Analy's near-miracle win

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
After watching second-seeded Marin Catholic blast Terra Linda, 56-12, in the opening round of the North Coast Section Division III playoffs, Analy coach Dan Bourdon, whose team was the Wildcats’ next opponent, wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence.
“After I was done scouting them I thought, ‘Holy cow, what are we going to do with these guys?’” Bourdon said.
Well, holy cow, the 10th-seeded Tigers almost did what few thought was possible. Despite trailing by 23 points early in the third quarter, Analy nearly rallied all the way back Saturday before falling, 37-35, to the seven-time section champions.
The Tigers’ furious charge, which began with them staring at a 30-7 hole, included four touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jake Zanutto, two recovered onsides kicks and a trick play that netted 71 yards when wide receiver Julian Titus-Patino launched a pass to Chris Bostock.
The net result wasn’t a win. But it was more evidence that the Tigers, who lost to Marin Catholic, 49-8, in the first round last year, are making progress under Bourdon, their second-year coach.
Analy (7-5) finished the regular season with an upset win over Windsor and toppled No. 7 Acalanes in the opening round before throwing a scare into a juggernaut that entered Saturday’s game on a 10-game winning streak.
“We really overachieved this season based on what we expected,” Bourdon said. “We thought it might be a little bit of a rebuilding year with a sophomore quarterback and losing a lot of skills guys.”
But now the future looks bright – particularly given Zanutto’s maturation in the playoffs. After throwing 15 interceptions in his final five regular-season games, Zanutto (26 TDs, 23 INTs) threw for 483 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions in the postseason.
Besides Zanutto, the Tigers will also return their leading rusher in Cooper Maloney, who also doubles as a star linebacker, and Titus-Patino, a big-play threat who is one of Zanutto’s favorite targets.
“I’m really hoping that the way we ended the season with those two wins and putting a scare into the two seed carries over into the offseason,” Bourdon said. “I want them to have the belief that they can compete with anybody.”