SPORTS HEADLINES

Football: Alvord, Chico battle for playoff seeding

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017
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More than just bragging rights will be on the line Friday night when the Alvord Bulldogs and Chico Dragons renew their neighborly battle.

The two playoff-bound rivals will be vying for the third seed out of District 5-2A Division I and a potential matchup next week in the bi-district round against Celeste. The loser of Friday’s game at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium will be the league’s fourth seed and get a first-round matchup with District 6-2A Division I champion Valley View.

“It’s a rivalry game, but it’s a lot more interesting because we’re playing for something – the third and fourth seeds,” said Chico coach Lane Wilson. “It obviously affects your chances to win a playoff game.”

Alvord coach Pete Hart agreed it’s a big week anytime these two schools play each other. Hart coached at Chico for several years.

“This Friday is the last home game for our seniors, and it’s against our county rival and we’re playing for seeding in the playoffs,” Hart said. “They had two weeks to prepare for us also. We know they will be ready.”

Chico had its open week last week after a loss to Windthorst. In that game against the Trojans Oct. 27, Nico Starnes ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He enters Friday’s game with 828 yards for the season.

“He’s starting to break out. He’s becoming a better inside runner and is seeing the holes well,” Wilson said.

Starnes’ speed is a concern for the Bulldogs.

“He’s really fast,” Hart said. “Their offensive line is very sound. Their quarterback Jerod Blanks is also very efficient running their offense.”

Alvord last week lost to Windthorst 49-21. Alvord fell behind 13-0 just three minutes into the game and were behind 33-7 early in the second quarter. The Bulldogs fought back to get within 12 at halftime.

“The 49-21 final score was misleading of the way we played,” Hart said. “We snapped the ball over our head, and they recovered. We had a safety and fumbled a kickoff. We gave them three touchdowns.

“But we played some of our best football of the year. I was impressed with how hard and physical we played against a good Windthorst team.”

Alvord quarterback Corbyn Cornell threw for 120 yards and a touchdown. He added 59 yards rushing.

Cornell’s play impressed Wilson.

“He throws the ball and moves well,” Wilson said. “They have a good passing game. Our passing defense has to step up and make plays.”

WINDTHORST 49, ALVORD 21

Alvord … 7 … 14 … 0 … 0 … – … 21
Windthorst … 13 … 20 … 16 … 0 … – … 49

FIRST QUARTER

Windthorst – Koy Pennartz 46 run, Nathan Bales kick
Windthorst – Pennartz fumble recovery, kick failed
Alvord – Tanner Richey 17 run, Tyler Estep kick

SECOND QUARTER

Windthorst – Hunter Wolf 9 run, run failed
Windthorst – Ulises Andablo 10 pass from Wolf, Bales kick
Windthorst – Bales 18 pass from Wolf, Bales kick
Alvord – Karson Parker 6 pass from Corbyn Cornell, Tyler Estep kick
Alvord – Chase Deweese 66 interception return, try failed

THIRD QUARTER

Windthorst – Safety
Windthorst – Colton Bates 18 pass from Wolf, Bales kick
Windthorst – Pennartz 11 run, Bales kick

ALVORD … WINDTHORST

First downs … 12 … 24
Rushes-Yards … 32-59 … 21-154
Passing Yards … 120 … 306
Total Yards … 179 … 460
Comp-Att-Int … 12-20-2 … 27-37-3
Punts-Average … 8-15.1 … 2-35
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 2-15 … 5-55

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Alvord, Corbyn Cornell 12-57. Windthorst, Koy Pennartz 11-127, Hunter Wolf 9-24.

PASSING: Alvord, Cornell 12-20-2-120. Windthorst, Wolf 27-37-3-306.

RECEIVING: Alvord, Karson Parker 4-41, Reece Silletti 2-30. Windthorst, Cash Mcilroy 5-73, Awtry Blagg 5-62, Nathan Bales 6-62.

CHICO (4-5) AT ALVORD (1-8)

7 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Field

CHICO HARRIS RATING: 167

CHICO NOTABLE: Nico Starnes enters the game with 828 yards rushing.

ALVORD HARRIS RATING: 170

ALVORD NOTABLE: Corbyn Cornell threw for 120 yards and ran for 57 last week.

HARRIS LINE: Alvord by 5

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