By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
UPPER LAKE 44, TOMALES 16
Upper Lake scored at least one touchdown in every quarter and spoiled Tomales’ homecoming game Saturday night.
The Cougars improved to 3-1 in the NCL III (8-man football) while Tomales dropped to 3-2.
Upper Lake took a 16-0 lead after one quarter and also put 16 on the scoreboard in the fourth. The Cougars scored in both the second and third periods, too.
Tomales suited up only 12 players, three of them freshmen. Ty Evenich, the Braves’ best athlete, missed the game with a bone bruise in his thigh.
“They’re a good football team,” Tomales coach Dominic Sacheli said. “They found our weaknesses and beat us. We had some poor tackling attempts throughout the game.”
Running backs Chris Fecht and Dre Santos picked up a majority of the rushing yards for Upper Lake. Quarterback Isaac Nevarez also had a solid game.
Tomales’ first touchdown came in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by quarterback Jonny Barajas. The Braves’ other score was in the third on a 40-yard pass from Barajas to Jake Fernandes.
LAYTONVILLE 42, MENDOCINO 12
At Mendocino, it was a day of firsts for both teams.
The Warriors won their first game of the season.
Laytonville beat its NCL III rival for the first time in eight years.
And Mendocino had its home win streak snapped at 27.
Laytonville took control in the second half with 22 unanswered points. Sheldon Britton began the final-quarter scoring on a 4-yard run. That was followed by a Carlos Diaz interception return of 47 yards. The last score came on a 13-yard pass from Garrett Campbell to Jacob Rosenthal.
Britton scored three times. The first two were on runs of 55 and 2 yards.
Mendocino started quickly and led 6-0 after Colton Tavares’ 1-yard run.
However, the Warriors scored the next three touchdowns and took a 20-12 halftime lead. Neither team scored in the third.
“We came out well-prepared and conditioned,” Laytonville coach Jon Nielsen said. “I thought our quarterback Garrett Campbell had a stellar game and Carlos Diaz was a ball hawk on defense.”
The Cardinals turned over the ball five times (four fumbles and an interception).
Both teams are now 1-3.
FORT BRAGG 54, LOWER LAKE 9
At Fort Bragg, the host Timberwolves had a sluggish first half but responded with a power-packed second half and a runaway victory against Lower Lake (3-2, 0-2).
Fort Bragg (5-0, 2-0) led 12-9 at halftime thanks in large part to being flagged for a whopping nine penalties in the first quarter.
“We were operating well offensively in the first quarter but the penalties would stop things, it was frustrating,” Fort Bragg coach Roy Perkins said. “We had a difficult first half on our homecoming night.”
Timberwolves quarterback Kaylor Sullivan — who was also the homecoming king — had an off night, according to Perkins.
“Kaylor’s timing was a little bit off,” Perkins said. “He wasn’t quite himself.”
Even so, an off night for Sullivan netted 348 yards passing on 18-29 attempts and four touchdowns.
“We woke up in the second half, we ran the ball affectively,” Perkins said. “Lower Lake played really well in the first half but our pace wore them down in the second half.”
The most electrifying play of the night came in the fourth quarter when Fort Bragg running back Brett Jacomella (145 yards, 2 TDs) bolted through a hole off-tackle, bounced outside and scampered 99 yards down the left sideline for a long-distance score to cap the victory.
Richard J. Marcus contributed to this report.