St. Vincent overtakes Santa Rosa and joins the three-way division of the NBL Redwood title

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When Trent Herzog was forced to quit his job at Casa Grande High School in 2017, he didn’t think he would coach high school football again. His words.

A year after he started his “break” while working as a scout, that itch came back.

“I was just going to be a full time scout and I missed it,” the current St. Vincent coach said. “And then I was introduced to Patrick Daly, our manager. And I said, ‘You know what? If I have to coach football again, I will do it for this man.

Now, in his third season at the helm of the Mustangs program, Herzog has won another league title at another high school in his hometown.

St. Vincent won his first football title since 2014 and his first North Bay League Redwood Division crown – a title shared with Santa Rosa and Montgomery – thanks to five touchdowns from Kai Hall and more than 200 yards in a win fugitive from 42-6. on the Panthers Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs (8-1, 3-1 NBL Redwood) had a two touchdown lead at halftime, then watched Hall, a junior, take the ball and run to the end zone at will.

“Kai Hall is the best running back in this area,” said Herzog. “He’s a college runner. He was special the first second he walked into this campus. He has traveled over 3,000 yards in his career today and over 1,000 this season. “

Hall ran 17 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns, adding four catches for 42 yards and another score in the home win.

It wasn’t exactly fun in the first half for Saint-Vincent. The Panthers (6-4, 3-1 NBL Redwood) managed to keep the Mustangs in a nice goal line inside the Santa Rosa 10 in the dying seconds of the second quarter.

But a few big plays for the Panthers didn’t produce the consistent yardage Santa Rosa would need to pass a team like St. Vincent, who had Hall a field or a reception away from running over 50 yards to the end zone. goals.

Despite the immediate sting of Saturday’s resounding loss that could mark the end of their season, the Panthers will secure an NBL Redwood banner signifying their status as one of the league’s three co-champions, something that could settle with the weather. If the Panthers had won on Saturday, they would have been the absolute champions of the NBL Redwood.

“It’s a nice feeling that we’re champions of the league,” coach Roy Keegan said after the game. “We won the rivalry game this year” against Montgomery. “A lot of great things are happening this year, obviously ending on a sour note. They are a very good football team. I didn’t think they had 36 points better than us, but they played for it. They definitely wanted it.

“They won every piece of the Redwood Crown.”

The Panthers were without Carlitos Pardo, their fast running back who often offers a change of pace from their bigger running backs.

Keegan didn’t think it would have made a difference.

“We have a lot of good running backs in our lineup,” Keegan said. “Carlitos is a special player; However, our problem wasn’t really with our running backs. It’s the pressure they put on our offensive line, which we haven’t seen all year.

Anmol Singh escaped for a 47-yard rush early in the third quarter for the Panthers who established their only score of the game, a 10-yard dash from Julian Astobiza.

Additionally, Astobiza completed a 59-yard pass to Nolan Frost in the first half. Singh finished with 72 rushing yards.

Dante Antonini of St. Vincent finished with seven carries for 74 yards, with one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown – at Hall.

The Mustangs running back is hoping for a playoff rematch with St. Helena after losing to the Napa County team in his first year playoffs. Saint-Vincent beat Saint-Helena 14-13 earlier this season.

“I feel like we got it at the start of the season, when we faced them for the second time,” said Hall. “We didn’t play them in my sophomore year (the season delayed by this spring’s pandemic).”

“I don’t know (if) it’s revenge. I think it’s more of a rivalry that we sort of set up.

Herzog, meanwhile, is just happy to be in Saint-Vincent.

“We are where we want to be,” he said. “It feels good; it’s great to start your own program with your own staff and build it from scratch.

St. Vincent, Santa Rosa and Montgomery are now awaiting their fate in the North Coast Section playoffs on Sunday.


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