Prep football: Petaluma routed by Del Norte, 49-7
For the second time in as many week’s Petaluma High’s Trojans were on the wrong end of a lopsided nonleague game, losing on their home field to Del Norte’s Warriors, 49-7.
The loss followed a 59-0 defeat at the hands of Foothill in Pleasanton last week and left the Trojans with a 1-3 record heading into the start of Vine Valley Athletic League play against American Canyon Friday. The win was the fourth for undefeated Del Norte.
Petaluma had no answer for the Warriors on either side of scrimmage.
Offensively, the visitors ran almost at will against Petaluma. With a smallish but effective line opening holes for gap-finding running backs Kobe Mitchell, Levi Cox Cooley and Giovanni Gonzalez, Del Norte piled up 403 rushing yards, with Mitchell accounting for 112, Cooley 99 and Gonzalez 97.
Neither Petaluma’s line nor the deceptive Trojan option offense could keep Warrior rushers out of the Trojans’ backfield.
Petaluma rushed for 94 yards, but the majority of that yardage came from two long-gainers, a 35-yard run from Randall Braziel and a 45-yard breakaway by Dante Ratto in the fourth quarter for Petaluma’s only score.
The tone for the game was set on the first play from scrimmage when Petaluma misplayed a handoff and fumbled the ball away to Del Norte on the Trojan 24-yard line. Four plays later, Mitchell was in the end zone from 1-yard out.
Before the half ended, Mitchell and Cooley had each scored for a 21-0 lead.
It got worse for the Trojans in the second half, with Mitchell and Cooley each scoring again, Chase Blackburn ripping off a 36-yard touchdown run and Del Norte quarterback OJ Calleja throwing for a touchdown with a 19-yard completion to Kaleb Price.
Unable to move the ball with any consistency, Petaluma did have a couple of explosive plays as gifts for the home fans.
Braziel’s burst in the second quarter moved the Trojans to the Warriors’ 16-yard line, but the effort proved in vain when Miguel Rangel had a 35-yard field goal attempt blocked.
Quarterback Jack Hartman and Ratto worked the pitch option play to perfection early in the fourth quarter to prevent a second straight shutout. Gianni Johnson supplied a key downfield block to help spring Ratto.