Egg Bowl: Casa Grande seizes lead late, holds on to win thriller

Talk about a game that lived up to the hype. Casa Grande and Petaluma high schools played an instant classic in this year’s edition of the Egg Bowl, their annual crosstown rivalry.|

Clearly the Vine Valley Athletic League likes their eggs scrambled.

In yet another Egg Bowl classic, Casa Grande (5-4, 3-2) edged Petaluma (7-2, 4-1) 29-28 to win their second in a row and send the league title race into chaos.

It took some creativity from head coach John Antonio and Co. to win, as they Gauchos got the ball back down 28-21 with 2:05 left on the clock.

To get the ball back, though, the defense had to step up. They were struggling to stop the run all day long, but this series was different. Big Kodi Cornelius and the rest of the Gauchos’ defensive line stuffed the run on fourth down, and Casa had life.

“We moved (Cornelius) around because teams were keying on him,” Antonio said. “They started doing it and we noticed those checks. For us to see them checking out of it, we felt like they were checking where Kodi was not. We plugged him back into defensive tackle on that last drive and sure enough he made some plays.”

They then called a double pass, and it worked to perfection as Spencer Almond was wide open downfield. Lucas Miles hit him in the numbers, and Almond practically walked into the end zone.

That touchdown put the Gauchos within one, and on the two-point conversion attempt Wyatt Abramson hit Jordan Giacomini in the back corner of the end zone. Ballgame.

“We knew (the defense) just needed to make a stop,” Antonio said. “They had been in that situation plenty of times in that game where they needed to make that stop. They just got to keep believing. We knew we would get the ball back, we felt comfortable scoring against them.”

For Casa, this most likely secures a playoff spot. For Petaluma, well, we’ll get to that later.

Let’s take a look at a couple of takeaways.

Back-and-forth battle

As expected, both teams brought it. And as expected, both teams cruised with their preferred offenses.

Casa Grande tore Petaluma’s secondary up through the air, while the Trojans’ ground attack kept pushing the Gauchos back.

Petaluma quarterback Henry Ellis had all three touchdowns for the visitors, and all three were on designed runs.

Wyatt Abramson, on the other hand, hurled three touchdown passes to three different receivers as Giacomini, Miles and Ryder Jacobson all found pay dirt. Abramson was 17-of-25 for 229 yards.

Miles led the receiving core with eight catches for 145 yards.

Our offense played great,” Gaucho wideout Spencer Almond said. “We were moving the ball fast, (Jacobson) had a great touchdown, we were doing great. I know we got stopped in the second half, but we just stayed motivated.”

VVAL contenders rejoice

If you were Vintage or American Canyon, then you should be pretty happy about this result.

Not only did it most likely secure a playoff spot for the Gauchos, but Petaluma must win next week to win the title outright. And the Trojans play American Canyon.

Here’s the scenario: Petaluma now has to beat American Canyon next week to win the VVAL. If American Canyon wins, Petaluma finishes in second and Vintage gets the playoff auto qualifier.

You can reach Staff Writer Kienan O’Doherty at 415-887-8650 or kienan.odoherty@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @kodoherty22.

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