Lots of special football games this season

I’ve seen some great football games this season.

It started with that crazy Petaluma opening game at Steve Ellison Field when an electrical problem extinguished a string of lights and caused the stands to be evacuated twice during the game, a 41-21 Petaluma win over Terra Linda. The game eventually resumed with spectators safely seated on the berms on either side of the field.

Then a wild game ensued in Sebastopol, where Petaluma lost 50-49 after a missed conversion. It was one of two games during a 7-4 season that Petaluma would lose by a single point. The other was the Egg Bowl, which was lost to Casa Grande 29-28.

In Petaluma’s most exciting win since joining the Vine Valley Athletic League, the Trojans beat Vintage for the first time, 28-26. It was probably the most emotional game I’ve seen all season.

Speaking of excitement, Casa Grande was finished in its opening game before Wyatt Abramson smashed a Hail Mary against a struggling Clint Rea in the dying seconds to win Maria Carrillo 28-21.

I didn’t see Casa’s 23-22 loss to Vintage, but I did watch the Gauchos rebound to a 29-28 win over Petaluma, one of the best-played egg bowls of recent seasons.

St. Vincent has had a historic season. No St. Vincent team has ever won 10 straight games in the regular season before. It wasn’t easy for the Mustangs, but they made it look like it. The game I remember most was against Montgomery. St. Vincent was to face a tough challenge against the Vikings. The final score was 49-28.

Then Ukiah came undefeated in a North Bay League Redwood match. I didn’t watch this game but I saw the final score: St Vincent 42, Ukiah 14.

Yes, the Mustangs are that good.

Then came the NCS playoffs and I suspect both Petaluma and Casa Grande were simply beaten by better teams.

I watched the Petaluma game at Cardinal Newman and Petaluma played well but when the Trojans fell two points behind they didn’t have the firepower to reply to the Cardinals and lost 49-31.

I didn’t see the Gauchos game at American Canyon, and I’m not sure what happened to the Gauchos after a tough 23-22 loss earlier in the season to the same team before they made the playoff game at 34: 7 lost. I suspect the flu that hit the team in the week leading up to the competition might have something to do with the problem.

Anyway, the season is over for Petaluma and Casa Grande. It wasn’t the season either of them expected. Petaluma started the season 7-1 but lost the last three games. Casa Grande finished with a 6-5 record after starting the season with high hopes.

Looking back they were good games and making the NCS playoffs is no small feat.

St. Vincent is about to do something very special, but challenges lie ahead.

McKinleyville will deliver another physical fight only to get to the NCS Championship Game and return to NorCal. Mustangs must be selected by a selection committee. For all their accomplishments, the Mustangs won’t be satisfied without a chance to play for a state championship.

Regardless of how things play out for St. Vincent, there’s been a lot of fun and excitement, from Wyatt Abramson’s last-second game-winning game, to Clint Rea versus Maria Carrillo, to Petaluma’s 28-26 win over Vintage.

(Contact John Jackson at [email protected])


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