Santa Rosa: Giant slayers, almost

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
In regards to wins and losses, Bill Parcells was fond of saying “You are what you are,” which is another way of saying the record doesn’t lie.
Well, Santa Rosa’s 1-7 record isn’t pretty. But it might be a little misleading.
For the second time in three weeks, the Panthers put a scare into a traditional North Bay League power, the latest close-but-not-quite being an 18-7 loss to Montgomery on Friday in which the Panthers led 7-6 with less than three minutes remaining.
Lining up in plenty of two tight end sets, Santa Rosa used a power running attack led by senior C.J. Jervin (26 carries, 111 yards) to outgain the NBL’s first-place team 200-142. The Panthers also controlled the clock, running 54 plays to Montgomery’s 31.
Under first-year coach Tony Keefer, the Panthers appear to be improving as the season progresses – they looked dreadful in collecting zero yards in a 27-0 season-opening loss to Petaluma – and they have several key players who will return next year in sophomore quarterback Kalen Rosselli, junior tight end/linebacker Ethan Rosselli, junior running back Travis Baker and junior wide receiver Nick Keeton.
Of course, the future appears brighter this week. But the Panthers seemed to be in a bit of disarray last week on the heels of a 17-11 loss to previously winless Piner.
“We’re playing to the level of what we think the competition is,” Keefer said. “We don’t understand we have to play with the same mindset and same sense of urgency no matter what the competition is.”