Sixty to zero at the half.
It’s a startling scoring line. The Analy High Tigers were up on the Healdsburg Hounds 60 to nothing just halfway through last Friday night’s football game. It prompted me to look at other Analy scoring patterns.
They put 27 points on Casa Grande in the opening quarter in a 48-29 win; 21 points in the first quarter against Montgomery in a 42-7 win. It was 40-7 at the half in the Tigers’ 54-7 win against Sonoma Valley. They beat Piner 56-7 and, of course, there was the Healdsburg game, which ended up 67-6.
But Analy is deemed the best team in the Empire, a team that benefits from a talented slate of coaches, a robust youth program and a surfeit of talent year after year. Surely their wins don’t come as a surprise. But those scores?
So I called some coaches, asked some questions. Is Analy running up the score?
Their responses may surprise you. They surprised me.
“I feel worse for Analy than I do for any of us,” said Piner’s head coach John Antonio.
“The poor Analy kids, they only get half a game in,” he said. “Those kids work their butts off just as much as ours.”
The poor Analy kids? The Sonoma County League champs three years running? The team averaging nearly 49 points a game while giving up only 12?
Yes, Antonio feels a little bit bad for them. He feels bad that their kids are out practicing, working out, putting in double days — but then are asked to sit at least two quarters most games because the games are nowhere near tight.
“They should almost be scheduling 20 games a year so they get 10 complete games in,” he said. “They are just that good.”
He’s not alone.
“They are on a whole different level — it’s not their fault,” said Bill Wight, who this year took over the Elsie Allen football program. “I understand that in 25 years of coaching, sometimes you are just that much better than people.”
I tried to talk to Healdsburg coach Todd Beth about it, but he didn’t return my calls.
Another coach said he held no grudge against Analy either. His squad lost by 35.
Understandably, the topic made Analy head coach Daniel Bourdon a bit uneasy. I get it. But kudos to him, he tackled it.
“By all means, we don’t go out on a Friday or Saturday night and try to embarrass anybody,” he said. “We play a fast-paced style of offense. We throw the football.”
And he reminded me that his starters don’t see much in the way of second-half play.
And there is some kind of irony in that. Bourdon gives his second- and third-string guys significant playing time when the score gets lopsided. Yes this helps take the foot off the gas on the score, but it also sets the stage for the Tigers’ developing next year’s talent today. It’s a machine that keeps on rolling.
Even so, coaches on the opposing sidelines say they hold no ill will for Bourdon or his kids and his program. That second- or third-stringer who gallops for big gains when the game isn’t even close? It’s not their job to ask him to sprint for the sidelines; it’s their job to get guys to tackle him.