Tigers make it to playoffs despite loss
Even with a loss to the Westwood Lumberjacks on Friday, The Dunsmuir High football team has statistically made it into the post season for the first time in 10 years.
The Tigers played an uncharacteristic game against Westwood and had several players out of the game in the 42-0 loss on Friday.
“We made mistakes and learned a lot from this painful loss,” said Dunsmuir coach Steve Van Ert.
Dunsmuir leading rusher and breakout back Cory Knowles played for only two downs with his ankle injury suffered last week in the Homecoming win against Princeton.
Van Ert also had both of his starting defensive ends out for unknown reasons. This would prove to be costly.
The Tigers were blanketed by a tough Lumberjack defense. They were held to three three and outs and two fumbles on their first five possessions.
Erin Kirch picked up the slack for the missing Knowles, rushing for 102 yards on 14 carries.
The Tigers marched down the field, thanks to Kirch, but a Colton Sordahl fumble on the three yard line stalled the drive.
Lt Hisey got the ball back a few plays later with his own fumble recovery on the 14 yard line of Dunsmuir, but they were forced to punt again.
The defense missed their starting defensive ends as the Lumberjack would continuously run outside
Zach Bartoo ended the half with an interception. He also was second in tackles with 17. Westwood led 28-0 at the break.
On their first drive of the second half, Kirch and Nate Gonzales led their team down the field but an interception taken back for a touchdown would stop the momentum.
After stopping Westwood, Hisey hit Gonzales for a 60 yard pass down to the 30 yard line. Dunsmuir would turn the ball over on downs.
With just over a minute left, Westwood would score their final points.
The Tigers would end the game with three loss fumbles an interception and five sacks given up.
“We are refocusing on the basics and what has brought us this far; 100 percent effort, 100 percent execution 100 percent of the time, Van Ert said on Monday.
Matt Norton led the tea with 20 tackles, keeping the opponents somewhat at bay. Barry Norton had 12 and Hisey added 10 tackles .
Dunsmuir will play their next two games at home and then travel to to Liberty Christian. Van Ert explains winning these games could get the Tigers a bye in the first round.