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Monday’s prep football games have playoff implications

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After more than a week of fire-driven unknowns, high school football in Sonoma County will resume play on Monday with two makeup games, which have postseason implications for three of the four teams involved.

Following some stop-and-go as Maria Carrillo assessed its ability and desire to play a game on the heels of Kincade fire evacuations, the Pumas decided they would host Cardinal Newman in a North Bay League-Oak Division game.

Newman, 3-0 in the NBL-Oak and 7-1 overall, was eager to play the game to try to notch another win in its league run and to show the North Coast Section it deserves a top seed when the committee meets Nov. 10 to create the sectional playoff brackets.

In Division 4, Piner (9-0) and Marin Catholic (8-1) were the top teams going into the weekend, then Newman, with Acalanes and Tamalpais right behind.

Monday’s game could be even more important for Carrillo’s playoff standing.

At 1-2 in league and 4-4 overall, the Pumas are sitting at No. 7 in the 14-team D4 standings. A maximum of eight teams will be selected for postseason berths.

Vallejo, Tennyson and Newark Memorial all are competing with the Pumas for the final couple of spots.

Because of the fire delay, Newman and Carrillo play their final games Nov. 8 and 9.

In the other makeup game, winless Montgomery (0-2, 0-8) travels to Forestville to take on El Molino (1-2, 4-4).

A win could help the Lions grab a middle seed in Division 7 instead of hovering toward the bottom as they are. A nonleague game they had scheduled with Harker of San Jose has been cancelled.

El Molino coach Randy Parmeter said he expects a six or seven seed, unless the Lions lose to divisional rival Montgomery on Monday.

“That pushes us down a little bit,” he said. “But we have a great shot in the playoffs. We can compete with all of those guys. I don’t think they are that much better than teams we’ve lost to.”

Despite Montgomery’s record, Parmeter said his team will not overlook the Vikings.

“They have guys who can make things happen. I wouldn’t underestimate them at all. They’ve played tough competition. … I don’t care what their record is, those guys can play.”

Most teams in the North Bay are behind others because of the game cancellations and rescheduling forced by the Kincade fire and its subsequent evacuations of 190,000 Sonoma County residents.

Just after NBL administrators crafted ways to declare league champs if the season ended with teams playing unequal numbers of games, the NCS extended the season by one week, allowing time to get remaining games in. (Santa Rosa at Healdsburg, scheduled for Oct. 25, will not be played.)

In the NBL, the final four games will be played Nov. 8 with one on the following day.

The NCS seeding committee will declare the rankings and playoff brackets on Nov. 10, with first-round games Nov. 15 and 16.

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

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