Don’t look now but Casa Grande football is back. After a horrendous 0-6 start, the seventh-seeded Gauchos have won four games in a row, including Friday night’s first round of the NCS Division 2 football playoffs against visiting 10th-seeded Montgomery.
The Gauchos (4-6) trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter but rallied to outscore the Vikings (3-6) 46-14 in the final three quarters to win 46-28.
Casa Grande will play a quarterfinal game next week vs. the winner of today’s Granada-Redwood matchup.
“Our guys are all starting to click. It took some time but we are rolling now,” Casa Grande coach Denis Brunk said. “Our defense did great. They stepped up when they needed to and we shut Montgomery down in the third quarter.”
Not to be overlooked is the fact that the Vikings’ starting quarterback, Joey Thresh, went down with a knee injury midway through the second quarter with the score 14-14. Thresh went to the hospital for treatment and Montgomery’s potent passing attack and offense in general was neutered.
“We never had rhythm on offense after the injury to Thresh. We had a lull after he went down. In the second half we couldn’t do what we wanted to on offense with a JV quarterback,” Montgomery coach Tony Keefer said. “Congratulations to Casa. They have some good linemen and they run with power up the middle.”
Brunk said the Gauchos’ running game was stunted in the first quarter due to effective blitzes by the Montgomery linebackers on the edge. Casa Grande made an adjustment and started running between the tackles and it paid off.
“We are good at going in at halftime and making changes. We came out in the third quarter and took care of business on both sides of the ball,” Brunk said.
Casa Grande had 376 yards of offense (245 yards rushing) while Montgomery had 367 yards of offense (264 yards passing).
Gauchos running back Kenneth Fitzgerald ran for 167 yards on 26 carries, including touchdown jaunts of 5, 66 and 26 yards. Casa Grande quarterback Jadon Bosarge was 10-16 passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
CARDINAL NEWMAN 49, KENNEDY 7
The host second-seeded Cardinals (8-2) gashed 15th-seeded Kennedy (4-7) of Fremont early and often with the run and the pass in a first round Division 3 game. Cardinal Newman moves on to play the winner of Saturday's battle between seventh-seeded Encinal and 10th-seeded Analy.
Against Kennedy, the game was over by halftime with the Cardinals up 35-7.
“Our defense played really well, they dominated the game. We smashed their run game and put a lot of pressure on their quarterback,” Cardinal Newman coach Paul Cronin said.
The Cardinals defense registered six sacks while the offense scored seven touchdowns.
Cardinal Newman quarterback Beau Barrington was 17-22 for 320 yards and three touchdowns. Wideout Kyle Carinelli had six catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns (50, 70, and 40 yards). Running back Tanner Mendoza ran for 112 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.
“Kyle and Beau made some huge plays and then the game got out of control,” Cronin said.”
RANCHO COTATE 42, LAS LOMAS 10
(5) Windsor vs. (12) Mt. Eden, 7 p.m.
(8) Maria Carrillo at (9) Santa Rosa, 7 p.m.
(10) Analy at (7) Encinal, 7 p.m.
(14) Sonoma Valley at (3) Harker, 7 p.m.
(15) El Molino at (2) Kennedy-Richmond, 7 p.m.