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NCS Semi-final: Monte Vista vs San Ramon

The Saturday night NCS semi-final between the Monte Vista Mustangs and the San Ramon Valley Wolves was not just a battle of two teams fighting for a birth in the Division-I NCS Championship game but also a match-up of two cross town rivals.  The game was geared to be a high scoring affair along with two of the top-rated quarterbacks in the state with the Mustang’s Oregon-bound Jeff Lockie and Cal-bound Zach Kline of the Wolves.  It seemed as though most of the town was in attendance for this contest which filled the Mustang’s stadium to capacity leaving a ton of people standing and surrounding the border of the complex.

The Monte Vista offense started quickly in the game’s first possession with Lockie hooking up with Receiver Dan Scritchfield on a couple of big gains.  After a good start to the drive, the SRV defense responded with some big stops by Jake Simonich, Matthew Fisher, and Brendan Clancy against the Mustang rushing attack.  After a turnover on downs San Ramon’s offense took over and went to work behind some hard running by Jordan Weiss who on their second offensive play reeled off a huge 47 yard gain.  The Wolves were forced to kick a field goal after a sack by MV’s Andrew Stanton.  SRV’s Matt Anderson put the 22 yard chip shot through the uprights giving the Wolves an early 3-0 lead with 4:13 left in the first quarter.  Following a 14 yard gain on a pass from Lockie to the speedy Receiver Eric Johnson, the Mustang’s turned to their ground game and Running Back Zack Chang.  Chang helped to move the ball to the SRV 40-yard line where they were forced to punt.  Although MV was forced to punt, it set them up to pin the SRV offense deep in their own territory when the punt was downed at the 1-yard line.

The second quarter began with the Monte Vista defense stepping up and keeping the San Ramon offense pinned inside the 10-yard line with a stop on 3rd down and one stop by Blake Walker.  A short Wolves punt gave the Mustangs great field position at the 37-yard line.  SRV’s Myles Thomas put the MV offense in a hole with a sack for a 12 yard loss on first down.  Quarterback Jeff Lockie took over and connected on two passes bringing up a fourth and two that was converted on a nice scramble for six yards.  Lockie hooked up with Marco Zamora on the next play for a 23 yard touchdown strike giving the Mustang’s a 7-3 edge with 9:17 left in the half.  Each team’s next offensive possessions were stopped by good defensive play.  MV’s Carson Milner recorded a sack that forced a Wolves’ punt.  Monte Vista’s drive stalled when San Ramon’s secondary forced three of Lockie’s incompletions.  SRV’s offense woke up and went on a 7-play, 71 yard scoring drive when Zach Kline connected with Patrick Worstell on a large gain before completing passes of 24 and 23 yards to Jordan Weiss the second of which was Weiss’ first score of the night which put the Wolves back in front 10-7 with 2:22 left in the half.  The Mustangs last threat of the half was ended by a great interception by Collin Nelson who made an awesome break on a Lockie pass to pick the ball off.

The third quarter began with a fired up Mustang defense making a statement on first down with a tackle for a loss by Nick Shirreffs who made plays all over the field throughout the game.  On second down, Safety Mason Melin, had a huge hit to separate the ball from Receiver Marcus De La Pena’s hands right as the ball arrived.  Even with these two big plays the Wolves stayed composed picking up a 3rd and long conversion on a pass from Kline to Tight End Sean Miller.  Jordan Weiss took a handoff from Kline the next play and rumbled for 63 yards and another score.  Weiss’ run accounted for 63 of his 155 yards in the game on only 13 carries.  The Wovlves PAT was blocked by Andrew Stanton putting the score at 16-7.  SRV’s defense returned the ball to their offense quickly forcing the Mustangs three and out after a third down sack by Dylan Reed and Kyle Haggard.  The Wolves extended their lead to 23-7 when Zach Kline hit Ryan Dunn from a yard out on a fourth and goal from the 1-yard line.  Dunn not only scored a touchdown on offense but also had a bunch of tackles on defense as a linebacker going sideline to sideline as I have seen him do many times throughout the season.  With momentum and the lead on their side, San Ramon began to bring pressure from all angles on defense which forced another Monte Vista punt.  SRV took over and began to chew up time off the clock going on a 13-play, 72 yard scoring drive that was capped by a Kline 21 yard touchdown pass to Michael Tagliaferri.

With 10:35 left in the fourth quarter, MV tried to mount a comeback but the Wolves’ defense put a fast end to it with more pressure on Lockie and a sack by Jordan Weiss.  After another turnover on downs, San Ramon put up their last score of the night, a 42 yard run by Quarterback Zach Kline.  The Mustangs added two late scores both by Running Back Zack Chang.  The first came on a fourth down and pass from Jeff Lockie the second on a one yard run putting the final score at 37-21.

The NCS semi-final was a great game to watch between two great rival schools.  Congratulations to both teams on a terrific season and good luck to San Ramon Valley in the NCS Championship against the De La Salle Spartans this Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum.

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