After a bad start, St. Vincent handles Healdsburg

A sluggish start in Healdsburg on Greyhound Senior Night only fueled the resolve of visiting St. Vincent as the Mustangs rallied for five unanswered touchdowns in the first half on the way to a convincing 48-8 football win on Friday at historic Recreation Park.

The Mustangs turned the ball over on their first play from scrimmage on an interception, and didn’t manage a drive for a score until late in the first quarter before physically turning the game in their favor against the undermanned Hounds.

St. Vincent quarterback Jaret Bosarge tossed a cross-field pass to open the proceedings, but the ball was picked off by a leaping Jesus Anguiano of Healdsburg.

The teams exchanged ball possession for the rest of the quarter with the Mustangs gaining field position on each Hound punt. Penalties slowed the St. Vincent offense until late in the quarter when quick running back Kai Hall got around the edge along the left sideline for a 27-yard touchdown scamper. The run by Hall would only be a preview of the Mustang domination the rest of the way .

St. Vincent coach Trent Herzog did not offer an excuse on calls that went against his team. “Turnovers and that silly second pick hurt us tonight,” he said.

St. Vincent manhandled the Hounds up front, led by the work of all-purpose tight end Nathan Rooks. Rooks cleared the way for Hall, Bosarge and Dante Antonini to rack up big chunks of yardage. and the Mustangs would score four more times without an answer.

Hall easily scored his second touchdown behind effective blocking in a play of 33 yards to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter. Rooks then gathered a bouncing Healdsburg fumble on defense and motored 25 yards for a touchdown to make the Mustang advantage 20-0 with over three minutes remaining.

The Mustangs were not done.

Following a three-and-out on a punt by the Greyhounds, an aggressive up receiver, Liam O’Hare, took the low kick in stride and rambled 56 yards past the coverage of the hosts punt team for another touchdown.

Following a fumble in the Healdsburg end zone for a two-point safety, the Mustangs added one last touchdown on a pass to a wide open Nathan Rooks to make the overwhelming advantage 35-0 at intermission.

“Hall had a terrific game,” said St. Vincent coach Trent Herzog, “I was also happy with the play of our special teams throughout the entire game. They did a job.”

Hall finished his offensive work in the first half with 161 yards rushing in only nine attempts. Most of his runs came on well-disguised delay plays.

“Most of the teams in our division run the ball rather than throw it, but right now we are concentrating on the championship in the North Bay Redwood League,” said Herzog. “Our game at home against Santa Rosa on Saturday will be big for our kids.”

The rest of the game against Healdsburg was a competition between the Hounds and the Mustang reserves which was dominated by the Mustangs.

Healdsburg scored its only touchdown of the night with less than a minute to play, and then excited its fans with a successful two-point PAT. Anguiano had a solid contest going both ways for the Hounds. When given time, the signal caller consistently challenged St. Vincent sophomore Malcom Rooks with passes along the side line and Rooks answered the bell. Rooks is part of a three-brother combination that contributes to the success of the Mustang season.

During halftime the Healdsburg community gathered to retire the number (72) of long time teacher and respected football coach Pat McDowell. Many friends, students and former players were spotted wearing No. 72 jerseys.

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