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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.

Come again?

“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.

Wight, who said he looks to Analy as a model rather than a thorn in his side, doesn’t even begrudge Bourdon keeping his starters on the field well after the game’s been put away.

“Whatever the case may be, their starters need reps, too,” he said. “That’s not fair to that kid … what are you going to do, shut him down just because he’s better than everybody else? That’s football.”

“It’s your guy’s job to tackle,” he said.

And Bourdon’s job, at least part of it, is to ready his guys for the postseason.

So the coach is in a pickle.

In Bourdon’s first four seasons at Analy, he resurrected a weak program and led them to a barely-breaking-even record of 23-22. In the three seasons since, all after the realignment between the SCL and the North Bay League, it’s been Tiger domination.

There are other factors at play here, too. Analy has a significantly larger enrollment than other schools in the league. In 2014-14, Analy had 1,317 kids according to the State Department of Education. Only Petaluma, at 1,348, had more. Sonoma Valley came in at 1,312, followed by Piner at 1,053, Elsie Allen at 1,034, Healdsburg at 611 and El Molino at 609.

Sometimes the odds are just stacked against some teams.

Yet Bourdon sees the scoreboard just like everybody else. He knows people are watching and does his best to be sporting.

But he also says his job, his loyalty, is with his guys, with his program.

That third-string kid, the one who gets run over by the starters four days a week? When he sees a slice of action Friday night, he’s going to give it his best.

“I can’t ask that kid to lay down,” he said. “He deserves to run the football as well.”

But Bourdon acknowledged that some coaches might get miffed.

“It’s a fine line,” he said. “We may not get it right every week, especially from the other coach’s point of view.”

That’s now how Wight or Antonio or others see it. Bourdon has built an enviable program. One to emulate rather than criticize.

“I have no bitterness,” Antonio said.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com.