PETALUMA — Justin-Siena’s formula for beating Petaluma in their Vine Valley Athletic League football game Friday night was simple: Let Hudson Beers throw a long touchdown pass to Miles Williams, and repeat.
The combination worked four times as the Braves spoiled Petaluma’s homecoming with a dominant 33-10 victory at Ellison Field.
The win was the fifth in six games for the explosive Braves, who evened their Vine Valley Athletic League mark at 1-1, while the loss dropped Petaluma to 1-5 and was its second straight in league play.
To the Trojans’ credit, they battled hard – especially on defense, where they intercepted two passes, both by Jack Hartman, and recovered two fumbles, one by Scott Crayne and one by Randall Braziel. The recovery was part of an excellent all-around game by Braziel, who carried the ball 10 times and gained 64 yards against the swarming Justin-Siena defense.
Overall, however, the Braves pretty much dominated both sides of scrimmage. Beers completed 15 of 27 passes for 268 yards, with seven of the throws going to Williams for 147 yards. Noah Young carried nine times for 72 yards as the Braves finished with 349 total yards. Young also ran for a 26-yard touchdown to complete the night’s scoring.
Petaluma did show offensive improvement, totaling 194 yards and scoring its second touchdown in the last three games.
Justin-Siena head coach Brandon LaRocco was pleased with the way the Braves shut down Petaluma’s option offense.
“We worked on it a lot,” he said. “I was very proud of our defense.”
LaRocco wasn’t surprised by the Braves’ offense.
“We have some speed and we have a quarterback who throws a nice deep ball,” he said of Beers, who has now thrown for 1,466 yards and 15 TDs. “We never feel we’re out of games with our explosive offense.”
Petaluma head coach Rick Krist expected more from his Trojans.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “The offense starts with the offensive line and our line is a work in progress. We just have to keep our morale up and keep fighting.”
Petaluma fought to make a game of it for a half.
You have free articles remaining.
The Trojans marched 52 yards behind the hard running of Braziel in the game’s opening series, finally settling for a 28-yard field goal by Julian Marth. Hartman’s first interception gave the Trojans the ball back before the first quarter expired. Again, a drive ended in a field goal try, this one from 26 yards. But it was off mark and the Trojans came away empty.
Before the half was done, Beers and Williams had done their touchdown thing twice, and when the Trojans stopped to crown Mandy O’Keefe homecoming queen at halftime, they were trailing, 14-3.
Hartman swiped another Beers pass on the first play of the second half, but the Braves were ready to break things open.
Petaluma punted following the Hartman theft, and the Braves went 72 yards in just two plays – a 37-yard run by Young and a 35-yard Beers-to-Williams connection. Another Beers-to-Williams scoring throw, this one from 13 yards out, sealed the deal.
Petaluma gave its homecoming celebrants something to shout about late in the game when a Justin-Siena penalty and a 15-yard scamper by Braziel put Hartman in a position to run in an 8-yard touchdown.
But Young answered with a 26-yard touchdown scamper of his own to close out the scoring.
The game was played without benefit of a functioning Petaluma scoreboard, and the announcer often providing time and score.
Justin-Siena hosts Sonoma Valley (1-5, 0-2 VVAL) in its homecoming game next Friday night.
Justin-Siena JV 14, Petaluma 6
Zachary Zurowski scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper and Joseph Maciel’s extra point gave the Braves a 7-0 halftime lead. After throwing a pick-six in the third quarter, Zurowski made up for it with a 7-yard scoring scamper in the fourth that was followed by a Fabio Marx extra point.
Zurowski was 8 of 16 passing for 77 yards for the Braves (4-2, 1-1 VVAL), completing three to Eric Gutierrez for 34 yards, two to Aidan Cushing for 29, and two to Tim Walsh Jr. for 14. Zurowski also led Justin-Siena in rushing with 78 yards on 16 carries.
Cooper Cohee added 5 carries for 40 yards, Cole Chatagnier four for 9 yards, Nick Andrews 3 for four yards, and Miguel Ramos 2 for four yards.