Playing a postseason game for the first time in a decade, Mount Shasta High School's football team held its own most of the night but got stung by two long pass plays in a 14-0 loss to Colusa Thursday night, Nov. 10, 2016.
But for giving up two long pass plays and an offense that sputtered once it got into position to score, the Mount Shasta Bears’ season might be continuing.
Those are two of the big buts that resulted in a 14-0 loss to Colusa in Thursday night’s first round Northern Section Division 4 playoff game at Joe Blevins Memorial Stadium.
Blevins was the head coach in 2006 and the stadium did not yet bear his name the last time a postseason football game was played in Mount Shasta.
The 2016 Bears, undefeated league champions like the 2006 Bears, brought the program back to prominence but didn’t fire on all cylinders against a Colusa defense that has now allowed just 13 points in its last four games combined.
The majority of Thursday night’s offensive drives ended in punts for both teams.
Mount Shasta got into position to break a 0-0 tie late in the first quarter when Kobe Lonnon broke through the line on a run up the middle and gained 21 yards to set up a first-and-goal from the 9. But on fourth-and-goal from the 4, Lonnon was stopped for a two-yard loss and Colusa took possession.
The first of Colusa’s two big plays was a 76 yard pass and run for a touchdown with 6:10 to play in the second quarter.
After an exchange of punts, Colusa connected on a 39 yard pass play that put them on the Bears’ 17 yard line. Two running plays later, the RedHawks reached the end zone and added a second PAT kick for the game’s final points with 58 seconds to play in the first half.
In the second half, a 35 yard run up the middle by Tyler Santi gave the Bears a first down on Colusa’s 15 yard line. But they were unable to get any closer and missed a field goal try.
Following another exchange of punts, Colusa put together a drive that reached the Bears’ 25 yard line. Helped by a tackle for a two-yard loss on 3rd and 4 by Alex Urbano, the Bears held and got the ball back on downs.
Quarterback Thairen Sivongsa then threw to Santi for a first down before launching a sky-high pass on a fake punt that Myles DeLeon hauled in while falling backwards at Colusa’s 27 yard line.
As it was most of the night, however, Sivongsa faced a strong pass rush on the plays that followed. On one, he scrambled well behind the line of scrimmage before throwing into the end zone. The Bears’ large gathering of fans let out a roar in anticipation of a catch in double coverage, but the fall fell incomplete. The drive then ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down with 6:25 to play in the game.
The Bears forced a punt, but their final possession ended with Sivongsa stumbling as he was chased out of bounds short of a first down.
Colusa, now 8-3 for the season, advances to play No. 1 seed East Nicolaus, which won its playoff opener over Williams, 46-8.
The other Division 4 semifinal will pit No. 2 Willows against No. 3 Durham after Durham defeated Trinity, 44-14, and Willows nipped Winters, 17-12.
The No. 4 seeded Bears left the field for the last time with an 8-3 overall record, leaving behind a 2016 league championship emblem that will remain for years to come on the football banner in the school’s Robert E. Novo Gymnasium.