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Prep football: Rancho Cotate storms past Analy

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Under a slightly smoky sky, the Rancho Cotate High School football team kept its late-season momentum rolling by defeating Analy High School 49-13 on Friday night in Rohnert Park.

While the rest of the high school football teams in Sonoma County were forced to call off games due to poor air quality as a result of the Kincade fire near Geyserville, the Cougars (6-3 overall, 3-1 North Bay League Oak Division) and the Tigers (1-8, 0-4) were able to carry on with Friday’s scheduled contest.

“I think we’ve been through it three years now, unfortunately, that we’ve become accustomed to it and every situation is slightly different. Is the power out? Is the AQI bad? Are we going to play? Are we not going to play? What can we do? What’s plan A, B, C? We’ve done it so much, unfortunately, we’ve gotten kind of good at it,” Cougars head coach Gehrig Hotaling said.

Rancho has really come into form as of late by winning its last two games — including a 55-21 victory over Maria Carrillo last week — and currently sits in second place in the NBL-Oak behind Cardinal Newman, which has gone undefeated in league play so far.

Analy have not had the same success as its league opponent. After opening the season with a 26-20 win over Santa Rosa, the Tigers have lost eight straight.

The Cougars dominated from the start Friday and on the very first play of the game quarterback Jared Stocker completed a 40-yard pass to wide receiver Dylan Barella that put them on the Tigers’ 30-yard line. Rancho capped off the quick drive with a 4-yard touchdown run from Stocker to go up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

The Tigers had less success on offense, as they were repeatedly swarmed by Cougar defenders on each of their attempts to find any room on the ground or through the air.

“We had a hard time moving the ball, especially on the ground,” Analy coach James Foster said.

Rancho completed its second drive quicker than the first and increased the lead to 14-0 on a 3-yard rushing touchdown from Rasheed Rankin less than five minutes into the first.

The Cougars finished off their explosive first quarter with another touchdown on a 16-yard rush, again from Stocker, as their defense continued to stifle any progress from Analy.

Rancho continued its dominance in the second quarter and started a drive in Tigers territory thanks to an interception by Alex Sandoval.

The Cougars then scored on a 14-yard pass to Brandon Proschold, who made an incredible catch in the back corner of the end zone to increase the lead to 28-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.

Rancho found the end zone two more times in the second, on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Stocker to Darius Hurst and a 49-yard pass from Ryan Hoxsie to Barella.

Late in the first half, a big kick return from Avery Johnson put the Tigers in enemy territory for the first time. A long pass from Gavin Allingham to Kolby Elledge put them on the 4-yard line and Allingham walked it in for a short touchdown run on the next play.

The Cougars led 42-6 at halftime.

Rancho inserted its second string to end the first half and kept them out there in the second.

The reserves also played well, as they continued to shut down Analy and found the end zone on offense — scoring on a 3-yard run by Brian Reagan.

The Tigers were able to score again in the second half on a 2-yard rush by Kaden Fox, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the large deficit before the Cougars walked away with a 49-13 win.

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