The Rancho Cotate Cougars destroyed the Analy Tigers, 52-0, Fri., Oct. 19th in a one-sided match off in Sebastopol.
In fact, ‘one-sided’ might be too soft of a term—especially since the majority of that score occurred in the first half. The disparity between the two teams became so great that neither saw a point in dragging it out and both agreed to ‘run-the-clock’ throughout the entirety of the second half.
That’s not a very common occurrence. The automatic clock begins at the start of the fourth quarter if one team possesses a 35 or more-point lead and to trigger it earlier takes an acknowledgement from both teams’ coaches that the game is beyond redemption.
With Rancho though, running the clock is becoming a bit of a habit, in a good way. This is the third game in a row where they’ve triggered the rule and the first this season that they’ve pulled it off by half-time.
“I think we’ve truly, tonight, found our identity,” Gehrig Hotaling, Cougar head coach, said. “It’s fun to watch. I’m happy for our kids, our school and our community. It’s nearing the end of the season so we just got to keep it rolling. Call me crazy, but I still think there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Right from the kickoff, the Cougars established their dominance. Their offense shoved their
way up the field and deposited the ball deep in Tiger territory, but then they ran into a bit of snag. It took running back, Rasheed Rankin, to break through, and breakthrough he did, finding a small gap in the middle of the Tiger line through which he might slip. Once Rankin builds some distance there’s not much that can stop him. Twenty-two yards later he crossed into the end zone and scored himself a touchdown.
With the first half winding down, the Cougars commanded a respectable lead, but there was still a chance the Tigers might turn things around.
The Cougar’s final charge of the half began around the midfield point. Wide receiver, Ryan Hupp, leapt into the air and caught a pass fired off by quarterback, Jared Stocker, which secured his team a first down. Then wide receiver, Brandon Proschold, pushed the ball a little further up field with another catch, drawing the line of scrimmage a good dozen yards off from the Tiger end zone.
The Cougar’s charge stagnated there for a few plays. Then, Cougar running back, Sumari Jones, had a bit of an idea, and after faking a handoff he ran up and to the left side of the end zone. Stocker, under heavy pressure, noted Jones at the last second before three Tiger linebackers pounced and he launched a 15 yard pass up into the air and right into Jones’ outstretched fingers.
“We ran the play earlier in the game and I saw that they left us wide open. So I just told Jared, ‘look at me,’” Jones said. “Jared and my chemistry is just great. It’s been that way our whole lives. I’ve known him forever.”
There wasn’t much time in the second half with the running clock, but the Cougars still managed to squeeze out a few points.
The Cougars launched an onside kick to the left field. It bounced off one of the Tigers, and then Cougar offensive lineman, Axel Jimenez, recovered possession around midfield at the bottom of a massive dogpile. This started a bit of a haphazard push by the Cougars, which the Tigers swiftly halted.
On the fourth down, Cougar kicker, Andrew Alfaro, set up his field goal attempt at the 46- yard line. His foot connected perfectly and the ball rose up into the air and through the twin goal posts at the far end. It was the longest kick of Alfaro’s career and it served as kind of a capstone for the game. A few minutes later the match came to a close.
“Rancho is a really good football team,” James Foster, Tiger head coach, said. “We were pretty banged up coming into the game with only 22 players, and I think by the end of the night we finished with about 13 or 14.”
Unfortunately for Analy, the road ahead doesn’t look to be getting any easier. They face off next Fri. against Cardinal Newman.
Rancho Cotate on the other hand goes up against Ukiah, this time in Rohnert Park. It’s their senior night and the last game of the season.