Prep football preview: Vine Valley Athletic League contests begin

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Petaluma and Sonoma Valley high school teams will start their Vine Valley Athletic League football play this week after a month of nonconference competitions and tuneups.

Casa Grande has a new coach, the third in as many years, who has led the Gauchos to a 1-3 record thus far.

But coach John Antonio has higher hopes for VVAL play with all-league running back Matt Herrera, quarterback Miguel Robertson, and receivers Dominic McHale and Dominic Giomi leading the offense.

Another new coach, Hervy Williams at Sonoma Valley, is bringing new life to the Dragons’ program, and is running mostly through quarterback Jake Baker.

Running back Adrian Alvarez is making a name for himself as well, with a breakout game of 184 yards against El Camino. The Dragons (1-3) are likely to be fired up after a drubbing by undefeated Piner last week.

Longtime Petaluma coach Rick Krist and the Trojans depend on running backs Joey Alioto and Dante Ratto. The Trojans are 1-3 in nonconference play.

Casa heads to Justin-Siena, Petaluma hosts American Canyon and Sonoma Valley welcomes Napa, all at 7 p.m. Friday.

In the North Bay League, divisional play doesn’t begin until Oct. 4, so most teams have another week or two of nonleague games to challenge themselves or score points for postseason strength-of-schedule consideration.

Rancho Cotate (2-1) has won two straight and will play at Pleasant Valley this week and Campolindo next week before diving into the NBL schedule against Cardinal Newman in the first week of divisional play.

Rancho, Pleasant Valley and Campo are all ranked similarly by MaxPreps, so those games should be good competition.

Newman (3-0) is ranked 43rd in the state and will be challenging No. 23 Liberty High on Friday and No. 705 Balboa in Santa Rosa — the Cardinals’ first game on their newly rebuilt field.

Piner, 4-0, has ruffled some feathers with its lopsided wins (244-0 point differential), but faces its most serious test this week as the Prospectors host Miramonte.

Miramonte went to the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs last year, losing to El Cerrito in the quarterfinals, and is 3-1 this season.

While Piner’s quarterback Yonaton Isack is putting up some impressive numbers (1,383 yards, 345 yards/game, 25 touchdowns), so is the Matadors’ Matt Meredith, averaging 315 yards a game with 17 touchdowns and only one interception so far this season.

Piner has two goals: keep its unscored-upon streak going, and win the game against the higher-ranked opponent.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Forty percent of the way through the season, the cream is rising to the top of the statistical leaderboards.

Quarterback Jackson Pavitt of Cardinal Newman leads North Bay League-Oak Division quarterbacks with 200 yards per game, a 66% completion rate and quarterback rating of 121 in three games.

Billy Boyle of Windsor has more yards with 680, but in four games, and he has 10 touchdowns to Pavitt’s six. Pavitt has yet to throw a pick, while Boyle has 5.

Windsor (3-1) has two of the five leading rushers and two of the top five receivers, while Newman has three of the top five receivers and two of the leading rushers.

In the Redwood Division, two quarterbacks lead the field with double-digit touchdown passes: Yonaton Isack of Piner with 25 and Santa Rosa’s Trevor Anderson with 13.

In four games each, Isack (1,383) and Anderson (1,143) have both thrown for more than 1,000 yards. Isack’s quarterback rating is 135.0, tops in the NBL.

Although the three Sonoma County teams in the Vine Valley Athletic League are underperforming, Petaluma and Casa Grande have players in the top five in passing, rushing and receiving yards.

PASSING YARDS

Yonaton Isack, Piner 1,383

Trevor Anderson, Santa Rosa 1,143

Weston Lewis, El Molino 803

Billy Boyle, Windsor 680

Jackson Pavitt, Cardinal Newman 601

Jared Stocker, Rancho Cotate 420

Miguel Robertson, Casa Grande 402

Jack Hartman, Petaluma 191

Gavin Allingham, Analy 144

Cole Hallin, Montgomery 135

Logan Woolsey, El Molino 121

PASSING TOUCHDOWNS

Yonaton Isack, Piner 25

Trevor Anderson, Santa Rosa 13

Billy Boyle, Windsor 10

Weston Lewis, El Molino 7

Jackson Pavitt, Cardinal Newman 6

Jared Stocker, Rancho Cotate 5

Miguel Robertson, Casa Grande 4

Logan Woolsey, El Molino 3

Gavin Allingham, Analy 2

Jack Hartman, Petaluma 2

Cole Hallin, Montgomery 1

Jaydon Goldberg, Piner 1

Chase Vehmeyer, Windsor 1

RUSHING YARDS

Lorenzo Leon, Windsor 424

Dante Ratto, Petaluma 370

Rasheed Rankin, Rancho Cotate 368

Matt Herrera, Casa Grande 334

Joey Alioto, Petaluma 314

Adrian Torres, Piner 281

Weston Lewis, El Molino 258

DJ Ramalia, El Molino 170

Randall Braziel, Petaluma 169

Jackson Pavitt, Cardinal Newman 162

Jeremiah Pignataro, Windsor 155

Dominic Giomi, Casa Grande 153

Kent Gamble, Santa Rosa 116

Shane Moran, Cardinal Newman 111

Cody Dugan, Healdsburg 106

RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS

Lorenzo Leon, Windsor 6

Rasheed Rankin, Rancho Cotate 6

Adrian Torres, Piner 5

Weston Lewis, El Molino 4

Joey Alioto, Petaluma 4

Dante Ratto, Petaluma 3

Dominic Giomi, Casa Grande 3

Shane Moran, Cardinal Newman 2

Matt Herrera, Casa Grande 2

Jackson Pavitt, Cardinal Newman 1

Jeremiah Pignataro, Windsor 1

RECEIVING YARDS

Isaac Torres, Piner 478

Roman Correa, Santa Rosa 415

Randy Clay, Santa Rosa 360

Nico Contreras, Windsor 350

Jackson Dunkle, El Molino 306

Michael Collins, Piner 305

Adrian Torres, Piner 300

Jake Herman, Piner 238

Tsion Nunnally, Cardinal Newman 234

Dominic McHale, Casa Grande 195

Jacob Preciado, Healdsburg 190

Jalen Hall, El Molino 151

D.J. Ramalia, El Molino 134

Justin Lafranchi, Cardinal Newman 127

Dominic Giomi, Casa Grande 122

Giancarlo Woods, Cardinal Newman 119

Landen Estrela, Windsor 115

Lorenzo Leon, Windsor 111

Gianni Gigliello, Rancho Cotate 108

RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS

Isaac Torres, Piner 10

Michael Collins, Piner 7

Nico Contreras, Windsor 5

Jake Herman, Piner 5

Tsion Nunnally, Cardinal Newman 4

Roman Correa, Santa Rosa 4

Jackson Dunkle, El Molino 4

Adrian Torres, Piner 4

Dominic McHale, Casa Grande 4

Landen Estrela, Windsor 3

Randy Clay, Santa Rosa 3

Giancarlo Woods, Cardinal Newman 2

Jalen Hall, El Molino 2

Ryan Sillivan, Petaluma 2

Lorenzo Leon, Windsor 1

D.J. Ramalia, El Molino 1

Note: Statistics are for North Bay League and local Vine Valley Athletic League teams only, as reported by the schools.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.

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