The stage was set for one of the biggest upsets of the high school football campaign on Friday at Recreation Park, but the visiting Santa Rosa Panthers had other plans, spoiling the Healdsburg Homecoming, 42-0.
The loss dropped the Greyhounds to 0-2 in the North Bay League (NBL) and 3-4 overall, while the Panthers improved to 2-0 in the NBL and 5-2 in the season.
“It’s not that Santa Rosa was that much better than us but we just didn’t execute against them,” HHS head coach Robert “Bear” Gray said. “I think our kids might have been a little distracted with Homecoming on their minds.”
Things won’t get any easier for the Hounds this week, as they host a strong St. Vincent squad in a 7 p.m. varsity kickoff at Recreation Park.
The Mustangs (1-1, 6-1) are fresh off a bye after suffering their first loss of the season on Oct. 15 against Montgomery while the Hounds try to snap a two-game losing streak.
“St. Vincent is the real deal, and they have a couple of kids that can probably play Division 1 football,” Gray noted. “We’ll have to play our best football and it’s going to take a very focused effort to beat them. One thing is for sure, our kids will give everything they’ve got until the final whistle.”
Friday’s Homecoming tilt with Santa Rosa was played in front of a large throng of enthusiastic fans, but they would not be rewarded with the Hounds going against a stout Panther defense.
The Panthers set the tone with a bruising running game in the first quarter, mounting a pair of scoring drives resulting in a 14-0 lead at the end of one.
Healdsburg, which moved the ball well at times between the 20’s, couldn’t get on the scoreboard against the stingy Panther’s defensive unit. The visitors took a 21-0 lead at the half en route to a 42-0 rout.
Although there were no official stats available, the Greyhounds got outstanding offensive efforts from quarterback Jesus (“Chuy” Anguiano (42 yards rushing), running back Ryan Salvador (48 yards rushing) and Matt Teldeschi (78 yards receiving).
Standout defenders included Jose Nunez, Constantino Garcia, Matthew Cabajal, Eric Lopez Pardo, Cameron Pippi, Leo Kluse and brothers Matthew and Nate Rowland.