The end is not the end for the St. Vincent High School football team.
The Mustangs play their final regularly schedule game at home Saturday night, but it will not be their last game of the season. They are already assured a spot in the North Coast Section Division 7 playoffs. Whether that game is at home or on the road will depend largely on how well they do Saturday night against California School for the Deaf.
Petaluma and Casa Grande each face a difficult final road game before preparing for their annual Egg Bowl showdown, this year on the Casa Grande field. Before then, the Trojans have to play at Memorial Stadium in Napa against Napa’s Grizzlies, while the Gauchos face the Wolves in their American Canyon den.
Mustangs vs. Eagles
For the second straight game, St. Vincent will brighten Yarbrough Field with rented lights for a night contest. Last week’s night experience was a bright one for the Mustangs who enjoyed a 41-0 win over Oakland Military Institute.
The game is an important one for the Mustangs. As an independent, they get no automatic home field berth for winning league and will likely need at least a No. 3 or possibly No. 3 seed for a home playoff game.
According to the most recent Division 7 rankings, as posted on MaxPreps, the Mustangs at 8-1, are ranked No. 5 behind Salesian (6-1), Ferndale (6-2), St. Helena (6-2) and Willits (5-3).
“We’re hoping that with a solid win we can get a home game,” said St. Vincent coach Trent Herzog.
Getting a solid win will not be easy against a CSD Eagle team that comes into Yarbrough Field with a 5-2 record.
The Eagles bring with them one of the most exciting players in the Bay area in running back Cabel Aramboles. The 5-foot, 11-inch, 233-pound junior has rushed for 926 yards in six games. He is averaging 17.5 yards per carry and has scored 17 touchdowns, earning high school All-American notice in the process.
“He’s the real deal,” says Herzog. “He’s as explosive as anyone we’ve played. He’s very good.”
Aramboles isn’t the only Eagle offensive weapon. Quarterback Miles Gonzalez has passed for 1,299 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jaylan Johnson has grabbed 24 passes for 472 yards and eight touchdowns.
Herzog says some people tend to underrate the Eagles because of the players’ disability, and that is a big mistake.
“They are a really good football team with really good football players,” he explains. “It will be a great experience for our players to see how hard they work, how hard they play and how well they communicate.”
St. Vincent defeated CSD, 20-14, last season, but the Eagles played that game without Aramboles.
St. Vincent may be without starting offensive lineman Morgan Morarity, but according to Herzog, earlier injuries have allowed the Mustangs to develop depth on the offensive line. “We now have eight solid guys on the line,” he notes.
The coach says the Mustangs are ready for a to make a good run at the playoffs. “We are getting better at the right time,” he explains. “We are playing our best when we need to.”