Quarterback Jordon Brookshire ran for three touchdowns as Cardinal Newman reached the championship game of the North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs with a 54-8 victory against visiting Piedmont Saturday night.
The Cardinals (11-1), No. 1 seed in the division and champions of the North Bay League, will play the winner of today’s other semifinal between St. Bernard’s and Salesian. The championship game will be next Saturday, Dec. 3, at Rancho Cotate High School with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Brookshire scored the game’s first touchdown at the 10:01 mark of the first quarter. He also found the end zone in the second period on an 8-yard scamper and ended his evening with a 2-yard TD run early in the third quarter.
After the 205-pound senior’s third score, coach Paul Cronin took his starters out and the reserves finished the game.
The score was 34-0 at halftime. The Highlanders finally found the end zone in the waning minutes.
Piedmont was unable to establish a running game against the Newman defensive front line.
“We took that away and forced them to try and pass, which was not their strength,” Cronin said.
One of the key plays of the game came in the second quarter when Jason Moran intercepted a pass and ran it back 20 yards for a touchdown.
“That put us up 21-0 and we were able to add onto the lead from there,” Cronin said.
Moran also intercepted another pass later in the game.
Brookshire ran the ball 15 times for 113 yards and completed 8 of 11 passes for 115 yards.
Tanner Mendoza also wound up with more than one touchdown. He scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 1 and 3 yards.
“The kids played pretty well,” Cronin said. “We got after Piedmont early and never let them back in the game.
“This has really been a fun team to coach. They come to play every practice and every game.”
CAMPOLINDO 48, UKIAH 7
At Moraga, the Wildcats got on the scoreboard first, but the home team finished the night by scoring seven touchdowns in a row in their Division 2 semifina;l.
Brett Hofstetter scored Ukiah’s touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak and Morgan Edwards added the extra point.
The game was still in doubt at halftime, as the Cougars led only 21-7.
“The score doesn’t really reflect the way the game was played,” Ukiah coach Jonathon Dewey said. “I could see why Campolindo is No. 1 in the bracket. They’re the cream of the crop for a Division 2 program.
“Our goal was to primarily use our running game and that worked for a while.”
Nick Broccini, Eddie Holbrook and Cody Shepard had good games for the Wildcats.
Ukiah, the No. 5 seed, finished the season 8-5. Campolindo moves on to the final with a 9-3 record.