SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal players of the week are 400-yard quarterbacks Spencer Petras of Kentfield Marin Catholic & Chance Nolan of Menifee Paloma Valley. Photos: Bill Schneider/VarsityPix.com & Kristi Jo Aguirre/menifee247.com.


When the numbers were crunched, it turns out that both of our offensive players of the week were listed with 412 yards of passing in leading their teams to wins. We also have a player with a 99-yard TD run to go with a 78-yard punt return TD and a player who has played eight games and has recorded at least one interception in every one of those games. Our group includes players from Menifee, West Hills, San Marcos, Kentfield, Visalia and Hayward.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email markjtennis@gmail.com.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Chance Nolan
(Paloma Valley, Menifee) Sr.

It’s not like Wildcats’ second-year head coach Tom Tello had to take a chance on Chance. After all, he inherited a quarterback that had thrown for 2,076 yards and 23 TDs as a sophomore and 3,151 yards and 38 TDs with only four interceptions as a junior in leading Paloma Valley to a 9-2 record and a spot in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

This season, the Wildcats are 7-1 and have won seven-straight since a season-opening loss to Cajon (San Bernardino), and Chance has been the biggest reason.

Last week, in a 42-21 victory over Elsinore of Lake Elsinore, Nolan had his best game of the season in getting Paloma Valley to 3-0 in the Sunbelt League and tied with Cal-Hi Sports No. 27 and crosstown arch rival Heritage. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior was a pinpoint 27 of 33 for 412 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 42 yards and a sixth score.

On the season, Nolan has passed for 2,236 yards and 25 TDs with five interceptions and rushed for 433 yards and the one score last week. In three varsity seasons, Chance also has now passed for 7,463 yards and 86 touchdowns.

It takes just under 8,500 yards passing to make the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book list for Most Yards (Career) so a solid finish could give Chance a chance to make that list, but the 86 TDs is already good enough for the all-time state list.

Chances are Chance will have some big numbers this week against an 0-8 Perris team but the game the Wildcats’ faithful are looking for him to explode in is in two weeks against Heritage.

Antzoulatos is beginning to get D1 college offers from everywhere. Photo: Twitter.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Blake Antzoulatos
(Chaminade, West Hills) Jr.

It’s not surprising opposing running backs and wide receivers get a little antsy when they see Antzoulatos bearing down on them.

Likely it’s because the 6-foot-2, 212-pound linebacker with 4.6 speed in the 40 is one of top young linebackers and student-athletes in the San Fernando Valley and has offers from Colorado State and Nevada but is getting interest from Stanford, Northwestern, UCLA and USC plus others.

Last week, in a 45-0 shellacking of Alemany of Mission Hills, Antzoulatos led the Cal-Hi Sports No. 6 ranked Eagles by dancing his way to 12 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery he returned 15 yards.

Antzoulatos has been in double-digits for tackles in seven of Chaminade’s eight games, including 13 in the Eagles’ lone loss to state No. 2 St. John Bosco. On the season, he has exactly 100 tackles with five sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Maurice Jones
(Mission Hills, San Marcos) Sr.

For our special teams honoree we go to the CIF San Diego Section and the top team from the far south where we honor the Cal-Hi Sports No. 14 ranked Grizzlies’ diminutive but multi-talented 5-foot-8, 157-pound senior star.

Jones, who is an impact player on defense and offense as well as special teams, made his mark in two of those categories to earn his award.

Last week, in a 56-20 defeat of Oceanside El Camino, Jones had a 70-yard punt return touchdown, a 59-yard punt return that set up a score, and he picked off a pass on defense.

Jones wasn’t the only Grizzly to get his claws on a punt against El Camino and take it to the house as teammate Max Milner returned one for a 38-yard score.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Spencer Petras
(Marin Catholic, Kentfield) Sr.

Marin Catholic has had its share of top quarterbacks over the years, including a two-year stint by NFL Hall of Famer Dan Fouts. Current Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich was a Wildcats’ signal-caller, and everyone that follows football knows of the recent success of current Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

There have been others recently as well, like current Towson QB Morgan Mahalak and College of Idaho QB Darius-james Peterson.

Now, here comes Petras. Goff is more than a proven commodity but some analysts and recruiting experts think the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Petras may have the best arm of all his quarterbacking predecessors, including Goff.

Petras has been committed to Oregon State for a while, but with a coaching change at that school others like Nebraska have been putting the full court press on Petras to change his mind.

Last week, in a 55-6 drubbing of host Redwood of Larkspur, and with Nebraska head coach Mike Riley watching from the sidelines, Petras was 22 of 35 for 412 yards and four TDs in three quarters of work. He also rushed for 58 yards on seven carries with two more scores. The only bummer is he threw his first interception of the season.

So far, in a season where Marin Catholic has had two games cancelled due to a heat warning by the Marin County Health Department and poor air quality due to the nearby fires, Petras still has outstanding numbers for the 7-0 Wildcats. He’s 112 of 158 (70.9-percent) for 2,175 yards and 26 TDs with the one pick for a stratospheric 150.18 QB rating, and he’s almost always out of the game by the fourth quarter. Petras has also rushed for 182 yards and six scores.

Last season in leading Marin Catholic to the North Coast Section Division III title game where it fell to Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland), Petras passed for 3,104 yards and 34 TDs with eight interceptions and he ran for 310 yards and seven touchdowns.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Tanner Rocha
(Central Valley Christian, Visalia) Sr.

For purposes of our NorCal Players of the Week, the CIF Central Section is included in the north, and now for the second straight week we go to The Valley for our defensive honoree.

This 6-foot-1, 165-pound defensive back and wide receiver isn’t the reported state leader in interceptions, but he’s right near the top and the thing about him is he’s been consistent. Not only that but Rocha got into the act offensively last week in a 43-7 rout of Exeter and throughout the season he’s done a little of everything.

Last week, Rocha got his eighth interception for the 8-0 Cavaliers in seven games. It’s how he’s gotten those interceptions, though, that really stands out since Rocha has now had at least one interception in every one of CVC’s games. Two weeks ago, he had two in a 24-7 victory over Kingsburg.

Against Exeter, Rocha had two pass receptions for 85 yards and both went for touchdowns. So far this season, he’s also kicked off, punted, is 3 of 3 on PATs and has also kicked a field goal.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Fresh Ison
(Moreau Catholic, Hayward) Soph.

There is a fresh new Ison making noise for Moreau Catholic and that’s the little brother of recent Mariners’ grad and current Northern Colorado running back Jullen Ison, and his name just happens to be Fresh.

Moreau is having a bit of a down year at 3-4, but in a 50-12 victory over Fremont Kennedy that got the Mariners to 3-0 and in first place in the Mission Valley Athletic League, Fresh gave head coach Andrew Cotter and Moreau a fresh start as it drives toward the North Coast Section Division IV playoffs.

Ison is being chosen for the special teams honor this week for a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Kennedy but in actuality his most outstanding efforts came as a running back.

The sophomore sensation ran for three touchdowns, including a 99-yard run which gets Ison a spot on the Longest Runs (measured from line of scrimmage) list in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book. Special team scores can be over 100-yards but for a run 99 yards is the limit and Fresh gets a sparkling new spot to join more than 100 others who have accomplished the feat since 1948.

Three players were reported to have done that last year: Sean Chambers of Kerman, Jamarri Jackson of Sacramento Christian Brothers and Jordan Mims of Atherton Menlo-Atherton.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at marketingharoldabend@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend


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