Monday, November 9, 2009

'09 Football Playoffs - Novato Stingers vs. Esparto Spartans

Danny Dreher and Ben Putman showing their Novato pride for the playoffs!

The photos from this Novato Stingers game are now available on the 2009 Novato Stingers Shutterfly site.

Mountain Valley Youth Football League - 2009 PeeWee Division II Playoffs 

Game Summary

The first round of the 2009 PeeWee Division II Playoffs for the Mountain Valley League (MVL) of American Youth Football (AYF) took place on Sunday, November 8th in Northern California. The Novato Stingers entered the playoffs seeded first with an official record of 6-1 (7-1 overall). The eighth-seeded Esparto Spartans travelled to the Novato High School field for an 11 AM game on a beautiful sunny day for football.

Novato lost the coin toss and Esparto elected to receive the ball to start the game. Things started off well for the Stingers as Ben Putman (10) returned to action after a 4-game stint on the injured reserve, and promptly stripped the Spartan kick-returner of the ball and Henry Dalton (7) pounced on the fumble to give Novato the ball in Spartan territory. The Stinger Offense quickly established itself as Alec Ball (12) ran the ball for a 28-yard touchdown which Marc Alvarez (21) followed with a 2-point PAT field goal giving Novato a 8-0 lead.

The Novato defense quickly showed its stuff too, holding Esparto to a rapid 4-down and out on their first drive. It was an often repeated theme throughout the rest of the afternoon.

The Stingers second drive went 3-plays, capped by a 15-yard Tommy Sanz (13) pass to a wide-open Robbie Cassée (16) for a touchdown. The PAT attempt was thwarted by Esparto, making it 14-0 for Novato.

After holding Esparto to another 4-and-out, Novato drove the field for another score, this one a 12-yard pass from Sanz to a wide-open Dalton for another six points and a 20-0 lead.

On the Spartans third drive, Novato held tight again for a 4-and-out and then the offense took two plays for another score - this time a 42-yard run by Putman puting the Stingers up 26-0. A significant lead already, early in the second-quarter, and they were only getting warmed up!

The Spartans drove for a first down in their next drive, but the defense held tight once again taking the ball over on downs. Novato's fifth drive again resulted in a score, this time a 10-yard run by Ball and another 2-point kick by Alvarez for a 34-0 lead going into half-time.

Novato received the ball first in the second-half and promptly drove the field again. This time, Angelo Lagomarsino (9) pushed the ball in for a 2-yard score. The Stingers were hit with a big 15-yard penalty on the PAT attempt, pushing them to the 20 yard line. Undaunted, Sanz quickly hit Cassée on a quick out and he barreled his way in for another point and a 41-0 lead.

Things went from bad to worse for the Spartans, as Danny Dreher (5) intercepted the ball on the third play of Esparto's next drive. Novato quickly capitalized again, this time on a 50-yard, sideline-to-sideline scramble by Alvarez, and a 47-0 score.

The Stingers took the ball away again on the next drive when Cassée stripped the ball and Hunter Wegner (18) quickly recovered the fumble. Alvarez scored again, this time on a 35-yard run, and Lagomarsino followed it with a rushing PAT.

The defense made it three-take-aways-in-a-row, when Paul Kunst (24) intercepted a pass on the Spartans next drive. Novato quickly scored again on a 55-yard touchdown run by Ball.

Novato held Esparto to a 4-and-out again and Chris Folsom (25) capped a drive with a 3-yard touchdown run wrapping up the scoring on the day.

"The kids really played well on both sides of the ball today," said Coach John Jones. "The defense locked them down while the offense had a perfect day (10 touchdowns in 10 drives!) We'll work hard again this week to make sure we're ready for round two."

Final Score: Novato Stingers 67, Esparto Spartans 0

Next Up: Southern Marin Broncos

Here's are some photographic highlights from the game:

Ben Putman (10) is back with a vengence, stripping the ball on the opening kick-off

Alec Ball (12) follows Angelo Lagomarsino's (9) block on one of his 3 TD runs

Robbie Cassée (16) running to the end-zone after a catch

Henry Dalton (7) awaits the ball on the way to his touchdown

Marc Alvarez (21) jukes on a 50-yard sideline-to-sideline touchdown run

Cassée strips the ball and Hunter Wegner (18) gets ready to pounce on the ball.

The defense harassing the Spartans again.

Cheers! - Jason

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