Novato/Oceanside, 2nd Quarter

Halftime thoughts: Novato is in serious trouble if Jeff Stephens can’t come back and play effectively in the second half. There’s only so much Campas can do on QB keepers and option runs. Still though, the Hornets have the lead at the break, which is better than not having the lead. When I get stats, you’ll get ’em too.  

Second quarter, cont: Stephens has gone to the locker room and Kyle Campas has taken over at QB. Illegal procedure backs the Hornets up to their own 44. Campas pulls it down on a QB keeper and he’s down to the Novato 49. Campas pitches to Polvere on the option and it brings up 3rd and 9 from the 50. Oceanside burns a timeout with 11 seconds left and Novato looking at 4th down. Mendez up the middle for a few yards. Oceanside burns another timeout with 4th down upcoming from the Oceanside 49. 6 seconds left in the half. Mendez punts and the half is over. HALFTIME SCORE: Novato 14, Oceanside 7.

Second quarter, cont: Oceanside gets the ball on its own 21. 2:15 left in the half. Wynn looking for Gutierrez incomplete. 2nd down. Wynn screen to Gutierrez and Josh Greenwell was all over it. 3rd and 12 from the 19. Wynn’s pass caught by Enyard but its out of bounds. 4th down upcoming. Punt is a high one but it will die around the Novato 48. 1:03 remaining in the half.  

Second quarter, cont.: A screen from Stephens to Mendez doesn’t yield much. In fact, it’s a loss of 3. Pass over the middle from Stephens to Josh Greenwell nets the Hornets a first down. Ball on the 43. Stephens pass resembles a wounded duck and it brings up a 2nd and 10. Tipped pass falls to the ground. 3rd down.  Stephens is sacked for a six-yard loss and he is hurt. He had to be helped off the field. Looks like an ankle. Punt and Oceanside gets it back. 2:15 remaining in the half.

Second quarter, cont.: A pop-up kickoff gives Oceanside the ball on its own 28. The Pirates need an answer here or Novato might build up too much momentum. Draw to Taylor for a good gain on first down. Six-yard gain brings up 2nd and 4 from the 34. Sweep by Gutierrez gives Oceanside a first down on its own 40. Wynn goes deep and Kirk Pingatore is currently the man of the hour. Pingatore timed his jump perfectly and picked the pass off, giving Novato the ball on its own 32. That kid is playing his heart out today. 

Touchdown thoughts: Great effort on the option by Stephens but the slant to Vontellrop was the play of the drive. Novato did what any good team has to do though, scored when given a short field due to a turnover. The Hornets are rollign right now and that bodes well for them since it’s known in the Bay Area that Novato is a second-half team.

More 2nd quarter: A run by David Gutierrez would have netted the Pirates a first down but he coughed the rock up and Novato recovered. Diego Velasquez recovered the loose ball and Novato gets the ball on the Oceanside 39. Logan Edwards up the middle, nothing doing. Loss of one. Brings up 2nd and 11 on the 40. Stephens finds Vontellrop on a slant pattern and the play works to perfection. Vontellrop breaks a few tackles and gets down to the 3-yard line. 1st and goal. Inside handoff to Mendez, who had lined up at fullback, and he takes the ball inside the 1. 2nd and goal. Same play and Mendez is stacked up at the line. 3rd and goal. Stephens goes to the option right and he gets just enough for the touchdown. PAT by Ricardo Mendez is good and Novato has taken the lead. Score: Novato 14, Oceanside 7

Touchdown thoughts: Novato finally found some room to move on offense. Kyle Campas was really the game-breaker on the drive and Stephens was solid as well. I still think the option run will be something Novato can turn to as the game goes on because Stephens is quick and seems to make good reads when he does run it.  

Novato starts the quarter with the ball on the Oceanside 49. 1st and 10. Stephens keeps it on the option run and gets five yards. 2nd and 5. That option looks like it could work for the Hornets. Kyle Campas breaks free through the left side of the line and gets a big gain for a first down. Ball on the Oceanside 29. The Pirates take a timeout to get composed on defense and it’ll be 1st and 10 from the 29 when they come back. Mendez up the middle for no gain. Pass to Campas for two yards brings up 3rd and 8. Stephens finds Polvere on a middle screen and he takes it all the way down to the Oceanside 8. 1st and goal. Mendez around left end can’t find any room and he loses yardage. 2nd and goal from the 9. Stephens finds Mendez on a pass and Mendez makes a great one-handed catch, shakes off a couple defenders and bulls his way into the end zone. PAT by Ricardo Mendez is good and the Hornets have tied the score with 9:11 left in the half. Score: Oceanside 7, Novato 7.


Novato/Oceanside, first quarter continued

Not entirely sure where the defense was on that touchdown pass from Wynn to Zimmerman. Just a well-executed play I suppose. Novato got the ball with just over six minutes remaining in the quarter and promptly backed up five yards on a false start penalty. A screen from Stephens to Ian Vontellrop was sniffed out quickly by Oceanside for a gain of only one. 2nd and 14. Stephens tried a deep out for Mike Polvere but missed him entirely. Stephens rolled out and tried to find someone but ultimately had to pull it down and run. Not much there and the Hornets will punt.

Here’s what I’m thinking so far. Oceanside seems to be getting off the ball much quicker than Novato. Anyone who is watching it on TV knows that. Anyone who’s not and is reading the blog, you’re a scholar and people like you. Novato forced Oceanside to go three-and-out and has the ball back.

Here’s something you won’t get on TV. Kirk Pingatore broke up a deep pass to force a fourth down on the last drive and, for those in attendance at the Novato/Las Lomas game, that’s good news. Pingatore was injured in that game and is sporting a cast on his left arm today. He was really effective in pass coverage against Las Lomas and the Hornets will need him today.

On offense, Novato isn’t moving the ball at all right now. A no-call that could have been pass interference looked like a  good call but, of course, the Hornet faithful didn’t think so. Novato punts and Oceanside gets the ball on the Novato 40. 1:52 left in the first quarter. Pingatore is at it again, almost intercepting a pass to force a 4th and 10 from the Novato 27. With apparently no Sebastian Janikowski clones on the team, the Pirares go for it and Jamil Wade breaks up a pass intended for Lamont Enyard. Novato’s defense is among the best I’ve seen this year and the Hornets are showing that so far today. Novato takes over on downs on its own 27 with 1:01 remaining in the first quarter.

A run by Stephens nets the Hornets a first down but Mendez into the middle of the line gets only four yards. A run by Kyle Campas gets the Hornets another first down and the quarter is over.

End of first quarter: Oceanside 7, Novato 0.


Division II championship: Oceanside vs. Novato

We are minutes away from the first CIF bowl championship game featuting two public schools. Novato (The Hornets) has won the toss and will recieve. Oceanside (The Pirates, YARRR!) will defend the south end zone. Novato is wearing  itsvisiting white jerseys, and Oceanside is wearing its home jerseys – a dark green with white numbers, and white pants with a double green stripe down the leg.

Logan Edwards picked up a first down on Novato’s first play from scrimmage, and then the Hornets promptly lost eight yards on their next two plays.  A middle screen on third down only picks up four and Novato punts. I’ll stick around and bring you the first Oceanside series as well.

The Pirates’ David Gutierrez picked up nine yards on a sweep. Gutierrez then caught a swing pass and picked up a first down with another decent gain. It looks like it may take awhile for Novato to acclimate itself to the speed of Oceanside. Armani Taylor carried for four yards on first down and moved it past midfield, and after an incomplete pass, the Pirates went back to the air and Frank Zimmerman hauled in a 19-yard pass to the Novato 27. Taylor got stacked up on first down, and a screen pass to Gutierrez picked up four yards. A fumbled snap on third down brought up a 4th-and-4 from the 22. Quarterback Jordan Wynn locked in on Zimmerman on a perfectly run post pattern and the result was a 22-yard touchdown pass. Six minutes into this contest and its Oceanside 7, Novato 0. An impressive drive. But don’t forget, Novato was down 14-0 to Las Lomas last week before reeling off 34 unanswered points.

We’ll be back with some more thoughts and insights at the end of the quarter.


Final Division III statistics

Why just give you highlights when we can bring you the entire box score. Here it is:

CIF State Championship bowl game

Division III
St. Bonaventure-Ventura 35, Central Catholic-Modesto 21
Central Cath.    7    7    0    7  — 21
St. Bonny          7    7    0    21 — 35

CC –Young 12 pass from Swartz (Kelly kick)
SB –Burton 20 pass from Serna (Kirk kick)
SB –Scott 48 run (Kirk kick)
CC –Bland 2 run (Kelly kick)
SB –Gibson 70 pass from Serna (Kirk kick)
SB — Scott 10 run (Kirk kick)
CC –Nelson 34 run (Kelly kick)
SB –Serna 16 pass from Scott (Kirk kick)

Rushing: CC — Bland 24-196, Nelson 10-62, Orth 3-23, Nielson 1-8, Swartz 3-1, Varni 1-(-16). Totals 42-274. SB — Scott 17-150, Hall 6-33, Gibson 1-2, Rodarte 2-1, Serna 9-(-2). Totals 35-184.

Passing: CC — Swartz 10-14-0 116. SB – Serna 8-14-1 193, Scott 1-1-0 16. Totals 9-15-1 209. 

Receiving: CC — Orth 5-59, Young 2-32, Nielson 1-11, Nelson 1-9, Bland 1-5. SB — Burton 3-40, Gibson 2-83, Rodarte 2-61, Serna 1-16, Louis 1-9.

Fumbles/L0st: Central Catholic 1/1, St. Bonaventure 0/0

Records: Central Catholic 11-2-1, St. Bonaventure 14-1      


Pre-Division II observations

Well, Northern California is now 0-4 in state bowl games. And now Novato is the North’s next great hope.

Even though it’s still nearly 45 minutes until kickoff, Novato is going through it’s regular pregame routine. Oceanside has not made its first appearance yet.

On to more important things, including an alarming choice of pregame music. The in-house DJ was doing just fine for awhile, dishing out Guns N’ Roses and Def Leppard. The music fit the atmosphere. Then the worst came. The top-notch sound system at Home Depot Center cranked out “America” by Neil Diamond. I’ve got nothing against The Jazz Singer, but that’s a song better fitted for the cheerleading competition next door — not the football field. I don’t expect to hear any arguments here – and I would disregard them if I did. I feel very strongly about this.

OK, rant over. Other observations to report:

The Novato crowd is fairly sparse to this point, I’d estimate 200 or so. That might mean that quite a few of you will be back in the North Bay watching the game on TV or following with us. If you are tuned to us, make sure you let us know with a comment or two. Oceanside (from the San Diego Section) has traveled quite well to this point. Their fan base is spread across four sections right now. Scattered, of course.

The weather is still gorgeous, with a slight breeze and a hint of smog.

I’ll be back shortly with some final stats from the Division III game.  


First champion crowned

Well, St. Bonaventure-Ventura is the first champion to be crowned today in Carson as the Seraphs defeated Central Catholic-Modesto 35-21 to win the Division III title. Both Darrell Scott of St. Bonaventure and Louis Bland of Central Catholic had ridiculously good games. We’ll have some stats for you as soon as we get them. Gutsy call of the day so far? St. Bonaventure apparently already had a championship banner made. So much for tempting fate. Anyway, relax, go get a cold beverage and take a breather. We’ve got postgame festivites to get through as everyone here in Carson awaits the Division II game between Novato and Oceanside.


More Central Catholic-St. Bonaventure

The Seraphs appeared to be driving but Central Catholic intercepted a pass inside its own 5-yard line and now has the ball back.  Simply put, Darrell Scott and Louis Bland could play for any team here today. They are men among boys. Bland is flying around on defense and had two tackles for loss on the last St. Bonaventure drive. Scott is cutting through the Central Catholic defense seemingly at will (at least when he can escape Bland). The score is still 14-14 with 2:05 left in the third quarter.

Central Catholic still has the ball and has moved to the St. Bonaventure 42. At the end of three quarters, we’re still tied at 14.

And St. Bonaventure has taken the lead! A 70-yard bomb from quarterback KC Serna to Drew Gibson puts the Seraphs ahead by a touchdown. Kirk’s PAT makes it 21-14 and if the Raiders want to come back, they’ll have to get started now. 10:35 remaining in the game. On a related note, more than a few Raiders supporters have donned blue and gold rugby shirts that look strikingly similar to Cal rugby shirts. I’d just like to say that I’m all for that.

The Seraphs are now officially rolling. Darrell Scott with a 10-yard TD run on a play where I didn’t think there was much chance of a score and St. Bonaventure is now in control. 28-14 St. Bonaventure with 4:56 left in the game.

And just like that, we’ve got a game. Max Nelson ripped off a 34-yard touchdown run and the Raiders have narrowed the gap to 28-21 with 3:48 remaining. Bland had two huge runs on the drive. An onside by Central Catholic is recovered by Serna and St. Bonaventure gets the ball on its own 49.

St. Bonaventure has the ultimate clock-killer and his name is Darrell Scott. He just hurdled a defender en route to a first down. KC Serna kept it on a designed QB run on 3rd and 2 and that forces a 4th down. St. Bonaventure is going to go for it and try to win right now. Well, Mr. Scott just etched his team’s name in state championship lore. Scott pulled up on a pitch to the right and threw a touchdown pass to Serna. After an unsportsmanlike penalty on Serna for celebrating, Kirk’s PAT is good and its 35-21 St. Bonaventure with 1:19 left.

My partner here is of the opinion that the last few calls there were a bit cutesy. Gotta say I agree with him but hey, what do the Seraphs care? It worked. This thing looks over to me.


Division III update

Just as I posited that Louis Bland getting going might be a good thing for Central Catholic, he did. The Raiders marched down the field and Bland punched in a short touchdown run. Some shaky defense (a pass interference call on a hail mary) by Central Catholic though gave St. Bonaventure one untimed down to attempt a 46-yard field goal. Derek Kirk’s kick was blocked though (his plant foot slipped due to a chewed up field) and the halftime score is 14-14. Already a good game this afternoon. Brilliant!

Some halftime stats courtesy of the nice statistics people here in the press box. Darrell Scott has 79 yards and a TD on seven carries. Bland won the first half though with 108 yards and a TD on 11 carries. The new QB for Central Catholic,  sophomore Dylan Swartz, is 4-6 with no interceptions, 52 yards and a TD. Total yardage is in favor of Central Catholic, 203-190.


CIF State Bowl Games: St. Bonaventure vs. Central Catholic

We’ve made our way inside the Home Depot Center with none of the aforementioned snags that Chace was worried about. Well, almost none. I did have to pay $10 for parking. What’s up with that? Anyway, we’re nearing the end of the first half in the Division III championship game and St. Bonaventure-Ventura is leading Central Catholic-Modesto 14-7. St. Bonaventure RB Darrell Scott just ripped off a long touchdown run and he certainly seems worth all the hype I’ve heard about him. Central Catholic RB Louis Bland has found the going tough in the middle of the line so far and it probably behooves him to get going soon. Another interesting note is that apparently, Central Catholic replaced its starting QB with a sophomore for today. Speculation up here is that it was a coaches decision.

On a completely unrelated note, I gotta say, Chace wasn’t lying about the weather. It’s SoCal quality right now. Not a cloud in the sky. It’ll probably get cold tonight but for now, I’m feelin’ pretty good. I’m going to go scope out the press food situation and I’ll be back in due course.


Sunny SoCal!

Well, the Geeks are up and at ’em this morning. It’s a sunny and clear day here in Carson – good football weather. Having just polished off a solid breakfast, we’re gearing up to take the five minute drive over to the Home Depot Center.

In the meantime, here’s another anecdote from Friday’s road trip.

First of all, the road trip got off to a stunted start thanks to Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I had a reservation with the fine folks at the Martinez branch — for one full-size sedan to be picked up at 7:30 a.m. Ben and I arrive at the office and are told we have the option of a Nissan Titan truck (not ideal for a 6+ hour drive), and a Jeep Patriot (also, not a full-size sedan).  We choose the Patriot, and find out IT’S NOT EVEN THERE. It was parked at the Concord branch, to which I was given a ride by young man who shared that he was a collegiate swimmer at Ohio State Univerity. It was an ordeal, but we still managed to leave the CCT office building by 8:30.

Hopefully there are no such snags today.

Once we get in the stadium, we’ll be signing on dropping off blog posts throughout the day. So make sure to keep coming back periodically.

Off to the last three games of the year…