Second-seed Cardinal Newman won 49-32 against visiting seventh-seed Encinal of Alameda in a NCS Division 3 quarterfinal on Friday night and in the process handed the Jets their first defeat of the season.
The win by the Cardinals (9-2) sets up a rematch in the semifinal next week against Rancho Cotate if the third-seed Cougars defeat sixth-seed Eureka tonight.
The Cardinals and Cougars dominated the local football scene this season. If they play each other it will set up an unusual — if not unique — third meeting this season between them.
Rancho Cotate won the first meeting 41-28 on Oct. 23 and Cardinal Newman won the rematch 34-27 11 days later to win the North Bay League championship.
Against the Jets (11-1), the Cardinals were led by quarterback Beau Barrington (4-5 passing for 125 yards and one touchdown; 11 rushes for 111 yards and two touchdowns) and Tanner Mendoza (19 rushes for 117 yards and three touchdowns).
Cardinal Newman led 28-12 at halftime and had the game comfortably in hand 49-20 before Encinal scored two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
CAMPOLINDO 44, MARIA CARRILLO 20
In a Division 2 quarterfinal, the visiting eight-seed Pumas (4-6) gave up a 95-yard kickoff return on the first play and trailed top-seed Campolindo (8-4) of Moraga the entire game.
“We started out a little rough. Giving up a return on the first play is not a good start,” Maria Carrillo coach Jay Higgins said. “We had a couple of guys out of position and missed a few tackles.”
A short time later the Pumas trailed 28-0 late in the first quarter before getting their own kickoff return for a touchdown — a 97-yarder by Khameron Perkins.
“We were struggling to get our offense going,” Higgins said. “Campolindo is a good team; they are really impressive. They had really good depth.”
Maria Carrillo fought back and kept the game from getting really out of hand, but the early deficit was too much to overcome.
“Our guys fought a good hard game for four quarters solid,” Higgins said. “It was a tall order to come back once we were down by 28.”
The Pumas were led by running back Tevita Salato (14 carries for 137 yards). Quentin Cuellar had a 12-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
Maria Carrillo linebackers John Nieman and Mason Adams each had 10 solo tackles on the night and Adams had one sack.
“It was a crazy season. A lot of ups and downs,” Higgins said. “We struggled with injuries then there were the fires. We had to rebuild, regroup. For our kids to play as hard as they did I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
GRANADA 56, CASA GRANDE 28
The visiting seven-seed Gauchos (4-7) had a disastrous first quarter in a Division 2 quarterfinal and it ultimately cost them. Casa Grande went down by four touchdowns to the second seed Matadors (8-4) of Livermore and the deficit was too great to claw back from.
“We had a horrible first quarter. We had a fumble and a pick that turned into scores for Granada,” Casa Grande coach Denis Brunk said.