No. 5 Scotts Valley [8-2, 5-1 SCCAL] vs. No. 4 Sacred Heart Prep [7-3, 3-2 PAL Bay]
TIME: 1 p.m. PLACE: Sacred Heart Prep, 150 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton. LAST YEAR: Scotts Valley lost 35-28. NOTES: The Falcons enter the CCS Division IV postseason coming off a bye after winning their final four games to close out the regular season. As the runner-up team in the SCCAL, Scotts Valley will face Sacred Heart Prep of the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division, the defending CCS Division IV champs.
The Gators placed third behind Menlo-Atherton and league champ Terra Nova this season, and averaged 349 yards and 22 points per game.
It will be the third time in two years the Falcons and Gators have met, including earlier this year in Week 3 when SHP defeated Scotts Valley 31-15.
“It’s good for us to play Sacred Heart Prep. We’re a better team than the last time we played them,” said Scotts Valley head coach Louie Walters, whose team committed three turnovers and was flagged 12 times during its Week 3 defeat. “We’re getting better every week and we’re healthy.”
The Falcons weren’t 100 percent in Week 3, when starting defensive tackle Spencer Fogelquist and cornerback Noah Beito were both sidelined. Both have since returned, with Fogelquist registering 3.5 sacks on Oct. 21 against Harbor.
Scotts Valley is 5-1 since Week 3 and returns to the postseason for the first time since 2009.
“We’ve wanted a chance to play them again,” Walters said of SHP, which lost two of its last three games in the regular season, including a 26-0 loss to Menlo last week.
The Gators featured a well-balanced attack this year, with quarterback Jack Larson throwing for 1,167 yards, 13 TDs and just three interceptions on 56 percent passing, and running back Tyler McCool compiling 725 yards and four TDs on 94 carries, according to MaxPreps.
McCool was one of four RBs on SHP to have run for more than 300 yards this season.
“They were a run team early on,” said Walters, whose Falcons prepared on stopping the run against SHP in Week 3, only to see the Gators instead switch gears and pass for 222 yards and two TDs. ”We were so focused on stopping the run that we gave up some big plays on the pass.”
Scotts Valley should be prepared for both this time around — the fifth CCS appearance since the programs inception in 2000. The Falcons are 3-5 all-time in postseason play.
They will be anchored by RB Collin Corbella, who finished the regular season with a school-record 1,714 rushing yards and 13 TDs on 234 carries — nearly 500 yards more than the previous mark of 1,251 yards set by Kyle Hardwick in 2008.
Corbella’s rushing mark ranks fourth all-time in Santa Cruz County, behind only Santa Cruz’s Johnny Johnson [1,729], Watsonville’s Shawn Benjamin [2,233] and Harbor’s Calvin Keyser-Allen [2,360].
Meanwhile, Scotts Valley’s Victor Passanisi ran for 593 yards and 6 TDs on 75 carries, while quarterback Jack Pasquini threw for 1,112 yards, 17 TDs and five interceptions on 58 percent passing. Joe Gillette and Kevin Bargetto each finished with more than 400 yards receiving.
Scotts Valley has averaged 397 yards and 34 points per game.
“We didnt play well against them [in Week 3],” Walters said. ”Turnovers, big plays. When we left that day, we didnt feel we should have beaten them. But we could have beaten them.”
The winner will either face No. 8 Soledad or No. 1 Palma in the semifinal round.