High school football previews: Saturday’s games

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Calistoga (8-0, 5-0 NCL II/Bay) at St. Vincent (6-2, 4-1 NCL II/Bay)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Last week: Calistoga defeated Tomales, 52-16. St. Vincent handled Upper Lake, 68-0

Notable: Answer this question and you’ll likely come up with the winner of this match-up … Will St. Vincent’s stingy defense be able to contain Calistoga’s high-powered offense? The Mustangs allow 9.5 points per game while the Wildcats average 45. … Calistoga coach Paul Harrell said his team plans to go right after the St. Vincent defense. “Running has been our strength all year,” he said. “We’re not going to reinvent the wheel.” … The Wildcats feature the Redwood Empire’s top rusher Dylan Alvarado. His numbers: 1,709 yards on 151 touches. That comes to an average of 213.6 per game. He’s scored 22 touchdowns … Calistoga’s defense has also been excellent all season while allowing an average of 11 points per game. Alex Torres, Walker Hughes and Logan Bounsall form the nucleus of defensive coordinator Dennis Taylor’s unit … St.Vincent, like its rival, prefers to run the ball. Derek Murphy and George Sammon get most of the touches … Murphy has gained more than 100 yards eight times while at St. Vincent … This series has been one-sided since 1999. That was the last year the Wildcats walked off the field a winner. The Mustangs have won the last 11 … A St. Vincent win today and Calistoga must share the league title with the Mustangs.

The pick: Calistoga

Point Arena (4-3, 4-1) at Mendocino (7-0, 5-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Last week: Mendocino beat Point Arena, 56-14

Notable: This is the first Redwood Bowl and the plan is for future renewals to be played annuallybetween the top two finishers in NCL III (eight-man football) . … This will be the third time these schools have met this season. The Cardinals won 48-30 on Aug. 31 and then prevailed by 42 last Saturday … Pirates coach Tom Iliffe hopes his squad can give Mendo a good game this time around. “We’re young and have been improving every week,” he said. “We’ve had a good week of practice, refining what we do. It’ll be difficult because they have Reed Carter. He’s a good football player.” Quarterback Carter gains an average of 15.37 yards each time he runs. He also has thrown for 10 touchdowns with no interceptions … Point Arena has a solid runner in its backfield. Sophomore Cody Cissna’s yards per game average is 160 … The Cardinals have won 18 consecutive games dating to 2011, longest winning streak in the Empire.. .The Pirates Gabe Bernal, Jr., who has 17 sacks, will miss the game with a shoulder injury.

The pick: Mendocino

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