Friday’s high school football previews


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Newman beat Santa Rosa, 48-19. Carrillo lost to Montgomery, 30-23.



Notable: The Cardinals know that to win, their defense must contain the Pumas’ dynamic running back Alex Netherda. The senior had a typical game last Friday as he rushed for 159 yards against Montgomery. …”If Newman targets Netherda we can go to Plan B,” said coach Jay Higgins. “We’ve got other weapons.”… One of those weapons might be quarterback Walker Rotherham’s passing arm. However, last week against Montgomery he completed only 6 of 21 passes for 55 yards and one of those was a 41-yard reception by Jordan Rosado. … Newman’s sophomore quarterback Jordon Brookshire had his most productive game of the season against Santa Rosa. He completed 15 of 21 passes and catching four apiece were Connor Rubattino and Zack Stoltz. … Bryce McChinak was huge on defense with six solo tackles.

The pick: Cardinal Newman


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Montgomery defeated Maria Carrillo, 30-23. Rancho Cotate beat Casa Grande, 45-10.

Notable: Quarterback Gunner Mefferd, who missed the last two games because of a concussion, has been cleared to play. However, Cooper Nicks will start. “Mefferd will play,” coach Ed Conroy said. “The kids definitely rallied around Cooper when Mefferd got hurt.”… After losing its first two on the road, Rancho returned home and beat American Canyon by 35 and Casa Grande by 34. … Over the past few seasons, the Cougars are 26-1 playing at home. “I don’t know what it is,” Conroy said. “The players must like familiar surroundings.”… Conroy said the defense has played “really well” the past two weeks. … Montgomery coach Marcello Bautista said his team didn’t play smart the first half of the Carrillo game. “We made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “At halftime, I told the team that some of them were playing as individuals and we’d never be any good playing that way. The second half was better.”… Montgomery gave up 10 penalties for 105 yards. … R.J. Flores had his most productive game of the season, completing 10 of 20 passes for 153 yards.

The pick: Rancho Cotate

CASA GRANDE (0-4) at WINDSOR (4-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Casa lost to Rancho Cotate, 45-10. Windsor beat Ukiah, 49-7.

Notable: Windsor, the only large school team in the Empire still unbeaten, has scored 170 points in its last three games. … ”I give the offensive line a lot of credit,” coach Vic Amick said. “They’ve improved every week with experience.” … Those linemen include: Riley Cleaver, Alex Crancrento, Kyle Davis, Braxton Kennedy and Blake Stibe. … ”Our quarterback, Jalen Roman, has also been brilliant,” Amick said. “He has the athleticism of turning botched plays into big gainers.” … The Gauchos have been the most disappointing team in the Empire. Coming off an NBL championship and a deep run in the North Coast Section playoffs, Casa is still searching for its first win. “The team’s attitude has stayed positive,” coach Trent Herzog said. “They show up every day and have really committed to getting better. We’re working hard to accomplish getting that first win.”

The pick: Windsor

SONOMA VALLEY (1-3) at ANALY (3-1)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Sonoma Valley beat Petaluma, 13-5. Analy lost to McClymonds, 55-14.

Notable: Tigers coach Dan Bourdon kept it short and simple when asked about the shocking loss to McClymonds. “We’re disappointed with the way we played and are looking forward to the game against Sonoma,” he said. “We want to redeem ourselves.” … Analy has spent this week’s practices getting back to basics. … ”Our game plan isn’t going to change,” he said. “We’re going to keep doing what we do.” … In winning its first three games, the Tigers scored 137 points and limited the opposition to 42. … Sonoma got a confidence booster by breaking into the win column last Friday against Petaluma. … ”We’re going to show up for the Analy game and not be afraid,” coach Bob Midgeley said. “To play a good game, we’ll need to cut down on penalties and make open-field tackles. We’re not kidding ourselves; Analy is a very good team.”

The pick: Analy


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Middletown defeated Willits, 54-6. Fort Bragg edged Lower Lake, 29-28.

Notable: This game could give the winner the inside track to winning NCL I. … Just four games into the season, Timberwolves quarterback Kaylor Sullivan has thrown for 1,544 yards,completed 66 per cent of his passes and celebrated 15 touchdowns. The only chink in his armor is the three interceptions he threw against Lower Lake. “We can’t give him all day to throw,” Mustangs coach Bill Foltmer said. “Our goal is to keep him in the pocket and not let him scramble. We’ll have our hands full.” … Running back Wyatt Hall, a tackle converted to running back, had a huge game last Friday. He rushed for 243 yards and three touchdowns. “He’s just going to get better with experience,” Foltmer predicted. … If Fort Bragg shuts down Hall, the coach is confident his team will have success passing the ball.

The pick: Middletown

UKIAH (1-3) at SANTA ROSA (0-4)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Ukiah lost to Windsor, 49-7. Santa Rosa was defeated by Cardinal Newman, 48-19.

Notable:  This is Ukiah’s fourth road game. The Wildcats have played at home only once and that was against undefeated Loomis. Their last opponent (Windsor) is also unbeaten…Ukiah will have an advantage at the line of scrimmage. Its front averages 285 pounds…Santa Rosa quarterback Cassius Banks will be back under center after missing last week’s game…”I think we match up with Ukiah,” Panthers coach Dave Duncan said. “As I tell the players every week, we just have to execute and be consistent. If we do that, we’ll be fine.”

The pick: Santa Rosa


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Healdsburg lost to El Molino, 27-18. Elsie Allen was beaten by Piner, 53-9.

Notable: Lobos wide receiver Bradley Greiner will see his first action of the season after fracturing his thumb in a pre-season scrimmage…Jalen Busby, who usually plays quarterback, will move to wide receiver tonight. He’s recovering from a shoulder injury…Mike Van Guilder will start at QB.

The pick: Healdsburg

PINER (3-2) at PETALUMA (3-2)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Piner defeated Elsie Allen, 53-9. Petaluma lost to Sonoma Valley, 13-5.

Notable: “Everything that could go wrong went wrong,” Rick Krist responded when asked about the loss to Sonoma. Petaluma turned the ball over seven times and twice failed to score from inside the Sonoma 10-yard line…Yusef Kawasami and Brandan White lead the Petaluma running game…Greg Thomas has split the uprights on all 11 extra points he’s tried…For Piner, Tony Martignoli and Tyler Okiyama will once again share quarterback duties. The duo has combined to complete 60 per cent of its passes…Ty Simmons has been on the receiving end of four TD passes. No other Prospector has more than one…Peter Barbieri has been outstanding on defense with 32 tackles and five sacks.

The pick: Piner 

LOWER LAKE (2-2) at ST. HELENA (4-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Lower Lake was beaten by Fort Bragg, 29-28. St. Helena defeated Kelseyville, 44-7.

Notable: Lower Lake led 28-7 at halftime against Fort Bragg…QB Isazah King had a huge game as he ran for 247 yards and two touchdowns…On defense, Robert Calderon continued his excellent play. He was in on 16 tackles and has 48 this season…Lower Lake’s defense has intercepted eight passes, three of those by King and two by James Clark…St. Helena is always difficult to beat at home.

The pick: St. Helena

CLEAR LAKE (3-1) at WILLITS (2-2)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Clear Lake lost to Cloverdale, 26-0. Willits was beaten by Middleton, 54-6.

Notable: While suffering their first defeat, the Cardinals turned the ball over seven times. Cloverdale recovered four fumbles and intercepted three passes…Kudos to Willits. After going winless in 2013, the Wolverines might be good enough to play in the NCS Tournament this year.

The pick: Willits


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Kelseyville was beaten by St. Helena, 44-7. Cloverdale beat Clear Lake, 26-0.

Notable: In its three wins, Cloverdale has allowed opponents a total of seven points…Greg Scaramella is completing 71 per cent of his pass attempts…Luke Bernardi is rushing for an average of 97 yards per game…Kelseyville quarterback Noah Lyndall has thrown at least one touchdown in all four of the Knights’ games…Lineman Codi McGuire is going to play for Eastern Washington University next year.

The pick: Clloverdale.


Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last wee: RVC lost to Anderson Valley, 76-40. Laytonville was defeated by Round Valley, 40-6.

Notable: Eagles quarterback Daniel Maples accumulated more than 500 yards of offense against Anderson Valley. The senior passed for 346 and ran for 202.

The pick: Laytonville


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Point Arena downed Round Valley, 50-32. Potter Valley lost to Mendocino, 40-20

Notable: This is the first of three straight road games for the Pirates…Cody Cissna, the leading ground gainer in NCL III last year, looks to be on his way to another title. He’s averaging 142 yards through four games…Joby Baker gives Point Arena a one-two punch. He averages 85 yards per game…Rolando  Marquez leads the team with 24 tackles, one more than Tyler Rasmussen…Chris Salinas leads Potter Valley in nearly every category. He’s completed 19 passes, averages 137 yards rushing and has made 30 solo tackles.

The pick: Point Arena

— Howard Senzell, for The Press Democrat