Unable to sustain consistent offensive momentum or capitalize on Saints' mistakes, the Healdsburg Greyhounds ended their 2012 season with a first round playoff loss to Division 4 rival St. Helena Friday night, 35-14.
The home team Saints took control of the game, scoring in the first quarter and never relinquished control. Making use of a combined ground and air attack, the Saints kept the Hounds on run.
Midway thought the second quarter Healdsburg QB Scott Reynolds connected with Tanner Cristando who was pushed out of bounds just inches shy of the goal line. This set up a Healdsburg touchdown on a QB keeper by Reynolds for the Hounds first score of the night, tying the game 7-7.
However, St. Helena came right back with a 23 yard scoring run run by junior running back Sebastian Segura less than a minute later.
Unable to gain any rhythm after the kick-off return, the Hounds were forced to punt the ball. Saint QB Richard Hoppe lead his teammates deep into Hound territory with a completion to Danny Brink. The Hound defense stopped the drive by forcing a fumble inside the 4 yard line. Chris Pedroni’s recovery gave the Hounds the ball, but to no avail. Unable to capitalize on the turn-over, the Hounds went into the locker room for the half trailing 14-7.
St Helena received the kick-off to start the second half. A long return by Brink gave the Saints great field position to start their drive. A 12 yard run by Segura with 9:47 left in the third quarter brought the score to 21-7. The Saints scored again with 3:40 left in the third on a 7 yard run by Brink. The quartered ended with the St Helena leading 28-7.
The Hound defense again stopped a Saint drive on an interception by Ian Black on the Hound 33 yard line, but once again Healdsburg could not take advantage of the Saint error.
St Helena scored its last touch down of the night with 6:06 left in the game on 6 yard run by Segura.
Neither team could sustain a drive for the rest of the game until Healdsburg back-up QB Tanner Cristando connected with senior wide receiver Andrew Kozel on a long pass. Kozel’s leaping reception set up the Hounds for a 6 yard scoring run by Cristando with 7 seconds left on the clock.
The Saints ran out the clock to claim the victory 35-14.
After the game, first-year head coach Todd Beth talked with his players about the pain of losing but told the players they could keep their heads high with the knowing they played hard the entire game.
Beth expressed his pride in being able to coach the Healdsburg squad and that he looked forward to the 2013 season. With only a handful of graduating seniors, Beth foresees a great season for the still young team.