BAY AREA QBS CONDUCT A THRILLER

The best thing about the shootout staged last Friday in Danville between nationally-renowned quarterbacks Kyle Wright and Sam Keller is that it might be repeated at the Oakland Coliseum on Dec. 7 as part of what could be a spectacular CIF North Coast Section doubleheader.

Wright led his Monte Vista of Danville squad past Keller and his team at San Ramon Valley by the wild score of 46-44. Keller had thought that his seven-yard TD pass to Mike Jaeger with just 40 seconds left was going to be good enough for a big win over his team's biggest rival.

After the ensuing kickoff, though, Wright zipped a pass to the middle of the field to Kale Turner, who leaped into the air to make the catch, regained his balance, made a move to the left sidelines and didn't get knocked out of bounds until he was at the San Ramon Valley five-yard line. That set the stage with just four seconds left for Wright to throw a rope right between two defenders into the hands of Sam DeSa for the game-winning touchdown.

The win gave Monte Vista a 10-0 regular season and made the Mustangs the top seed for the NCS Class 3A East Bay playoffs. San Ramon Valley fell to 8-2 (its other loss was in an almost equally close game to Foothill of Pleasanton), but still was seeded second.

If the two make it to the finals, they'd play in an afternoon game at the Coliseum with the possible nightcap being national No. 1 De La Salle of Concord putting everything it has going on the line against San Leandro, which also could be 12-0.

Since 9,000 crammed into Monte Vista's stadium to see last week's game, the NCS could be looking at 20,000 plus for the doubleheader. Who says prep football in the Bay Area is dead?

Nobody who watched the Monte Vista-San Ramon Valley game seems to want to come down from the high. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mitch Stevens called it the best matchup of quarterbacks in the region since Jim Plunkett and Dan Pastorini went mano-a-mano in 1965 when Plunkett was at James Lick and Pastorini was at Bellarmine.

Stevens got that comparison from former Cal coach Roger Theder, the quarterback guru of Northern California who has trained both Wright and Keller.

Wright has already had a number of terrific games this season, but last Friday's was another level even for him. He finished 20 of 34 for 374 yards and had six touchdown passes. DeSa wound up with seven catches for 134 yards.

But Keller kept his team right with Wright and Mustangs all night long. Looking mainly toward fellow senior Brodie Stringer, Keller completed 22 of 37 passes for 346 yards and four TDs. Stringer had 11 catches for 160 yards.

The best stat involving these two good friends is that while they've combined to throw for more than 5,000 yards this season they've also combined to throw just six interceptions.

They might not meet in college as Wright is bound for Miami and Keller is headed to Michigan. But, of course, there's always Sunday.


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