What started out as a defensive showcase soon became a one sided rout as the Healdsburg Greyhounds dominated the El Molino Tigers 41-0 Friday night.
The final regular season game began with the Tigers receiving the opening kick-off and driving deep into Healdsburg territory on a combination of runs and passes. However, the Hound defense held strong, stopping the Tigers on the three-yard line.
Starting deep in their own territory, the Hound offense tried to gain field position behind the strong performance of junior running back Jared Walker, only to have two first downs called back on penalties. Neither team could get any momentum the remainder of first quarter. Healdsburg failed to score after advancing a fumbled punt return by the Tigers. Driving to the 13 yard line, the Tiger defense stopped the Hounds short of the goal line. The first quarter ended with the score tied 0-0.
The remainder of the night belonged solely to the Hounds. A five yard run by Trystan Cleaver put Healdsburg on the score board with 9:33 left in the half. A costly kick-off return fumble by El Molino set up Healdsburg’s second touchdown less than three minute later on a one-yard run by quarterback Scott Reynolds.
With just over three minutes left in the half, Reynolds connected with tight end Tanner Cristando for a 77-yard touchdown pass. Senior defensive back Andrew Kozel then dashed any late hopes by the Tigers with a leaping interception deep in Hound territory. The Hounds took a 21-0 lead into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same, as the Hounds continued to dominate on both sides of the ball. The third quarter started with wide receiver Kozel catching a Reynolds pass and racing to the end zone for a 67 yards touch down. Kozel missed the extra point kick, bringing the score to 27-0.
Later in the quarter Reynolds connected with Tanner for a eight-yard touchdown completion.
Coming out strong at the start of the fourth quarter, El Molino showed they had fight left in them. A drive to the Healdsburg 4-yard line was stopped by a costly dead ball foul called on the Tiger offense. Unable to advance the ball, El Molino settled for a field goal attempt, only to have it fall short of the goal posts. The Tigers never had a serious scoring chance again.
Healdsburg’s final score of the night was set-up by an interception by senior linebacker Garrett Roux. With sophomore Tanner Cristando filling in as quarterback, the Hounds marched the ball to the end zone. Michael Rinn ran the ball in from the five, setting the final score at 41-0. The tigers final offensive drive was stopped on an interception by senior defensive back Adrian Lopez. The Hounds took over and ran out the clock.
Healdsburg now awaits the word on whether they will advance to the playoffs. Playoff positions will be determined Sunday morning. The Hound players presented the game ball to head coach Todd Beth to commemorate the conclusion of his first year with the Healdsburg program.