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Windsor tops Granada 35-14, rolls to NCS Division 2 title game

Windsor’s David Escarcega (28), center, runs along the sideline for a touchdown during the first half of the NCS Division 2 semifinal playoff game between Granada and Windsor high schools in Windsor on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

PETER FOURNIER,

WINDSOR — Jaguars football coach Tom Kirkpatrack started Saturday’s postgame conversation with his team with a poignant declaration: “We got practice Monday!”

That was before the impromptu ice bath.

Riding the momentum of a thrilling goal-line stand to beat Santa Rosa the week before, Windsor High’s football team raced out to an early lead Saturday and never looked back. With a dominant 35-14 victory over Granada, The Jaguars earned a trip to the North Coast Section Division 2 championship.

A big reason the Jaguars advanced is quarterback Kobe Roman, who got Windsor started quickly, taking advantage of a Granada turnover deep in their own territory. Roman got Windsor on the board with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Just over three minutes later, he connected with Patrick Tappin for a 47-yard touchdown pass. He then hit David Escarcega for another 47-yard touchdown pass to give Windsor an early 21-0 lead.

Roman added a 20-yard touchdown pass to Zack Rackman in the second quarter to finish off a four-touchdown day.

“A great time to have a great game, right?” Kirkpatrick said of Roman’s performance.

As the coach addressed the Jaguars after the game, someone suggested grabbing the water cooler, even with temperatures in the 40s. Kirkpatrick didn’t acknowledge the mention, but three of his athletes sprang into action, sprinting toward the bench and racing to the team huddle in the north end zone to dump ice water on their coach.

“I saw it coming,” Kirkpatrick said. “I don’t care. It felt great. I wasn’t going to run away from it.”

Not many would have picked the Jaguars as likely to reach the title game. Even the longtime Sonoma County coach was realistic about his thoughts before the season.

“Would you have thought that we’d be in the NCS championship?” Kirkpatrick asked his team.

“Of course,” some of his athletes said.

Kirkpatrick was more realistic. “These kids have done everything that we’ve asked them to do. The coaching staff is unbelievable.

“We want to still be playing football at Thanksgiving,” Kirkpatrick said of the team’s goal this season.

Kirkpatrick, who coached for years in Healdsburg, didn’t know what to expect before he came out of retirement to lad the Jaguars for the 2015 season.

“I wouldn’t have made any predictions,” he said.

Roman, a two-way player who lines up at safety as well as quarterback, said the team exceeded expectations.

“I think we all came together when we needed to and got the ‘W’,” the quarterback said.

Kirkpatrick admired Roman’s grit.

“He played every lick of defense, too. He’s a little banged up right now, but everybody is right now — sore and tired, all that stuff — but it’s gotta feel good.”

Roman says he’ll be ready to play in Friday’s title game, saying that he enjoys playing on both sides of the ball.

“When you make a mistake on one side of the ball, (you) don’t have time to dwell on it,” he said. “I get to go on the defensive side and make a big hit or make a tackle or something.”

The Jaguars will play Campolindo at 7 p.m. Friday night at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill for the NCS Division 2 title.