NCS lineup set for high school football playoffs

  • Analy quarterback Jack Newman (12) scans for an open receiver during the first half of the Sonoma County League championship football game between Petaluma and Analy high schools, in Rohnert Park, California on Friday, November 6, 2015. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

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.

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