The Mount Shasta High School varsity football team plays at Fall River Friday night one week after their best offensive showing of the season in a 30-26 loss at University Prep in Redding.

The Bears were disappointed they fell just short in their league-opener, but coach John Dutton said he saw a lot of positives and suggested to the players they consider the ways in which they did win.

They lost the game, Dutton said, but they used their skills and successes on the football field to raise money to help the Moll children, who lost both their parents last week.

The Mount Shasta varsity and JV football teams started the “Using My Success To Become Significant” pledge-a-thon which will continue through their final league games on Nov. 10.

The players are “choosing to use their success on the field to become significant off of it,” Dutton said. “Just think, what if every touchdown we score this year is not only helping us win games, but also helping the lives of others.”

Both Bears teams are getting pledges for every touchdown they score and every game they win. As of Friday morning, their web page showed $2,630 raised with a goal of $15,000. See:

Dutton said many Mount Shasta players knew the Moll family from youth groups, and even those who didn’t know them liked the idea of using football to “make a difference in this world.”

The Bears played like a different team than the one that lost to Chester, 28-8, a week earlier.

An 11 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gage Kinkade to Derek Nova and PAT kick gave the Bears a 26-23 lead in 4th quarter, and they stayed ahead until University Prep scored a touchdown with about 5 minutes to play.

“The guys played a lot better” and had a chance to win it late, but Dutton took the blame for not having them ready enough for a two-minute drill.

Sophomore Mo Summers had 277 all-purpose yards and scored 2 touchdowns; Kinkade completed 17 of 25 pass attempts for 169 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception; and Nova completed a pass to Gabe Garcia on a double pass play that went for a 76 touchdown in the third quarter.

Nova also had 6 pass catches for 39 yards.

Dutton said he thought the increased tempo of practices during the week leading up to the game made a difference. “We hit, tackled and competed more,” he said. “They had more energy at practice and kept that going in the game.”

Although U-Prep put a lot of pressure on Kinkade, especially late in the game, Dutton said the Bears’ offensive line played well.

He said the Bears are almost always “out-manned” on the line, but they’re “buying into it and understanding what it takes; they’re understanding they can by physical.”

Players on the line included center Marshall Parker, Kaden Biagi, and Baltazar Rodriguez.

Senior Myles DeLeon, who has been limited as a ball carrier and pass catcher because of a hamstring injury, played guard and “did a phenomenal job,” according to Dutton.

Junior Kyle Handshy, playing his first game on offense, “played extremely well” at tackle, despite being 50 pounds lighter than his opponent, the coach said.

Though penalties halted some drives, Dutton said there were “only a few drives where we got physically beat. It was like a different team, and they competed until the final whistle. It was good to see. Now we want to build on it.”

Mo Summers had 5 pass catches for 82 yards and 6 runs from scrimmage for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Joe Summers had 6 carries for 22 yards and 1 catch for 8 yards; Eli Rodriguez had 2 catches for 21 yards; Hunter Stock had 1 catch for 5 yards; Nova carried 4 times for 6 yards, and Kinkade had 8 carries for 8 yards.

The Bears (1-6 overall) take on a Fall River team that is 4-2.

“They’ve got good size and like to throw the ball more than we usually see,” Dutton said of the Bulldogs. “It’s another league game away from home, and a bit of a drive, but I’m looking forward to see what we can do.”

He also likes to see the team being involved in the community through their pledge-a-thon. “It’s really cool that these young adult men are seeing there’s more to life than playing a game, and they’re using football to do that,” Dutton said.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the fundraiser should go online to Click the “Donate Now” tab on the right hand side of the home page, then pledge a dollar amount per touchdown/win the Bears achieve this year. You will receive an email with your total donation at the end of the season if you choose this option. You may also choose to donate a flat amount which will be charged immediately.