Cardinal Newman and Analy earned No. 2 seeds in their divisions and will play local first-round North Coast Section high school football playoff games Friday.
Analy, which pulled off a last-second Hail Mary touchdown as the buzzer sounded Friday to beat Petaluma and win the Sonoma County League title to remain undefeated (10-0, 6-0), will play No. 15 Albany (5-5 overall) at Santa Rosa High School at 7 p.m. in a Division 3 game.
North Bay League champ Newman (8-2, 7-0), playing in Division 4, will face Healdsburg, seeded No. 15, which finished 3-7 and 2-4 in the SCL.
In the larger Division 2, three teams qualified — Maria Carrillo at No. 6, Casa Grande No. 7 and Windsor at No. 9 — and will play games Friday and Saturday.
Following its loss to Analy, Petaluma was seeded sixth, while Rancho Cotate won a No. 3 seed and Piner 13.
Casa Grande coach Trent Herzog said his team’s tough preseason games and strong opponents helped the Gauchos’ seed despite what their overall 4-6 record might seem to say.
“Our strength-of-schedule was the toughest in Division 2 and our opponents’ record of 59-41 was best in Division 2 also,” he said. “That really helped us. The NCS does not punish you for playing higher Division 1 opponents. We played three this year.”
Rancho will play host in its first-round game, Saturday at 7 p.m. against No. 14 Terra Linda. If the Cougars win, they will play the winner of No. 6 Petaluma and No. 11 Novato, who play Friday at Petaluma.
Coach Ed Conroy said he’s told his players not to worry too much about seed numbers or who they might face later.
“You’re in the playoffs, that’s the most important part,” he said. “You gotta play somebody good at some point.
“Anybody can be beat anybody at this point. It’s a brand new season. It’s not like you’re playing 10 games and you win some, you lose some. There’s a finality to it now.”
Windsor (6-4, 4-3) will travel to No. 8 Pinole Valley (6-4) Friday, while Carrillo (6-4, 5-2) will host No. 11 Northgate (6-4) Saturday.
Piner (6-4, 4-2) plays at Bishop O’Dowd (5-5) of Oakland in a day game Saturday.
Windsor coach Tom Kirkpatrick said Pinole Valley (6-4) is powerful and balanced, averaging more than 460 yards of total offense.
“They are probably one of the top three teams in our division. They have a quarterback who has thrown for 1,600 yards and run for 1,300 yards and a running back who’s run for 1,800 yards,” he said, “so how they got that seed, I don’t know.”
SCL second-place team Petaluma (7-3, 5-1) plays No. 11 Novato (4-6) in Petaluma Friday.
Trojans coach Rick Krist said he was a little disappointed not to have received a higher seed, but was pleased to have another home game.
The winner plays the winner of Rancho Cotate-Terra Linda, and either way will play in Sonoma County, at Rancho or Petaluma.
“It looks like if we have some success, we’ll be able to stay around in this area through the playoffs, so that’s nice,” he said. “Overall, the kids are excited about being in the playoffs and the seniors are excited to have another home game.”