Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 Game 6: Yellow Jackets vs. Central Marin Chargers

Tenacious Defense the Yellow Jacket Way!
Photo Copyright Bill Fox Sports Photos 2010

The pictures from this game are available at the Novato Yellow Jackets photo site.
Game Summary

The Yellow Jackets travelled to Terra Linda High School for a late season battle of unbeaten teams on a hot Sunday afternoon.  The Chargers won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick-off.  It was the only advantage they would have all day.

The Novato defense firmly established itself on the opening drive, shutting down Central Marin and forcing them to punt on a quick 4-and-out.  After getting the ball at the 50 Novato drove the field but eventually gave the ball back on downs at the Charger 12 yard line.

After shutting down the Chargers second drive, Novato quickly took advantage and scored a touchdown on a 3 yard run by Marc Alvarez for a 6-0 lead with 7:13 remaining in the second quarter.  

The Novato defense held for the remainder of the first half and went into halftime without yielding a first down.

Novato got the ball first in the second half but gave the ball back to Central Marin on the yard line on a great Alvarez punt.  When the defense held tight again the Yellow Jackets offense got started on the Charger side of the field.  They struck quickly on a 34-yard Jack Burnham pass and an acrobatic one-handed Nate Barkus catch and run for a touchdown.  After adding a 2-point PAT by Jackson Wegner the Jackets led 14-0 at 2:56 in the third quarter.

The Chargers got their first, and only, first-down on a long pass and reception with 1 minute left in the third quarter.  The rest of the game proved to be a defensive struggle.

The Chargers took the ball away on an interception with 6:51 left in the game.  Novato quickly took it back on an interception by Alec Ball.  Ball had a second interception a few minutes later to give Novato the ball deep in Central Marin territory.  Time ran out with the Yellow Jackets driving to the Charger 8 yard line.

Final Score: Novato Yellow Jackets 14, Central Marin Chargers 0

Season Record: 6-0 

Points Allowed: 12

Next Up: Southern Marin Broncos at 2:00 pm Sunday, October 17 at Redwood High School.

Highlight Photos

Another trademark Jackson Wegner PAT

Air Ben flies ahead for more

Alex Ball drags a defender for good yardage

Nate Barkus make a one-hand snag
Photo Copyright Bill Fox Sports Photos 2010

Robbie Cassee gets serious air
Photo Copyright Bill Fox Sports Photos 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 Game 5: Yellow Jackets vs. Elk Grove Dukes

Yellow Jacket defense is dead on!

The pictures from this game are available at the Novato Yellow Jackets photo site.

Game Summary

After a late week change of opponent the Yellow Jackets took the home field for the final time in the 2010 regular season against the 4-0 Elk Grove Dukes making it a critical mid-season a battle of AYF NorCal Conference unbeatens.  While the sun was shining and the temperature was much lower than the previous week the heat on the field was palpable.

Novato won the coin toss and looked strong on the opening drive before giving the ball away on a fumble.  The Yellow Jacket defense quickly established itself with a trademark 4-and-out capped by Robbie Cassee getting a hand on the Elk Grove punt.  

While the Novato offense failed to capitalize on the next drive the defense stepped up again as Danny Dreher recovered an Elk Grove fumble on their 9 yard line.  The Yellow Jackets quickly took advantage with a touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Burnham to wide-receiver Nate Barkus to open the scoring at 9:50 in the second quarter.  With a trademark Jackson Wegner 2-point PAT the lead was 8-0.  

Dreher struck again on the ensuing kick-off, recovering the ball so the Novato offense could work again.  This time the Yellow Jackets methodically drove the field and capped it with an 18-yard touchdown run by Marc Alvarez.  With another 2-point Wegner PAT Novato then led 16-0 going into halftime.

Novato started on defense in the second half and promptly got the ball back, this time on a Nolan Pelletier fumble recovery.  After another crisp drive, Alvarez scored again on a strong 12-yard touchdown run and with the Wegner 2-point PAT the score was 24-0 at 5:41 in the third quarter.  

In order to keep the game going without a running clock Novato kicked a field-goal on first down from the 2-yard line giving the Yellow Jackets a 27-0 lead with 1:23 left in the third quarter.  With the score under the "mercy rule" limit, the gold offense got to show it's stuff in the fourth quarter including what should have been a 40-yard touchdown run by Alec Ball.

But this day was won by the swarming Novato defense which shut out a powerful conference opponent and didn't allow a first-down all day.

Final Score: Novato Yellow Jackets 27, Elk Grove Dukes 0

Season Record: 5-0

Points Allowed: 12

Next Up: Central Marin Chargers at 3:00 pm Sunday, October 10 at Terra Linda High School

Highlight Photos

Nate Barkus going in for the score!

Danny Dreher covers the onside kick

Jack Burnham is about to pass to Robbie Cassee

Marc Alvarez on the way to the first of two TD runs

Swarming Yellow Jackets Defense

Jackson Wegner goes for 3 (and 9 on the day!)

Alec Ball running to daylight

2010 Game 4: Yellow Jackets vs. Palo Alto Knights

McGarty and Cassee leading the way for Putman

The pictures from this game are available at the Novato Yellow Jackets photo site.

Game Summary
After winning by forfeit in week 3 the Yellow Jackets were ready to go in week 4 with a home game against the Palo Alto Knights at the Novato High School field.  While the day was hot the Yellow Jackets were hotter as they shut down the visiting team for their fourth straight win of the season.

Novato opened the scoring with a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Burnham to tight-end Joe Kelly for a 6-0 lead at 8:00 in the first quarter.  Ben Putman jumped on a fumble later in the half on one of Novato's fine defensive stands.  The defense actually scored next when they sacked the Knights quarterback in the end-zone for a safety with :32 left in the half for an 8-0 lead.

Novato controlled the ball for nearly all of the second half.  After a quarter-long drive the Yellow Jackets scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Robbie Cassee for a 12-0 lead with 8:45 in the fourth quarter.  

Danny Dreher promptly got the ball back by pouncing on a mishandled Palo Alto lateral.  After a rare four-and-out the stifling Yellow Jacket defense struck again as Nate Barkus intercepted a short Knights pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.  With a Jackson Wegner 2-point PAT Novato culminated the scoring at 24-0 with 2:19 left in the game.

Final Score: Novato Yellow Jackets 24, Palo Alto Knights 0

Season Record: 4-0

Points Allowed: 12

Next Up: Elk Grove Dukes at 2 pm on Sunday, October 3 at Novato High School.

Highlight Photos

Ben Putman on the way to a big gain

Joe Kelly making a big catch on the way to a touchdown

Ben Putman gives his all to recover the fumble

Marc Alvarez makes a big stop

Robbie Cassee scores his first TD of the season

The D comes up big with a safety!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

2010 Game 2: Yellow Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks

Swarming Yellow Jackets Ruled the Field All Day

The pictures from this game are available at the Novato Yellow Jackets photo site.

Game Summary

The Yellow Jackets traveled to San Jose Academy High School to take on the San Jose Sharks for their second game of the season.  While the field was hot Novato was hotter as they shut down the home team for their second straight win.

Novato won the coin toss and received the opening kick-off.  After a great return by Nate Barkus the Yellow Jackets promptly drove the field and scored on a 2-yard run by Ben Putman.  Jackson Wegner kicked the 2-point conversion for a quick 8-0 lead.

The Yellow Jacket defense then took the field and promptly shut down the Sharks for a quick 4-and-out to get the ball back.  It was a pattern that would be followed all day as the defense allowed no points and not a single first down on the way to their first shutout of the young season.

Novato promptly made the way down the field again on its second drive.  Putman capped it again, this time with a 9-yard touchdown run.  After another 2-point Wegner conversion the Yellow Jackets were up 16-0.

After the second 4-and-out from the defense Novato drove and scored again.  This time it culminated in an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Burnham to tight-end Joe Kelly.  After adding another Wegner 2-point conversion Novato was up 24-0.

Not to be outdone, the defense got into the scoring act on the next Sharks drive.  Linebacker Stone Herrera and lineman Donja Stephens put significant pressure on the San Jose quarterback causing the ball to soar off course and into the hands of linebacker Marc Alvarez.  Alvarez picked his way down the field for the touchdown.  Wegner followed with his fourth 2-point PAT and the Yellow Jackets were up 32-0 with 4:47 left in the second quarter, invoking the "mercy rule" for the remainder of the game.

The mercy rule means the clock continues to run and the leading team can no longer pass the ball on offense, cannot blitz on defense and no longer kicks extra points.  The losing team gets the ball starting on it's own 40-yard line on each subsequent score.

After another stop on defense the Yellow Jackets left the field at half-time leading 32-0

The second half proved much the same, only much faster.  The Yellow Jackets defense held firm.  And the restricted offense still proved formidable and drove the field twice for scores.  The first was a 13-yard touchdown run by Alvarez for what would have been the 38th point.  The second was a strong 17-yard run by Barkus for his first touchdown of the year and what would have been a final 44-0 score.

Final Score: Novato Yellow Jackets 32*, San Jose Sharks 0
* The scoring was capped via the "mercy rule" or the final score would have been 44-0.

Season Record: 2-0

Next Up: The Mira Loma Jr. Matadors - Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm at the Novato High School field.

Game Gallery
The Offense prepares for another big play!

Ben Putman scores for the second time
Robbie Cassee on a long catch and run

Joe Kelly gets another touchdown catch for his 3rd of the year

Stone Herrera and Donja Stephens harass the QB to force an interception

Marc Alvarez breaks free for his second TD of the game

Nate Barkus on his way to a score

Hunter Wegner, Chris Folsom & Putman knock the ball loose

More smothering Yellow Jackets defense

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2010 Game 1: Yellow Jackets vs. Emeryville Ravens

The Yellow Jackets are ready to rumble!
The pictures from this game are available at the Novato Yellow Jackets photo site.

Game Summary

The Yellow Jackets officially started their 2010 season on Sunday, September 5 with a home game against the Emeryville Ravens.  With the move the the AYF NorCal Conference this year, Novato is now up against some new foes and a few old ones as well. In this case the Emeryville squad is the latest iteration of the Tri-City Ravens, with their distinctive black and purple uniforms.

While the game started almost an hour late after a full slate of battles throughout the day, the conditions were perfect with bright sun, warm bordering on hot, and a relatively full house at Novato High School to watch the hometown black and gold.

The Yellow Jackets won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball first, usually a good sign.  In this case Novato gave the ball up deep in its own territory leading to a quick Ravens score and a 6-0 hole.

But that was about the end of the bad news for the home team this day.  After a strong runback on the second kick-off Novato drove the field and capped it with a Jack Burnham touchdown toss to Joe Kelly. The Yellow Jackets took an 8-6 lead with a Jackson Wegner 2-point PAT and the black and gold were on the way.

The Jackets vaunted defense almost shut-out the Ravens the rest of the way, yielding few yards while harassing the Ravens' quarterback, runners and receivers all day.  While the D gave up an unfortunately wide-open touchdown reception in the second quarter, Danny Dreher intercepted another pass and Ben Putman landed on a loose-ball fumble to keep the ball mostly in Novato's possession.

And the Yellow Jackets made the most of it.  Kelly scored a second touchdown on another catch and run from Burnham to put Novato up 16-6 following another Wegner PAT.  Wegner ended the day with 8 points on 4 PATs.  But the real scoring was yet to come.

The heavy scoring was done by Marc Alvarez who caught and ran the ball for the next 4 Yellow Jackets touchdowns.  The result was a 44-12 win and a strong start to the new season.

"The boys really played well today," said head coach John Jones. "We still have areas where we can improve, but we stepped up to the challenge in game one.  I can't say enough about this defense - they really got the job done. The captains stepped up on both sides of the ball and we got terrific play from both the offensive and defensive lines.  And our quarterback and running backs kept the pressure on their defense all day long.  This was a great way to start the season."

Final Score: Novato Yellow Jackets 44, Emeryville Ravens 12

2010 Record: 1-0

Next Up: San Jose Sharks at 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 11 at San Jose Academy High School.

Highlight Photos:
The first of four Jackson Wegner 2-point PATs
Joe Kelly goes in for his second TD of the day

Robbie Cassee runs for a first down

Big Ben Putman stops the Raven's receiver in his tracks

Marc Alvarez dives for one of his four TDs 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 Novato Youth Football Season is Coming!

Hello Novato Sports Blog friends.   

Are you ready for some football?  I sure am.  

While I've taken a break from posting updates here since the Novato Stingers had their amazing run at the 2009 AYF National Championships there are still lots of things happening on the Novato Sports scene.  If you are reading this and have information to share about a Novato team or athlete, let me know and I'll post your information here.  

Since my son Robbie will be playing as a Novato Yellow Jacket this year I'll start posting game recaps, highlights and photos here later this month.  The even better news is that there are a some other amazing parent-photographers for this team, so you will have access to even more, and better, shots of the action.  

And to set the tone for the upcoming season I've even updated the look of the Novato Sports Blog with a football theme.  

Look for more here soon.

Cheers! - Jason

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