. The senior captain has made 70 solo tackles and assisted on 18 others … Even though Santa Rosa has a losing record, Montgomery coach Dean Haskins isn’t worried about his team having a letdown. “Historically, this is our longtime rival,” he said. “The kids will be up for this one. Motivation isn’t hard.” … This is also the last home game of the regular season and senior night … For Santa Rosa, quarterback Vince Jones and wide receiver Alfredo Carratero saw limited action last Friday and will have increased roles tonight. “Physically, they aren’t 100 percent but they’re doing better,” coach Dave Duncan said. “We’ve had our best week of practice in more than a month, so I’m expecting a good effort.”

The pick: Montgomery

St. Vincent (4-2, 2-1 NCL II) at Tomales (5-2, 2-1 NCL II)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: St. Vincent beat Emery, 27-8. Tomales defeated Stellar Prep, 32-22.

Notable: St. Vincent has the stingiest defense in NCL II. The Mustangs have allowed 62 points and that’s five fewer than undefeated Calistoga … These two schools have been playing each other annually for more than 50 years … Tomales had won three straight until St. Vincent prevailed 34-0 in 2012 … The Mustangs’ Derek Murphy had his best rushing game of the season (138 yards) against Emery. The 170-pound senior has had seven games of more than 100 yards in his career … This is St. Vincent’s third straight road game … Despite missing two weeks with an injury, Anthony Feliciano is Tomales’ leading ground gainer with 647 yards. Ivan Gomez is next with 348 followed by Willy Lepori at 305 … The Braves’ defense has 31 sacks. Dante Feliciano leads the way with 11 and Danny Moretti has eight … Quarterback Joel Gutierrez has completed only 19 passes but six of those have gone for touchdowns.

The pick: St. Vincent

Piner (3-4, 1-2 SCL) at Healdsburg (4-4, 2-2 SCL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Piner did not play. Healdsburg lost to Sonoma Valley, 21-14.

Notable: “If we can contain (Prospectors quarterback Noel) Hernandez, we’ll be successful,” Healdsburg coach Todd Beth analyzed … Hernandez passes for an average of 194 yards per game. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns, six of those to Niko Formosa … Formosa has collected 1,020 all-purpose yards … Isiah Carter is Piner’s top rusher with 369 yards … Leading tacklers for the Prospectors are: Peter Barbieri (60), Tyler Gabriel (55), Mark Ainger (53), Justin Tauefa (46) and Cameron Westphal (45) … Home field the difference tonight.

The pick: Healdsburg

Middletown (6-1, 4-0 NCL I) at Cloverdale (3-4, 3-1 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Middletown defeated Kelseyville, 43-6. Cloverdale won at Lower Lake, 28-7.

Notable: The Eagles, winner of three straight, are the surprise team of NCL I. The school has come a long way since 2011 and ’12 when they were a combined 2-18-1 … Middletown is the best small school team in the Empire and during one stretch of the season, the Mustangs didn’t allow a score in 20 quarters … Last Friday against Kelseyville, Brad Bologna caught touchdown passes of 19, 35 and 51 yards … Austin Benson also had a big night against the Knights as he ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

The pick: Middletown

Analy (7-1, 4-0 SCL) at Elsie Allen (1-6, 0-3 SCL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Analy beat El Molino, 49-0. Elsie Allen lost at Petaluma, 55-6.

Notable: This one won’t be pretty. Analy is the best team the Lobos have played … The Analy quarterback duo of Will Smith and Jacob Royer has thrown 13 touchdown passes and been intercepted only twice … The Tigers ground game has been strong, averaging nearly 6 yards per touch … Kerr Johnson Jr. has collected 1,034 all-purpose yards … Leading the team in tackles is TJ Acheson with 49. He also has four sacks … Koby Einstein has a team-high three interceptions and when he returns punts, he averages 28 yards.

The pick: Analy

Sonoma Valley (5-2, 2-1 SCL) at El Molino (2-5, 1-2 SCL)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Sonoma Valley beat Healdsburg, 21-14. El Molino lost at Analy, 49-0.

Notable: Austin Bailey, regarded as the Dragons’ top runner, is expected to play after missing two games with concussion symptoms … While he was sidelined, junior Gabe Bernstein picked up the slack. Bernstein enters tonight’s game with 320 rushing yards, one more than Bailey … Quarterback Dan Deely has thrown for 10 touchdowns and been intercepted twice. The senior is also adept at running the ball.

The pick: Sonoma Valley

Fort Bragg (4-3, 3-1 NCL I) at St. Helena (5-2, 3-1 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Fort Bragg won at Willits, 42-6. St. Helena defeated Clear Lake, 41-6.

Notable: The winner of this match has the inside track to finish second behind Middletown in NCL I … Gatlin Blakely and Sebastian Segura give the Saints one of the the league’s best running attacks … Fort Bragg has averaged 43 points while winning its last two.

The pick: St. Helena

Kelseyville (3-4, 0-4 NCL I) at Clear Lake (5-2, 3-1 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Kelseyville lost to Middletown, 43-6. Clear Lake lost to St. Helena, 41-6.

Notable: In Kevin Duty, the Knights have the leading runner in Lake County. The 210-pounder has 895 rushing yards. He scored the touchdown against Middletown’s defense with a run of 34 yards. He finished the night with 123 yards on 25 carries and had Mustangs coach Bill Foltmer searching for superlatives … Gabe Oilar-Strong stood out on defense in Clear Lake’s loss to St. Helena. He had two and one-half sacks … Home field gives the edge to the Cardinals.

The pick: Clear Lake

Willits (0-7, 0-4 NCL I) at Lower Lake (2-5, 0-4 NCL I)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Willits lost to Fort Bragg, 42-6. Lower Lake lost to Cloverdale, 28-7.

Notable: The Trojans will do what they do best and that’s run the ball. They average 245 yards on the ground and 69 through the air … Lower Lake’s ground game is spearheaded by Isazah King (666), Eric Moreno (589) and Mason Sanders (376) … Ryan Dahneke (61) and Brendan Manginer (51) lead Lower Lake in tackles … It’s been a rough season for first-year Willits coach Nick Williamson and his troops. The Wolverines have been outscored, 304-18.

The pick: Lower Lake

Point Arena (3-2, 3-0 NCL III) at Anderson Valley (4-2, 2-1 NCL III)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Point Arena beat Rincon Valley Christian, 76-32. Anderson Valley lost at Mendocino, 54-38.

Notable: This is the second time this season these teams have met on the Anderson Valley turf. The home team prevailed, 54-34, on Sept. 13 … Point Arena passes only four times per game and rushes for an average of 320 yards … Super sophomore Cody Cissna leads the way with 741 yards … Gabe Bernol Jr. has been outstanding on defense with 12 sacks to his credit.

The pick: Anderson Valley

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