September 17, 2019
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Cougars total team effort throttles Gauchos Big win for the Ranch volleyball team This week in RP sports RP Cal Ripken League preparing for busy month Hanford Little League soars to victory Rough fourth quarter costs Cougars Competition brings adults together 9U-Red vs River Park practice in the park Nine all-league players from RCHS softball team Greeting the floor is hard Seawolves bow out in round 1 of NCAAs Credo Gryphon-NCS Champions Jones has gone for an off track excursion Rohnert Park All Stars out executed It will go in, I am sure Titans secure division win! Rancho Senior Varsity and Coach Hotaling Credo wins the NCS Division 6 semi-final 7-0 Cougars stumble in quarter-finals U12/60 places second in tournament Drag racing at Sonoma Cougars looking to break through Wait, I have it! “To be a Cougar, you have to have a heart of a Warrior” Technology High Vintage car racing takes over Sonoma Raceway U12 Boys - Rohnert Park Royals won first place in the Silver Division Big first inning leads U12 to win against Hayward Regionals, here we come! Up in the air we go Credo/Technology volley ball Cardenas makes good use of errors Honoring Tech High Lady Titans 24-hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway Technology High recognizes two senior players Muraki brothers lead River Park to win Cal-Ripken Play-off games in ‘B’ Park Not going anywhere INDYCAR Showcase Honoring Tech High Lady Titans Phan, player of the year Rancho Cotate High School Rancho moves on to quarter finals Callinan Junior Racquetball players win National Championships Rohnert Park defeats Nevada 10-0 Youth tennis camp is huge success Lacrosse holds free clinic Sept. 21 Advancing to the next round Anudokem leaps for the basket Technology High Cougars lose grip in final minutes Ing qualified Panthers trounce Cougars A collision bound to happen Not where I wanted it Warriors struggled during semi-finals Warriors and All Star Blue RC Girls’ basketball won invitational Herman soars RC Cougar fan facing surgery receives outpouring of support Heading for a goal Seschin and Curry watch with interest Scott goes up for a shot Roseland beats Tech High Titans Peninsula speeds past Resurrection Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Nguyen shows thanks Worden lays it up Heart break for Cougars The girls received their pennant for their NBL Championship win!  Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save Senior night for the volleyball team RPSC kicks into action Excitement for new football season  Cougars triumph over Vikings Cougars overcome Pumas The Gryphon dominates the Eagles Worden is walk-off winner Move aside Man of Steel, we’ve got Ironman: Ironman triathlon returns to Sonoma County Getting it over the net Kuhlman watches the orb sail Lady Titan’s vs St. Helena Royals win bronze Cougar Ladies dominated Cougars stumble in overtime Winding up for an out Rancho ends losing streak Credo wins softball rematch SSU Equestrian wins third Going for a goal Misi ready for the big hit Great job Lady Titans Sandoval scores against Piner Roby goes high Wildcats beat Seawolves Rancho stumbles against Terra Linda Race to the stars Cougars pounce on Tigers Credo closes season with a win Hayes comes in first Titan’s vs. Anderson Valley Balint, pitcher for the U of Oregon signing autographs Ca. School for the Deaf wins 72-60 RP prepares for opening day Parker reaches for a basket Boys lacrosse played last home game Local playing with Ducks Northern California locals round out SCCA Championship Runoffs Rancho girls beat El Molino Shots don’t win the game SSU briefs Titans’ baseball: Learning respect for the game Game on home turf Vasquez digs in hard Cross country standouts Mata player of the match 8th Annual John’s march against Stomach Cancer Titans lose to Wildcats SSU Track and Field season opener 15 hits fuel SSUs 11 run victory SSU Smith blocks A world of difference Rancho plays last home game Scoring the final goal Tech High started a blaze Getting better all the time Cougars fought and lost hard Strong showing at Hornet Invitational Tech Titans: A Band of brothers and sisters Credo defeats Tech 15 to 3 Ranch boys and girls played mixed 39 years for championship Gryphons advance to semi-finals Seawolves place first Cougars clash with Cardinals Morie with determination Seniors being honored Rancho NBL Redwood Champions After the last game of the season Seawolves top Jacks in series final two games A much-needed win Cars and coffee at the Speedway O’Daniel makes it back Pumas defeat Cougars Credo out on the road next week Seawolves sweep over Cal State East Bay Backhanding very nicely Rancho Cotate defeats Santa Rosa A well-deserved win Credo over Tech, 8-1 Cougar win breaks 39-year dry spell Finished up with a win Tech High Seniors honored Tam defeats Cougars Tigers sweep it all! I am the leader of the pack Jaguars crush Cougars Cougars trounce Pumas Cougars score narrow win Exhibition match brings out the stars Cougars march toward playoffs Cougars finish season with a win Playing the last home game Seawolves earn team ethics and sportsmanship award Rancho beat Ross Valley Cronin is safe A solar car will be on the track Rain does not stop Credo softball Cougars shutout Eagles Cougar seniors wave farewell Cougars' winning streak continues Tomales defeats Tech High Coyotes bring down Titans Credo stumbles in overtime Gray battles to the hoop Racing begins March 9th Is the ball in there? Finding victory in defeat Tech High Reim swimming Tech baseball, a learning season Roseland Beats Tech High Cougars remain undefeated RCHS girls’ basketball team honored their seniors Cougars rain on Lobos’ parade First year gymnasts come in third Will I do it? Girls played last game Rancho alumnus signs with New York Red Bulls Wildcats beat Cougars Healdsburg takes the win Seniors were defeated by the staff Martinez has a powerful kick Hayman flips it up Oppenheim, Sarudiansky, Nudell Named All-PacWest Tech High doesn’t have enough steam Lambrecht puts on pressure SSU Sports Briefs Alfaro makes a hit

Swarming defense and power running lead Cougars to win

  • Winning Rancho Quarterback #18 Jared Stocker scrambled through a huge hole in Vanden's defense past #24 Linairus Agee before the Vikings converged on him. After being hit, the ball popped loose, but Stocker quickly recovered it before being taken down by #5 Kaden Mcleod. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Paul Matli
September 6, 2019

The Cougars defense forced five turnovers, special teams blocked a punt for a touchdown and Rasheed Rankin had three touchdowns for the Cougars, as they bounced back from their Aug. 24 loss. After scoring just six points and turning it over six times, the Cougars reversed the trend in last week’s 48-20 win.

Coach Gehrig Hotaling said it was simply better focus in practice throughout the week.

 “No doubt last week was rough, but we try to put that behind us and focus on one practice at a time,” Hotaling said. “We had a great week of practice and we played tonight how we practiced.”

Hotaling really stressed the week of practice leading into this game as the key to victory. In his huddle with the players after the game and in post-game interviews, he said that was the key for success. It’s not easy putting poor performances behind you, so for the Cougars to do this shows a level of mental toughness and resolve that will be needed for the tougher games this season.

What Coach Hotaling was most pleased about was the offense bouncing back. The Cougars offense had six turnovers in last week’s game, which overshadowed a tremendous defensive performance. The turnovers led to 18 unanswered points in the final quarter leading to the Cougars’ loss.

 “We knew we had to bounce back, limiting turnovers was the key for us and we did that,” Hotaling said. “When we take care of the ball, we have guys who can make plays and get in the end zone, which is what happened tonight.”

 Three of those players were quarterback Jared Stocker, wide receiver Darius Hurst and running back Rasheed Rankin.

The Cougars offensive game plan was to run the ball behind Jayden Herrera and Rankin with Stocker hitting big throws down the field. Herrera put the Cougars in position with four straight wild cat runs in the first quarter and then Stocker threw a perfect fade to the back of the end zone that Hurst caught, leaping over the Vanden defender. Stocker only had seven completions on the night, but they went for 100 yards and two touchdowns. He made the big plays when the offense needed him to.

Rankin was the story of the night though. The 6’1” 225 pound running back wore down the Vanden defense by running over them consistently and having multiple runs carrying defenders five yards on his back. He even showed off his improved speed by breaking away on a 53-yard touchdown run. Rankin finished the night with 149 yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 carries. Rankin credited his offensive line and his time running track last season for his successful night.

“All thanks go to the offensive line,” Rankin said. “We had a great week of practice, they pushed each other all week. The running backs pushed each other, and we had big holes to run through.”

Rankin, like Coach Hotaling, talked about the great week of practice the Cougars had. Having a great practice doesn’t always translate onto the field, but for the Cougars it was obvious. At 225 lbs. Rankin is a power back, but he says his speed improved last year running track.

 “I ran track last year toward the end of my junior year, it’s all credit to them,” Rankin said. “They helped with my form, working on knee drive and I thank them for that.”

Rankin and Stocker are well known to fans of Cougar football. Hurst though, might be a different story. Hurst is returning to the Cougars after a three-year hiatus and so far, it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. He’s been the Cougars best player the first two weeks of the season according to Coach Hotaling. Hurst had an acrobatic catch for the Cougars first touchdown, played a shutdown game at corner and had a blocked punt in the fourth quarter that led to the Cougars final touchdown.

So how does a guy go from not playing the sport for three years to be an impactful player?

 “I’m a product of my coaches,” Hurst said. “They are some of the best coaches in Northern California and they’ve taught me everything.” 

 Players like Hurst exist on every team. Guys who are naturally talented but need to be coached up. With how well Hurst has played to start this season, the Cougars coaching staff should feel proud of themselves for creating such a versatile player.

 The Cougars defense was again stellar. Middle linebacker Mihalis Santorineos led the Cougars with 15 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries, defensive back Tai Peleti had 14, while Garrett Ridley and Max Uli had consistent pressure throughout the game. Uli had two sacks and Ridley had a tackle for loss and great pressure.

Another theme emerged for the Cougars last night, coming together as a team. According to Coach Hotaling, the Cougars have new players who either haven’t played football before, have been away from the game for a while and guys in new positions. Finding out how to mold these players into a cohesive unit is the challenge for the coaching staff. The Cougars could have easily quit when they went down early to the Vanden Vikings. Instead, they dug deep, made adjustments and let the leaders on the team take over. One of those leaders was Rankin, who perfectly summed up the night.

“We came together as a team this week, before this we hadn’t really been a team,” Rankin said. “This week we finally came together and became more of a family, which showed tonight.”

The Cougars will hope to keep that momentum going at home against El Cerrito High School Fri. at 7 p.m.