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Saturday's games

Division 2

(5) Windsor vs. (12) Mt. Eden, 7 p.m.

(8) Maria Carrillo at (9) Santa Rosa, 7 p.m.

Division 3

(10) Analy at (7) Encinal, 7 p.m.

Division 4

(14) Sonoma Valley at (3) Harker, 7 p.m.

(15) El Molino at (2) Kennedy-Richmond, 7 p.m.

Don’t look now but Casa Grande football is back. After a horrendous 0-6 start, the seventh-seeded Gauchos have won four games in a row, including Friday night’s first round of the NCS Division 2 football playoffs against visiting 10th-seeded Montgomery.

The Gauchos (4-6) trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter but rallied to outscore the Vikings (3-6) 46-14 in the final three quarters to win 46-28.

Casa Grande will play a quarterfinal game next week vs. the winner of today’s Granada-Redwood matchup.

“Our guys are all starting to click. It took some time but we are rolling now,” Casa Grande coach Denis Brunk said. “Our defense did great. They stepped up when they needed to and we shut Montgomery down in the third quarter.”

Not to be overlooked is the fact that the Vikings’ starting quarterback, Joey Thresh, went down with a knee injury midway through the second quarter with the score 14-14. Thresh went to the hospital for treatment and Montgomery’s potent passing attack and offense in general was neutered.

“We never had rhythm on offense after the injury to Thresh. We had a lull after he went down. In the second half we couldn’t do what we wanted to on offense with a JV quarterback,” Montgomery coach Tony Keefer said. “Congratulations to Casa. They have some good linemen and they run with power up the middle.”

Brunk said the Gauchos’ running game was stunted in the first quarter due to effective blitzes by the Montgomery linebackers on the edge. Casa Grande made an adjustment and started running between the tackles and it paid off.

“We are good at going in at halftime and making changes. We came out in the third quarter and took care of business on both sides of the ball,” Brunk said.

Casa Grande had 376 yards of offense (245 yards rushing) while Montgomery had 367 yards of offense (264 yards passing).

Gauchos running back Kenneth Fitzgerald ran for 167 yards on 26 carries, including touchdown jaunts of 5, 66 and 26 yards. Casa Grande quarterback Jadon Bosarge was 10-16 passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

CARDINAL NEWMAN 49, KENNEDY 7

The host second-seeded Cardinals (8-2) gashed 15th-seeded Kennedy (4-7) of Fremont early and often with the run and the pass in a first round Division 3 game. Cardinal Newman moves on to play the winner of Saturday's battle between seventh-seeded Encinal and 10th-seeded Analy.

Against Kennedy, the game was over by halftime with the Cardinals up 35-7.

“Our defense played really well, they dominated the game. We smashed their run game and put a lot of pressure on their quarterback,” Cardinal Newman coach Paul Cronin said.

The Cardinals defense registered six sacks while the offense scored seven touchdowns.

Cardinal Newman quarterback Beau Barrington was 17-22 for 320 yards and three touchdowns. Wideout Kyle Carinelli had six catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns (50, 70, and 40 yards). Running back Tanner Mendoza ran for 112 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

“Kyle and Beau made some huge plays and then the game got out of control,” Cronin said.”

RANCHO COTATE 42, LAS LOMAS 10

In Division 3, the third-seeded Cougars (9-1) amassed a 27-0 first quarter lead against the visiting 14th-seeded Knights (4-6) of Walnut Creek. Rancho Cotate will host a quarterfinal game next weekend against the winner of Saturday's sixth-seeded Eureka and 11th-seeded Alhambra matchup.

“I feel good about where we are at right now. We are getting healthy,” Rancho Cotate coach Gehrig Hotaling said. “Tonight our offense looked like we were back to our normal self. This was the best half of football offensively we have played all season in terms of efficiency, effort and execution.”

Rancho quarterback Jake Simmons was 15-27 passing for 263 yards and six touchdowns (30, 9, 28, 6, 7, and 52 yards) in the first half before being lifted the entire second half. Cougars wide receiver Logan Reese caught six passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Rancho scored TDs on all six first-half possessions.

ACALANES 63, PETALUMA 25

Things went very wrong for the visiting 12th-seeded Trojans (8-2) in the fourth quarter of a Division 3 game against the fifth-seeded Dons (9-1) of Lafayette.

Trailing 35-25 with the ball early in the fourth quarter, Petaluma turned it over three times (two fumbles and an interception) in the quarter, sinking its chances for an upset. Acalanes took advantage of the Trojans’ miscues and scored 28 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to end Petaluma’s otherwise successful season.

“We imploded in the fourth quarter. We just fell apart,” Petaluma coach Rick Krist said. We played great but made mistakes at the wrong time. Our defense did amazing under the circumstances.”

Acalanes had 470 yards of total offense (400 yards passing) to Petaluma’s 360.

Petaluma was led by running backs Garrett Freitas (12 carries for 89 yards and a 48 yard touchdown run), Jacob Rolstin (12 carries for 64 yards and a 6-yard score) and Justin Wolbert (six rushes for 74 yards).

“We had opportunities in the second half to score. We had great effort tonight,” Krist said. “It was a good season, something to build on.”

WILLITS 13, FORT BRAGG 7

The No. 11 Wolverines stunned No. 6 Fort Bragg at Fort Bragg and will move on to play Cloverdale in a Division 5 quarterfinal.

“We had a lot of head scratching when they found out we were in the playoffs, but we knew we could play with these guys,” coach Chris Bickford said. “It’s clearly a rebuilding year and we’re trying to put those pieces together.”

Trailing 7-0 after halftime, the Wolverines rode rushing touchdowns of 2 and 9 yards out from Ryan LaCount and a strong performance from their defense to advance.

The Timberwolves had one final chance with time winding down in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but a desperation pass was intercepted by the Willits defense to seal the game.

STELLAR PREP 18, CLOVERDALE 10

At Oakland, the Eagles had a chance with a little under two minutes left to go and a fourth and 20 do-or-die down, but a fade pass to an open receiver was dropped, according to coach Chad Talley, to leave Cloverdale’s comeback falling short.

The Eagles were down 12-3 at halftime — Danny Valencia connected on a 32-yard field goal in the first half — but used a Jone Wesley 15-yard touchdown run to trim the deficit down to one possession in the second half. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get closer.

ARCATA 46, ELSIE ALLEN 12

At Arcata, Elsie Allen head coach Derek Hester said he was thinking his team was still in the game when they headed into the locker with a 6-0 halftime deficit in their first postseason appearance in school history.

Then Arcata’s 34-point third quarter placed the game well out of reach.

“I was really happy the way we played the first half,” Hester said. “Our offense didn’t really get rolling but our defense played great.”

Diego Mendoza had a 1-yard run and he also threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Andre Duvall for Elsie Allen’s scores.

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