NCS football: Rancho Cotate season over after 28-6 loss to Marin Catholic

Rancho Cotate's Carlos Franco runs the ball against the Marin Catholic defense during their NCS Division 3 football semifinal game in Kentfield, CA on Saturday, November 29, 2014. (Conner Jay, for The Press Democrat)

Rancho Cotate’s Carlos Franco runs the ball against the Marin Catholic defense during their NCS Division 3 football semifinal game in Kentfield, CA on Saturday, November 29, 2014. (Conner Jay, for The Press Democrat)

BY HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

At Kentfield, Marin Catholic scored 28 consecutive points before Rancho Cotate got on the scoreboard with 5:12 remaining in the game in a 28-6 win in the Division 3 semifinal football game.

Marin Catholic will now play in the Division 3 title game on Saturday against Campolindo. The Moraga school eliminated Analy in the other semifinal.

Marin scored once on an interception and another time on a punt return.

“A team can’t expect to win making those kind of mistakes at this level of the playoffs,” coach Ed Conroy said.

“We didn’t play very well. Of course, part of the reason for that is what Marin Catholic did on both sides of the ball.”

Carlos Franco accounted for Rancho’s lone score on a 3-yard run.

“They’re probably the best team we’ve seen,” Conroy continued. “On defense, they took our underneath routes away. We had to try and complete long passes most of the time.

“They’re very sound defensively and don’t make mistakes.”

The Rancho ground game was throttled all afternoon. The Cougars gained only 24 yards with quarterback Gunner Mefferd losing 21 yards.

The leading rusher was Mo Ward with 32 yards while Franco had 13 yards on a dozen touches.

Mefferd completed 14 of 30 passes for 138 yards. Justin Zinnerman was the leading receiver with five catches for 88 yards while Chris Taylor-Yamanoha caught four passes for 23 yards.

Meanwhile, Marin Catholic rushed for 135 yards and passed for 179 more.

Rancho goes to the sidelines with a 9-4 record while the Wildcats play on with a 10-3 mark.