Football: Redwood takes back the Cowhide
Six different Redwood players found the end zone, Mt. Whitney ends season 0-10
Special to the Sun-Gazette
VISALIA – After two years at Mt. Whitney, Redwood brought the Cowhide back home in a 49-19 victory on Friday night in the 65th annual Cowhide game.
Nine different players were able to score in 11 touchdown drives between the two teams, and both teams substituted regularly.
Mt. Whitney, who struggled to maintain a full healthy team throughout the season, decided to combine their JV and varsity programs for their last two games.
“Four JV players started on Friday. One of them scored a touchdown and we were able to get a high percentage of them on the field throughout the game,” said Nathan Chamberlain, Mt. Whitney’s head coach.
“A bright sport was that everyone got to play, we got eighty guys in there tonight and that was incredible,” Redwood head coach Kevin Scharton said. “We really got our passing game involved getting the receivers some touches and get Ryan working going into playoffs … Everything worked perfect for us.”
Redwood succeeded in all phases of the game and had a nearly flawless end to their regular season. Starting quarterback, Ryan Rios, only played half the game. But he performed well, completing eight out of nine passes for 168 yards, four of which were touchdown scores.
Defense succeeded with five total interceptions between linebacker Marcus Correia, linebacker Kaleb Wright, cornerback Isaiah Aguilar, safety Dominick McCormack and tight-end Demetrius Russell.
“The kids came out and we were firing on all cylinders, offense, defense, special teams, and to bring it home after not having it for two years was amazing. I was very happy for our school and community,” Scharton said.
In the first quarter alone, Rios found Sam Olson on a 2-yard pass in the end zone, Christian Roldan on a 59-yard catch and run, and 17-yard pass to Olson in the end zone after Kaleb Wright recovered a Mt. Whitney fumble.
In the second, Redwood’s Isaiah Aguilar caught an interception, which was followed by a 26-yard long ball from Rios to Brian Brown in the end zone a few plays later. Reid Terry’s extra kick was good and the score stood at 28-0 with about 8 minutes left in the first half.
Just a few plays later on Mt. Whitney’s drive, Dominick McCormack picked off another pass followed by Diamond Davis’ 11-yard run through the middle.
To counter this and put themselves on the board before halftime, Mt. Whitney’s quarterback connected on a short pass and advanced the ball further on a keeper. Jayden Castellon took advantage of the opportunity with a 5-yard reception in the end zone ending the quarter.
Redwood’s second string offense entered the field after halftime, the team showed no sign of letting up.
Caden Shafer, the fifth new player to score, found a split through the middle and scored on a 7-yard run with 8 minutes left of the third quarter. Redwood’s Karson Everett capped off a scoring drive with a 30-yard run for his first Varsity touchdown.
As new players rotated in again, Mt. Whitney took the opportunity to try and close the gap in the fourth quarter. Quintana hurled a 71-yard pass to Matthew Sanchez with six minutes left.
A few minutes later, Avant DeLeon intercepted a Redwood pass and ran it back for a 71-yard touchdown to score the last touchdown of the game and for the Pioneers this season.
Scharton, as a first year head coach for the Rangers, brought home the Cowhide for Redwood and led the team to a successful 9-1 season, and WYL runner-up to Hanford, who finished 10-0.
The team will prepare to host Atascadero on Friday, Nov. 8 in the first round of D-II Playoffs. Redwood crushed the Greyhounds 51-6 earlier this season.