NCS football playoffs: Analy pulls away from Rancho Cotate 45-27 to earn date in NCS final

  • Analy’s Ross Simmons (17), left, makes a catch while covered by Rancho Cotate’s Chris Taylor-Yamanoha (6) during the first half of the NCS Division 3 football game between Rancho Cotate and Analy high schools on Friday, November 27, 2015. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Analy High’s “lights out defense” scored 14 points in the fourth quarter on two pick-six interception returns to seal the Tigers’ ticket to the school’s first North Coast Section football championship game after three previous losses in the semifinals.

The Tigers trounced Rancho Cotate in Friday’s NCS Division 3 semifinal 45-27, after turning a close game into a blowout with those two later interceptions.

“Our defense was lights out, lights out against a really dangerous offense,” Analy coach Daniel Bourdon said. “That’s probably the most dangerous offense in the area, arguably.”

Rancho Cotate vs. Analy Football


The Tigers found a way to stop the Cougars’ lightning quick offense when it mattered.

A Moziah Ward touchdown closed the Tigers’ lead to 31-27 early in the fourth quarter. Rancho’s defense the forced a turnover on downs on a big fourth down play deep in Cougars territory.

Analy’s defense turned the tide on the very first play of Rancho’s ensuing drive. Schuyler Van Weele grabbed Gunner Mefferd’s errant pass near midfield and ran it back for a touchdown to help pad the Tigers’ lead to two possessions.

“I kind of got lucky with my positioning, but I was right there and I had awesome blocks that helped me bring it all the way home,” Van Weele said.

Rancho wasn’t out of it yet. Mefferd led the Cougars down the field for a few more plays on the ensuing drive, until Isaac Kangas picked him off and turned that into a 52-yard interception return touchdown that sealed the game.

“I saw the receiver running a slant and I just got in front of it, and caught it pretty luckily in my stomach,” Kangas said.

“It’s ineffable: It can’t be described. I’m pretty sure that’s the word.”

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