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Published November 30th, 2016
Campo Football Advances to NCS Title Game, Again
Jacob Westphal Photos Karen Drinkwater

After hammering No. 5 Ukiah 48-7 in the North Coast Sectional Division 2 semifinals on Nov. 25, Campolindo is back in the section title game for the fourth time in six years.
In the win over Ukiah, which earned the No.1 Cougars a trip to the championship on Dec. 2 at Diablo Valley College, senior quarterback Jacob Westphal completed 15 of his 23 passes while throwing for 218 yards.
The Cougars' offense received a big assist from its running game, as four different players - senior Branden Bocobo, junior Shun Ishida, senior Matthew Ringquist and senior Tomas Vega - all rushed for touchdowns.
The rise of the team's running backs has been a crucial development for the Cougars on the path to the NCS championship and a 9-3 record (4-1 in DAL).
"At this time of year, we weren't sure what we were going to get out of our running game," head coach Kevin Macy explained after his team beat No. 9 Redwood, 59-28, in the quarterfinals.
Campolindo scored on the ground five times against Redwood after attempting just nine running plays overall against Clayton Valley Charter in the final game of the Diablo Athletic League season.
"For us trying to establish some kind of running game was going to be essential," Macy said. "We couldn't go through the playoffs relying on Jacob exclusively. So, it was nice to establish a little bit of a running game."
Against Redwood, the secondary produced three interceptions, as senior Lev Garcia grabbed two and junior John Torchio secured one.
"When we can get takeaways with our secondary, that just helps us in so many ways," Macy said. "And it covers up for some of the deficiencies that we're working with our defense."
After drawing the No. 5 seed in the D3 bracket, Miramonte saw their playoff run end in the quarterfinals when they lost to Marin Catholic, 20-18.
"They had a great season and it just kind of wasn't meant to be," head coach Jack Schram said after the narrow defeat to No. 4 Marin Catholic in Kentfield on Nov. 19. "I mean, it was such a sick feeling."
Following the loss, Schram praised the play of Tim Tague, Nick Foster and Casey McGonigle - his trio of senior stars. Tague - the team's quarterback - threw 43 touchdowns on the way to guiding Miramonte to a 9-3 record (3-2 in league).
Foster contributed to all three of the team's units, playing free safety and wide receiver while also returning kicks and punts. During the quarterfinals matchup, Foster tallied 229 all-purpose yards and caught a touchdown from Tague.
McGonigle, who started at left tackle, pulled double duty throughout the fall, as he also played middle linebacker for the defense.
Against Marin Catholic, the Mats were done in by a 13-point fourth-quarter rally by the opposition.
"We definitely should have won that game," Schram said. "And Marin Catholic got some breaks and made the plays they had to make."
The showdown with Marin Catholic was reminiscent of the team's late loss to Campolindo on Oct. 14.
"We felt all along that we let two (games) get away," Schram said. "The two teams that seemed to have our number - Campolindo and Marin Catholic - we felt we should have won both games. We had the lead in both games in the fourth quarter and we just didn't quite finish strong like we anticipated the way we would."
Acalanes, who landed the No. 9 seed in the D3 bracket, bowed out in the opening round of NCS play. Facing off against a bruising El Cerrito squad on the road on Nov. 12, the Dons fell 31-14.
"El Cerrito didn't throw a whole lot," head coach Floyd Burnsed explained after the loss to the No. 8 seed. "They were mainly a line up and run right at you type team and up front, they probably outweighed us 150 pounds per person."
Injuries and a daunting schedule conspired against Acalanes, who ended the season with a 4-7 record (1-4 in DAL) in Burnsed's first year at the helm.
The Dons lost three offensive linemen to injury early in the season and will focus on building team-wide depth heading into the fall of 2017.
While Acalanes loses standouts like senior linebacker Sterling Butler and senior wide receiver/free safety Matt Burns, junior quarterback Robby Rowell and junior Ryan Nall, who plays both offensive and defensive line, will be back for another go-around.
"Moving forward we are very optimistic about the caliber of players that we have returning on both sides of the ball," Burnsed said.

Tomas Vega

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