By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
PETALUMA — Windsor’s David Escarcega rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback Max Brown ran in a third as the Jaguars defeated Petaluma 21-9 in a non-league game Friday.
Petaluma grabbed the lead briefly in its first possession, opening the scoring with an Isiah Blomgren 37-yard field goal, capping an 18-play drive that ate up most of the first quarter.
The Trojans ran the ball 13 times and attempted just 5 pass plays in the quarter, slowly but steadily moving the ball downfield against Windsor’s defense.
Petaluma almost went three and out on its first drive, but won new life on a fourth-down Windsor penalty on the punt.
Six plays later, Trojan quarterback Brenden White pitched to Luke Wheless, who grabbed the high toss on the left side and picked up 21 yards, the longest play in the drive.
Windsor answered on its first drive, taking a lead 7-3, which it never relinquished.
Escarcega scored on a 1-yard run with 14 seconds left in the first quarter. Kicker Dalton Mullins followed with the first of his three successful point-after attempts.
Windsor coach Tom Kirkpatrick, returning from retirement to helm the Jaguars after a long career at Healdsburg, praised his team’s defense, which held the Trojans to just 114 rushing yards and 96 passing.
“Defensively, we played really well,” he said. “Offensively, we were inconsistent. It’s something we’re going to work on.”
Brown completed 8 of 15 passes for 133, including a 44-yard completion to Curtis Johnson. He also rushed four times for 18 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown with 9:16 left in the game to put Windsor on top 20-9.
Brown also connected with Parker Canady for two 25-yard completions.
Escarcega rushed 12 times for 61 yards, including touchdowns of one and 42 yards. Jackson Baughman led the Jaguars with 64 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Petaluma coach Rick Krist said he was disappointed in the result and impressed with Windsor’s depth.
“We hoped to get more movement from our offense,” he said. “We had sparks at times, but not enough.”
Petaluma runs an option offense, relying on its backs instead of a passing game.
Quarterback Brenden White completed 8 of 17 pass attempts for 96 yards, all but 23 of it in the second half.
“We’re a running team,” Krist said. “We threw (17) times in the game, which is about eight times more than we did last year. They just had a good plan against us.”
The Trojans ran 42 rushing plays, good for 114 yards.
Running back Lucas Dentoni pushed it up the middle mostly, but could manage only 34 yards on 17 carries against Windsor’s stifling defensive line. White carried 14 times for 19 yards. Luke Wheless added 40 yards on 9 carries.
The unsuccessful running game frustrated Petaluma fans, who by the fourth quarter were tired of hearing the public address announcer call out “Dentoni up the middle…”
Fans could be heard yelling, “Pass the ball!” and “Call a different play!”
Windsor went on top 14-3 with 11:04 left in the third quarter after Anthony Rea’s 40-yard punt return set up the Jaguars into the Trojans’ territory.
After a short Brown keeper up the middle, Escarcega took the handoff and flashed down the right side for a 42-yard score.
Sports writer Lori A. Carter can be reached at email@example.com or at 521-5470.