Saturday was a rough one for several Redwood Empire teams in the first round of the North Coast Section football playoffs. Case in point — No. 9 Petaluma, which couldn’t muster a point in a 49-0 defeat at No. 8 Encinal (Alameda) in a Division 3 opener.
“It was one of those nights where everything went wrong,” Petaluma (6-5) coach Rick Krist said. “When the wheels came off they just kept rolling down the road.”
The Trojans trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime and never got on track offensively against the Jets (8-3).
Petaluma got in the red zone offensively three times but was not able to score. Petaluma only trailed in total yardage 300-208 but the yards didn’t translate into points.
“We were fine up front and our offense moved the ball. We had opportunities to put ourselves in position to score and we just didn’t,” Krist said. “We had six or seven dropped balls. Encinal’s first three touchdowns came on broken plays.”
Krist said Encinal was the more physical team but his Trojans should have been more competitive than losing by seven touchdowns.
“It was just one thing after another, it was very disappointing. We just didn’t perform. The effort was there, it just wasn’t our night,” said Krist, who reflected on the season. “It was a bittersweet season. It was a tough year. We were a better team than our record. It was a great group of kids, it was great to coach them.”
Marin Catholic 42, Santa Rosa 0
In a Division 2 game, the visiting No. 12 Panthers (7-4) were wiped out by the powerhouse Wildcats (8-3).
Marin Catholic scored two touchdowns each in the first and second quarters for a 28-0 halftime lead.
The Wildcats added solo scores in the third and fourth quarters to provide the final score.
“We were a little surprised with the seeding, our kids were one of the most consistent groups all year,” Santa Rosa coach Russell Ponce said. “Marin Catholic had great personnel and we had trouble running the ball and stopping their run.”
Middletown 48, St. Vincent de Paul 0
The host No. 5 Mustangs of Middletown (8-3) utilized a punishing ground game to vanquish the No. 12 Mustangs of St. Vincent de Paul (6-5) in a Division 5 opening round game.
“Right now St. Vincent is trying to rebuild their program but they were outmanned. They are young and we were the more experienced football team,” Middletown coach Bill Foltmer said. “We were the more physical football team.”
Middletown moves on to a quarterfinal game Saturday at 7 pm at No. 4 Fort Bragg, which defeated No. 13 California School for the Deaf 49-8 in its first-round game last Friday. Fort Bragg defeated Middletown in a North Central I League matchup on October 19.
“I expect a low-scoring, defensive battle with Fort Bragg like it has been with them the last few years we have played them,” Foltmer said.
Versus St. Vincent, Middletown didn’t mess around, scoring touchdowns on its first five offensive possessions. The scores came via three runs by Drake Harbison (2, 26 and 53 yards), a 73-yard pass from quarterback R.H. Hess to Nico Barrio and a Barrios 11-yard run.