Analy romps past Piner, 49-20

By MIKE COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

SEBASTOPOL — Analy can still pass and catch with the best on the North Coast, scoring five times through the air in defeating Piner, 49-20, in the Tigers’ home opener Friday night.

Expected to be a battle of pass-happy teams, Analy quarterback Jake Zanutto threw for 176 yards and hit four different receivers for touchdowns before coming out in the third quarter with the game in hand.

After only reaching the end zone once in a season opening loss to Miramonte, the Tigers played a clean game with only two fumbles taking away from an otherwise dominating performance.

“We’ve been trying to clean up the penalties, mental mistakes, blown assignments. The players were focused this week. They were ready,” said Analy coach Dan Bourdon.

Piner prides its game plan on throwing the football. But the Prospectors abandoned the passing game early, opening the door for a breakout game from running back Israel Sanchez who ran for 255 yards and three scores.

If not for two second half drives that died deep on Analy’s side of the field, Piner might have narrowed the margin. As it was, the Prospectors were far more competitive than in last week’s dismantling by Eureka.

“We went back to basics, blocking and tackling. That was really our focus this week,” said Piner coach Matt Tomlin.

The game really was never in doubt after Analy scored on its’ first three possessions.

Working on a short field after pinning Piner back to open the game, Analy scored on its first play, a 24-yard run by Cooper Maloney.

After recovering a Piner fumble, Analy went backward, including a Prospectors sack, before Zanutto connected with Matt Anderson from 24 yards out for the game’s second touchdown.

The next Analy score came on a well-placed 25-yard toss from Zanutto to Julian Titu-Patino, who took the ball in over his shoulder and glided into the end zone.

An aggressive defense set up Analy in great field possession each time. Zanutto had plenty of time to find open receivers.

“Our offensive line plays pretty good and our defense plays fast,” Bourdon said. “That’s a good foundation there.”

The first Piner offensive series producing positive yards and led to the Prospectors first score of the season. Putting the ball in the hands of three different backs, Piner marched 72 yards in seven plays, including runs of 35 yards by Shane Riveras and 23 yards by Sanchez, who scored the first of his touchdowns.

After exchanging possessions, Analy busted open the game with three touchdowns to close the first half.

The Tigers’ defense snagged two interceptions during the scoring spree. One, by Dylan Anderson, led to a scoring pass from Zanutto to Aaron Maher.

Then linebacker Joe Clemmer stepped in front of a receiver and took the interception 35 yards for the score.

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