|Cougars pummel PV 42-7
The type of football Rancho Cotate High’s football team displayed in the Sept. 13 win over Pinole Valley was the type of performance fans have gotten used to seeing the past few years.
After the Cougars’ offense struggled in the season opener, things ran much more smoothly as Rancho Cotate rolled to a 42-7 victory heading into a key intersectional matchup with American Canyon on the road tonight.
Rancho Cotate improved to 2-0 on the season, while American Canyon will enter with a 2-1 record.
The Cougars, the defending North Bay League champions and runners-up in the North Coast Section Div. II last year, currently are ranked No. 3 by Cal-Hi Sports in the Div. II bowl rankings.
The top-rated team is Clayton Valley, which defeated Rancho Cotate in last year’s NCS title game, while Inderkum of the Sac-Joaquin Section is ranked No. 2.
The biggest and perhaps most important area where the Cougars improved was in the passing game, as sophomore quarterback Gunner Mefford completed 7 of 15 passes for 188 yards and four touchdowns. Joey Trono latched onto three of those touchdown passes, including a 65-yard score on a middle screen. Cale Tuttle caught a perfectly thrown ball down the left sideline for a 40-yard score.
Cooper Nicks paced Rancho Cotate’s ground game with 95 yards rushing on 11 carries and scored a touchdown from 16 yards out.
Pinole Valley actually scored first but was overwhelmed by the Cougars’ swarming defense and Rancho Cotate’s offensive onslaught.
Against American Canyon, the Cougars’ defense will be tested by the Wolves’ punishing ground game, which through three games has averaged 400 per game. Jomon Dotson through three games already has 640 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Quarterback Michael Rapacon and running back Gary Cooper also have rushed for 192 and 191 yards, respectively, for American Canyon. They both have scored twice.
Rapacon has thrown only 28 passes this season, completing 12 for 193 yards and three touchdowns. He also has two interceptions.