Dunsmuir High School football coach Ray Kellar told his players that the roar of fans’ chainsaws in Hayfork won’t bother the Tigers if they’ve got the lead in tonight’s Northern Section Division 6 semifinal game.

The defending champion Timberjacks have won 21 consecutive games the past two years, but Kellar is confident his team has what it takes to pull off an upset.

“We know what they run; we’ve watched a lot of film,” Kellar said this morning before the 100-plus mile ride south and west.

Dunsmuir (9-2), seeded No. 5 in the NSCIF D6 bracket, knocked off No. 4 Champion Christian a week ago in Chico. Hayfork (10-0), the No. 1 seed, won their opener by forfeit.

Tonight’s game, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Hayfork, will feature the top two offensive threats in the state’s eight-man football leagues – Dunsmuir senior Colton Sordahl is No. 1 with 2,255 yards rushing, No. 1 with 318 points scored, and No. 3 with 425 receiving yards.

Hayfork senior Scott Harrison is No. 2 in rushing with 1,850 yards, No. 2 in scoring with 260 points and No. 3 in passing with 986 yards.

Harrison ran wild when the Tigers lost their California-North (8 Man) League game to Hayfork 56-24 in early October in Dunsmuir. He gained many of his 431 yards that night on big plays.

Kellar said the Tigers stopped Hayfork “when we did what we’re supposed to do. Our guys see what they need to do.”

Kellar pointed to two keys for success:?
• “Start and finish every play, whistle to whistle;” and
• “Play with heart and soul and take care of our responsibilities.”

“If they beat you and you did what you were supposed to do, they beat you. Don’t give it away,” Kellar said he told his team.

Hayfork is known for its fans who rev chainsaws just outside the field, which can be intimidating to visiting teams.

“That won’t be an issue if we’re winning the game,” Kellar said. “We have to go in with that mindset.”

Other eight-man team statistical leaders playing in tonight’s game include:

Dunsmuir junior quarterback Jake Mekeel is No. 4 in passing with 713 yards.
Mekeel is also No. 2 in tackles with 141 yards, while Harrison is No. 3 with 140.

Tiger senior Jay Rhoades is No. 2 in quarterback sacks with 5.5, and Hayfork’s Nathan Armstead is No. 4 with 5.0.

Harrison and Tiger sophomore Daniel Ballard are tied for the interceptions lead with 3.