s
s
Sections
Search
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
X

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Login

X

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

LoginSubscribe

The American Canyon High School football team’s rushing attack overpowered Montgomery High School late in the Wolves’ 43-29 playoff win Saturday night in Santa Rosa.

The first-round North Coast Section Division 2 game was held at Santa Rosa High School due to a decision last week that Montgomery’s field was unsafe.

The Wolves and Vikings came into the game closely matched as the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds in the division, respectively, and even though American Canyon is technically the higher seed, the Vikings earned home-field advantage by winning the North Bay League-Redwood Division.

Dual-threat quarterback Khameron Perkins has utilized his talented receivers and his skills in the run game to lead Montgomery (8-2 overall, 4-0 NBL-Redwood) into the playoffs in his senior year.

American Canyon (5-5 overall, 5-1 Vine Valley Athletic League), unlike the Vikings, has solely relied on the run game this season, averaging 260.8 yards in the regular season and less than 50 passing yards each game.

Running back Eddie Byrdsong has led the Wolves with 1043 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground this season, followed by quarterback Vance Eschenburg with 626 yards.

The first half consisted mostly of a defensive battle between the teams, with each only scoring one touchdown. The Vikings scored on a 68-yard touchdown pass to Kaih Johnson and the Wolves answered with a long drive culminating in a 10-yard run from quarterback Eschenburg to tie the game 7-7.

The only other points came when American Canyon fumbled late in the half and the ball ended up in the Wolves’ end zone. They were able to recover it, taking the safety and avoiding the touchdown.

After the defensive clash in the first half, Montgomery opened the game up in the third quarter, striking quickly and scoring on a 4-yard pass to BJ Johnson to extend their lead to 16-7.

The Vikings’ quick score did not discourage the Wolves, as they stuck to their guns and continued to run the ball, driving down the field as Byrdsong ripped off big gains and Eschenburg finished off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.

“We knew they were a really physical team, we knew their running back was going to be hard to stop,” Montgomery head coach Vertis Patton said.

“Losing our middle linebacker, Matt Carr, last week was big for us, but we still thought we would be able to slow them down and stop them and put points on the board,” Patton added.

American Canyon’s nonstop rushing attack clearly wore down the Vikings’ defense and early in the fourth quarter, Byrdsong drove down the field again and capped off the drive with a short 2-yard touchdown run, giving his team a 21-16 lead.

Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Montgomery’s CJ Love returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown to take back the lead at 22-21.

Byrdsong answered with two more touchdowns, one on a 60-yard rushing score and the other from 11 yards out. A successful 2-point conversion gave the Wolves a 36-22 lead.

Down big, the Vikings’ coaches decided to insert Joey Thresh at quarterback and move Perkins back to running back.

Thresh drove the offense down the field and shortened American Canyon’s lead to 36-29 on an impressive 14-yard touchdown catch by Johnson.

With less than three minutes left, Montgomery’s defense nearly stopped the Wolves’ offense to give the Vikings one last shot, but Byrdsong ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run on a long third down for his fourth score of the night for American Canyon.

The Wolves’ late 43-29 lead was too much for the Vikings to overcome and American Canyon walked away with the playoff victory.

“We’re going to get right back in the gym and we’re going to get ready for next year,” Patton said of his team. “We got a taste of the playoffs; now we want more.”

Rancho Cotate High School now awaits the Wolves for a second-round playoff matchup at 7 p.m. Friday in Rohnert Park.

Show Comment