While the Vine Valley Athletic League title is out of reach for Petaluma, the Trojans still have plenty to play for in the league’s inaugural season.
While the Trojans (5-3, 2-2) are currently sitting in fourth place, they is still in the running for second place in the VVAL when Petaluma hosts last-place Napa (0-8, 0-4) Friday at 7 p.m.
Based on records, the Trojans are a heavy favorite, but Napa represents the type of opponent that could create a trap game for Petaluma.
“Napa has a good offense. Their quarterback (Isaiah Newton) is a good runner, he is very elusive. Napa has good athletes,” Petaluma coach Rick Krist said. “We really need to prepare for Napa.”
While Napa traditionally has been a power-run team on offense, the Indians are now mostly a passing team that relies on a spread offense with Newton as the catalyst.
“We want to keep him in the pocket,” Krist said. “We are a grind-it-out team. If we can control the ball, run time off the clock and keep Napa off the field, that could be beneficial.”
Petaluma is coming off a 30-12 win on the road last week against Sonoma Valley. The Trojans are led by running back Garrett Freitas (averaging 10 yards per carry) on offense and linebacker Nick Ayers on defense.
“We are definitely improved (versus early in the season),” Krist said. “But we have to put a complete game together in all three phases of the game.”
If the Trojans vanquish the Indians, looming large on Oct. 27 is the Egg Bowl that matches Petaluma with its traditional crosstown rival, Casa Grande.
In other games Friday:
Vine Valley Athletic League
CASA GRANDE Gauchos (3-5, 3-1 in VVAL) vs. AMERICAN CANYON Wolves (3-6, 3-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Casa Grande High School
Before the Egg Bowl a week from Saturday, the Gauchos host the athletic and speedy Wolves in a VVAL matchup. The teams are tied for second place and the game figures to be relatively evenly matched. … Casa Grande started the season 0-4 but has won three of its last four games, including a 41-27 win over Napa last week and 40-7 over Sonoma Valley two weeks ago. … The Wolves lost 27-14 last week at Vintage.
SONOMA VALLEY Dragons (3-6, 2-3 in VVAL) vs. VINTAGE Crushers (6-2, 4-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Vintage High School
In a VVAL game, Sonoma is looking to turn the corner on its offensive struggles. The Dragons have lost three of their last four games and have scored only 25 points in those four games. … The first-place Crushers are in the catbird’s seat to win the VVAL with two league games to go. … After an 0-2 start, Vintage has won six consecutive games.
North Bay League-Oak
RANCHO COTATE Cougars (7-1, 2-1) vs. ANALY Tigers (3-5, 1-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Analy High School
The Cougars are tied for second place with Ukiah in the NBL-Oak and travel to Analy needing a win to stay near the top of the league. … The Cougars have outscored opponents 265-137. … Rancho Cotate quarterback Jared Stocker is ranked second in the NBL-Oak, averaging 203.5 passing yards per game with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. … Analy quarterback Nick Visser is the leading passer in the league with 206.8 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the season. … Analy has been outscored 271-150 on the season.