By RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SEBASTOPOL — Analy scored six touchdowns on offense, two on special teams and one on defense to blitz visiting Healdsburg 63-14 on Friday night in a mid-season Sonoma County League match-up. The win keeps the Tigers undefeated and in first place.
“This was a good bounce-back week for us,” Analy coach Daniel Bourdon said. “The past few weeks we haven’t been playing good football. Tonight we put it all together.”
Leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers (7-0, 3-0) scored four touchdowns in a span of slightly over two minutes midway through the second quarter to take a 42-0 lead with 9:07 to play in the first half to put the game away.
“Analy is very fast and they execute well on offense,” Healdsburg (4-3, 1-2) coach Todd Beth said. “It was a very tough night for us. Analy is a good ballclub.”
The Tigers were led by quarterback Darin Newman (8-12, 193 yards) who threw five scoring passes, including a 62-yard strike to receiver Xavier Freeman and an 80-yarder to receiver Aaron Maher, who on the play broke loose from an attempted tackle by one Greyhound defender and then straight-armed another defender to the ground en route to the score.
“Maher is a big, tough guy and he can fly,” Bourdon said. “We have a couple of guys that can make plays so they (opponents) can’t key on one guy.”
Analy benefitted from other big plays, including a 70-yard touchdown interception by defensive back Kyle Lewis; a 20-yard fumble return for a score by Ja’narrick James and a 95-yard kickoff return for a score by James.
“My front line (blockers) did a phenomenal job on the play,” James said. “They made a huge hole for me and made my job easy.”
Said Bourdon of the small but speedy James: “He is elusive and is a dangerous return guy in space.”
Healdsburg could not sustain offensive drives against a swarming Tigers defense. Healdsburg’s two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter against Analy’s reserves.
“They (Healdsburg) didn’t move the ball at all against our first string,” Bourdon said.
Healdsburg was led by running back Trystan Cleaver (23 rushes for 96 yards), who never seemed to give up on runs.
The Greyhounds were victimized by self-inflicted mistakes, including two fumbles on kick returns, two interceptions thrown by quarterback Scott Reynolds (9-17, 62 yards), and missed tackles on defense.
“You start digging yourself in a hole — you can’t do that against a good team,” Beth said. “Analy has a lot of weapons and I wish them the best from here on out.”
For Analy, according to Bourdon, the team finally played up to its potential and the coaching staff was satisfied with the Tigers’ performance. Ditto that sentiment for James and his teammates.
“We did what we are capable of doing,” James said. “Tonight we were just clicking on all cylinders.