Tigers dominate Westwood, get first back-to-back wins since 2013
Things are on the upswing for the Dunsmuir Tigers 8-man football team. On Friday, the Tigers cruised to a 62-6 road win at the Westwood Lumberjacks to improve to 2-1 for the year. The week before, Dunsmuir defeated Hayfork 28-14 for its first win since 2018, and first home win since 2016.
“Being able to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2013 gives the team the gratitude that their hard work is paying off,” head coach Jacob Mekeel said. “We want to be confident in our skills that we work on in practice every day and to get some wins."
Offensive and defensive success
Mekeel said it was nice to see the offense firing on all cylinders and putting up 62 points against the Lumberjacks.
“The key factor to our offensive success was our offensive line play,” he said. “Our offensive line was able to fire off the ball consistently and run block players down the field, which opened holes for our running backs and quarterback to have big days on the ground."
Defensively, he said a key factor in the Tigers limiting the Lumberjacks to only six points was the great play from their defensive ends.
“They were able to control the outside run a majority of the night, along with our linebackers who stepped up and stopped the run,” he said,
After losing their season opener to Loyalton, Mekeel said the squad has started to come together as a cohesive unit.
“We are becoming more comfortable with playing football as a whole which allows us to score at a higher rate as well as make more stops defensively,” he said.
Against Westwood, Noah Sell, Jasper Mitchell, Levi Cornett, and Gage Padula all found the endzone, Mekeel said.
“We had a well-balanced attack where we could rely on multiple players to move down the field for us on a consistent basis.”
On defense, he said that they covered the pass at a high rate. Mekeel said that Gabe Hernandez had three fumble recoveries that allowed them more time on offense to drive the ball down the field.
“We were only forced to punt the ball one time, which shows the efficiency our offense moved with all night,” he said.
Coming up: a bye week
Mekeel said the Tigers will use the week "to work on some of the little things that we need to improve on to take the next step to be a team that can compete for a league title ... Wrapping up on tackles and maintaining discipline at every position will be keys to our success going forward. The bye week also allows our team to rest up and get healthy for the final push of the season.”
Dunsmuir will again be on the road for their next game, facing Herlong on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. On Friday, Oct. 8, they will face Dorris' Butte Valley at home on homecoming night. The contest begins at 6 p.m.