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  • Writer's pictureHugo Traverso

Cardinals Blow Out West County to Capture 2nd Seed in NCS Playoffs

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals faced West County High School on Saturday. The Cardinals came into the game 5-3 with losses against San Leandro, St. Mary's and NBL Oak Division Winner Rancho Cotate. Cotate beat Newman on October 29th, 19-17, to make their game against Windsor a win to win the division for both teams. Rancho came back in the 2nd Half to take the lead, but Windsor scored a TD late in the 4th to make it a 1 point game. Paul Cronin went the risky way, though, and went for 2. The Jags missed it and the Cougars won the Oak League.

West County came into the game 4-5, with their losses coming against Montgomery, San Marin and league rivals Rancho Cotate, Windsor and Ukiah. Their only win in league play came against Maria Carillo, when they won 41-32. QB Sammy Long went 16 for 30 for 317 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. Jaden Brady carried the ball 14 times for 98 yards and 2 TDs, along with Tyler Sword who contributed 1 yard on the ground and a TD. Solomon Hall had 4 catches for 123 yards and a TD. Ian Hocheder also had 4 catches, but he had 185 yards and 2 TDs. MLB Lucas Castleberry had 11 tackles (5 solo), and Andre Pena had 10 tackles (5 solo) to lead the West County defense. Newman also beat the Pumas in their Homecoming Game, 34-10.

It was a rainy Saturday day in Santa Rosa, California as the Cardinals took on West County. It was very gloomy and the temperature ranged from late 50s to early 60s. The Cardinals started the game with their Senior Day celebrations which celebrated players and cheerleaders part of the Class of 2022. The Seniors showed out in the day with QB Lucas Knechtle going 14 for 18 for 156 yards and 2 TDs, obtaining a QB rating of 140. Knechtle also ran 9 times for a total of 139 yards, sporting his great speed. Senior ATH Albert Beerbower ran 5 times for 66 yards and 2 TDs. He showed his dominant strength and speed on his runs, one for a 34 yard TD, trucking multiple defenders. Speedy senior WR Preston Kohut had 3 catches for 32 yards with a 15 yard kickoff return, and senior ATH Jacob Carinalli had 6 receiving yards and 1 tackle but laid some great blocks. Senior ATH Nick Beste had 2 picks along with 3 catches for 21 yards, showing his speed and athleticism when he went up to make the catches. Seniors Kiko Hernandez, Dylan Wagner, Kyle Hawkins, Albert Beerbower, Nick Beste, Jacob Carinalli, Michael Gonzalez and Gabriel Bardis dominated both on offense, laying great blocks, and defense, hitting West County players hard and collecting a ton of tackles. Senior Kicker Julian Cortina was perfect on the day (7 for 7) and kicked booming kickoffs that pinned West County deep.

On offense, junior ATH Santino Acevedo had 12 carries for 111 yards and 2 TDs with 4 tackles on defense, showing his incredible athleticism, speed and dominance on both defense and offense by moving guys like they were lighter than air. Freshman speedster ATH Jamari Gentry had an incredible game, rushing 4 times for 92 yards and a TD, showing his speed by beating defenders every time he came onto the field. Sophomore TE Santiago Adan contributed with some great blocks and a receiving TD. Junior Nick Ayre showed off his speed and athleticism with some great kickoffs returns and an amazing catch for a 34 yard TD. Newman won the game 49-14 because of their incredible defense that shut down the West County offense throughout the game. Zack Howman (7 solo) and Albert Beerbower (5 solo) lead the team in tackles, both with 7. The secondary was incredible in limiting Sammy Long, with Acevedo, Gentry, Beerbower, Beste, Ayre, Carinalli, sophomores Kaize Steverson, Ryan Wall and Jack Kemp, Junior Sam Elliott, Homan, Adan and Junior DB Jack Grafe dominating the West County wideouts. Dylan Wagner and Zack Homan both had half sacks. Freshman DL Jesse Myers, Hawkins, Bardis, Adan, along with Wagner and Homan pressured Long and forced him to throw hard throws, which generated the picks by Beste.

Newman won 49-14 and advanced to 6-3 while West County dropped to 4-6. Newman got the 2nd Seed in the NCS Division 4 Playoffs. Marin Catholic, longtime rival of Newman got the first seed, posting a 9-1 season. Newman will face Newark Memorial at Newman on Friday. Rancho Cotate got the 2nd Seed in the Division 2 Playoffs, despite winning the Oak League, and will face Granada at home. San Ramon Valley won the 1st Seed in the D2 Playoffs by posting a 7-3 record and coming in 3rd in the tough East Bay League Mountain Division. Windsor got the #1 seed in the D3 NCS Playoffs and will face Northgate at Northgate on Friday.

**All Stats for game from Max Preps.

Photo Credit: Nick Beste IG: @nick.beste. Thank you Nick.


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