There was little drama this weekend across the North Coast Section as a majority of games ended in one-sided final scores, with a few exceptions. We break down and highlight some of the top action from around the section.
Las Lomas wins on final play
Las Lomas trailed by 14 points on the road to Vanden-Fairfield before Isaiah Newell broke the drought with an 18-yard touchdown run. However, the Knights still trailed by six points in the final seconds of the game and had appeared to have lost the game when a fourth-down Hail Mary pass into the end zone was intercepted with 20 seconds remaining. However, a penalty was called for defensive holding, which gave Las Lomas new life with nine seconds remaining at the 45-yard line.
This time, senior Everett Johnson’s pass towards the end zone saw two Vanden defenders rise to knock the ball down around the seven-yard line, while receiver Zach Patterson streaked by them, catching the ball in stride and scampering from there into the end zone for the tying score. When the extra-point sailed through with no time remaining, the Knights had escaped with a breathtaking 21-20 victory.
Las Lomas had tied the game at 14 when Sammy Von Felden intercepted a middle screen and returned the pick for a touchdown, but Vanden had taken a 20-14 lead on a 20-yard touchdown by Malakhi Demoss. The missed extra-point, however, came back to haunt the Vikings.
Patterson was the big play machine for the Knights, with six catches for 106 yards, while Tyler Darr had six catches for 46 yards and Newell finished the game with 68 yards on 19 carries. Johnson was 14-of-24 passing for 195 yards.
Antioch and Ferndale win thrillers
Visiting Antioch trailed for the first time all night midway through the fourth quarter when Heritage’s Alec Brannen plunged into the end zone from one yard out. The Panthers blocked the extra-point, however, and Dwight Turner responded with a long kickoff return to get Antioch in great field position. Turner’s 11-yard touchdown run with 6:57 remaining then provided the final points of the night in a 14-13 victory for the Panthers in the BVAL opener for both teams.
Heritage threatened one final time, but quarterback Trevor Moorman’s scramble came up one yard short on fourth-and-16, allowing the Panthers to run out the clock for their first victory of the year.
Ferndale, meanwhile, got a huge night from Landon Gomes, who ran for two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 80 yards for another in a 45-38 victory over Arcata in the HDN-Little 4 opener for both teams. Gomes’ kickoff return came right after Arcata had grabbed its first lead of the night, 30-23. Lane Branstetter later had the game-winning touchdown run for the Wildcats.
Jenner Christiansen threw two touchdown passes for Ferndale, both to Javier Lopez. Kien Mazzotti had a pair of touchdown runs for Arcata, while Ziko Zambas hauled in a pair of scoring passes.
Around the NCS
Adrian Todorov ran for 177 yards and four touchdowns, while adding an interception and blocked punt, to lead Concord past Berean Christian, 40-0. Ryan Murphy completed 5-of-6 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, ran for another and added an interception on defense. Fernando Giron had a fumble return for a touchdown as well, and the defense accumulated four interceptions.
Makhi Gervais ran for 165 yards and a touchdown, while Omari Taylor added 108 yards and a score on the ground as Clayton Valley raced past Berkeley, 55-13. Brenden Jin also tossed a 62-yard scoring pass to Erik Christoffersen, while Lukas Linkhart had a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Julian Buelna completed 5-of-6 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns to lead Ygnacio Valley past Mt. Diablo, 35-8, as the Warriors improved to 5-0 this season. Alan Lloyd had four catches for 140 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown reception, and added an 80-yard interception return for a score.
Jack Stewardson threw for three touchdown passes as Monte Vista erased a slow start and early three-point deficit to beat Livermore, 26-3. Stewardson’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Noah Rivas with 15 seconds left in the first half gave the Mustangs their first lead, and he added second-half scoring passes to Nate Rutchena and Connor Shay before Gavin Cribb capped the scoring with his 38-yard touchdown run.
John Smith threw for five touchdown passes as Hoopa Valley beat McKinleyville 40-27 in the Little 4 opener for both schools. Caleb Martinez ran for 252 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort for the Panthers.
The San Ramon Valley defense collected four interceptions, one each for Jered Kenny, Matt Carbonell, Sam Stephenson and JP Murphy, as the Wolves rolled to the 43-14 victory over Dublin.
Levi Cox Cooley ran for two touchdowns as Del Norte powered past Fortuna, 29-13, in a non-league game for both schools. OJ Calleja and Gio Gonzalez each added a scoring run for the Warriors.