Saturday, September 18, 2010

Foothill Wins Battle with Lassen in high school football

The Friday night Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio AM 1670 at Bill Johnson Stadium in Palo Cedro featuring Foothill High School of Palo Cedro versus Lassen of Susanville lived up to its billing….an outstanding football game between two perennial high school “powerhouses”. Previewed as a battle between the high-powered and varied formation oriented Foothill Cougars and the larger and more run oriented and defensive strengths of the Lassen Grizzlies, the game turned out to be an exhibition by both teams of very well executed offensive plays and defensive stands that made this game one that was not decided until the final 30 seconds, with Foothill winning 14-7. With the explosive running of Foothill running backs Tevin Slaton and Addison Gillam and the ever-present threat of the long pass by QB Zach Ray, it was obvious that a touchdown could come with each play. And, this was the same scenario with Lassen. Outstanding QB Richard Murphy was a constant threat both as a running back and as a very fine passer, and kept the Foothill defenders on constant alert. Murphy found that their new look spread offense was confusing the Cougars defense, and, had it not been for the very football savvy Foothill linebackers, who were literally “all over the field”, this game would have had a much different ending. What prevailed in the final moment was a show of excellent speed by Foothill runner Slaton and receiver John Choate and the passing accuracy of Ray against the very well executed option threat of Lassen’s Richard Murphy and the defensive prowess of Luke Peterson and the Lassen secondary. In the end, an outstanding game, and no doubt both of these teams, if this level of play continues, will be in the North State playoffs. Congratulations to both teams….a very well coached game performed by some outstanding young and talented football players. No one in the audience could question this, and no one left until the final “take a knee” play.

The North State has a lot of very good high school football to offer, and last night all of the local teams were in action. Enterprise HS took on Antelope of Sacramento in their Homecoming Game and, under the leadership of Alex Henderson, got their offensive machine up and running thanks to the short burst running of speedy backs and the option plays of Henderson leading to a 28-14 victory. Coming off a last minute upset loss to West Valley last week, Enterprise re-established themselves as a playoff contending team, as has been the case over many years in the past. West Valley traveled to the coast to take on host Fortuna, but could not withstand the challenge there, losing 13-0. Shasta High traveled to Eureka on the coast and in an offensive shoot out, QB Clay Cavender lead the Wolves to a 48-41 victory, illustrating that they are also going to be a strong team that can go all the way into the playoffs. Local school Central Valley easily got by Oroville 36-6, and Anderson had their way with Las Plumas winning 49-15, telling us that the Anderson Cubs are on their way to re-establishing their role in the north state as a football power.

So, in the next few weeks, if you are a high school football fan…it does not get much better than what you can see here in the Redding, Shasta County, and the North State. The Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio AM 1670 will be announced early in the week, and if you are not able to make one of the games…tune in. (Note: thanks to Andreas Fuhrmann of the Record Searchlight for these great action photos…a real action photo pro)

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