Helmet Stickers: Playoff Football, Part II

St. Mary's junior quarterback Jake Dunniway looks to pass during his team's 28-14 win over host Napa in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I quarterfinal Friday at Memorial Stadium. Dunniway fired four touchdown passes as the No. 5 Rams ended the No. 4 Indians' unbeaten run. RAPHAEL KLUZNIOK/NAPA VALLEY REGISTER

As long as the St. Mary’s football team didn’t develop a vertical passing game, it wouldn’t be much of a threat to advance past the section quarterfinals.

Well, as the defense came along throughout the year, so did that downfield game: highlighted by juniors in quarterback Jake Dunniway and wide receiver Keaton Hampton.

The two combined for all four Rams touchdowns in No. 5 St. Mary’s 28-14 win over host and No. 4 Napa in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I quarterfinal Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Those two headline my weekly “Helmet Stickers” honors, rewarding the best in prep football from the area.

JAKE DUNNIWAY (St. Mary’s QB, Jr.)

Dunniway was on-point throughout the night, going 16 of 22 for 339 yards and four touchdowns, all of them to Hampton, who was also key in the Rams’ 2014 section finals run.

MARK PAULE JR. (Sierra RB, Sr.)

Paule, who’s well over 3,000 rushing yards in his varsity career with the Timberwolves, delivered 12 rushes for a game-high 121 yards in No. 3 Sierra’s 34-20 win at No. 2 Calaveras in a Division IV semifinal Friday in San Andreas. The 5-foot-7, shifty tailback had a 65-yard rushing touchdown for Sierra’s final score.

KEATON HAMPTON (St. Mary’s WR, Jr.) 

Hampton grabbed touchdown receptions from Dunniway of 8, 19, 79 and 28 yards, and had nine catches for a career-high 260 yards on the night. Big-time performance from someone who’s turning out to be a big-time player. Scary to think he and fellow junior Dewey Cotton have another year together.


Before the season began, when I asked Timberwolves coach Jeff Harbison who their new starting quarterback was, and why he was chosen, he told me junior Mark Vicente. And why? Because above all else, he had the intelligence and focus to do the job. And, after that, he had the athleticism to make plays. Vicente showed both at Calaveras going 20 o 25 passing, mostly screen passes, for 161 yards and a 20-yard fade touchdown to senior Daniel Wyatt. He also had a 22-yard rushing touchdown, tiptoeing down the sideline.


Ramirez, a key wideout and cornerback for the Redskins, had four catches for a game-high 111 yards, including a 55-yard TD reception on a halfback pass from Anthony Giangregorio.

TY BEIDLEMAN (Ripon Christian WR, Jr.)

Beidleman hasn’t received a lot of press this year, but he and the No. 4 Ripon Christian football team game No. 1 Hilmar a scare in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI semifinals, falling 34-28 Friday night. And Beidleman had three catches for a team-high 103 yards and a touchdown.

JOSH LEE (Sierra DL)

Though senior Andrew Guevara garners much of the media attention, Lee thrived in the limelight on Friday, sacking Calaveras quarterback Dylan Byrd twice.


Giangregorio not only fired a beautiful downfield pass to Ramirez on that trick play, but added a 65-yard touchdown run on an exceptional sprint up the gut.


Wyatt, a wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner for Sierra, not only had that 20-yard TD catch from Vicente, but the eventual game-winning, and weaving, 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That came directly after the halfback pass TD, which awoke the Calaveras crowd and seemed like an omen.


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