Poised Cardinal Newman QB Dunsford maturing rapidly

  • Cardinal Newman's Keaton Dunsford looks to pass in the second quarter at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, Friday Nov. 9, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The image of Joe Montana just happened Friday night, popped into my head without prompting. Cardinal Newman football coach Paul Cronin was talking about his quarterback, Keaton Dunsford, who had 262 passing yards and four touchdown tosses by halftime against Sonoma Valley. Dunsford is a perfectionist, and Cronin said Dunsford is getting better at accepting the fact he is human.

"When he threw that pick (interception) in the second quarter, that didn't bother me at all," Cronin said. "I knew it was going to be a learning experience for Keaton."

Meaning, there is life after an interception. In Dunsford's case, there would be 13 more pass attempts before Cronin pulled him from the 44-7 rout early in the third quarter. Dunsford would complete eight for 113 yards and a touchdown.

That's when the image of the legendary 49ers quarterback popped into my head.

Joe Montana, the best quarterback who ever lived, threw 139 interceptions. Montana threw 139 passes he wished he could have back. That's a lot of mistakes, and that's the big difference Cronin sees in his young quarterback — Dunsford turned 16 just this Aug. 28.

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