Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Colusa kicks off with win over Mt. Shasta

Colusa lineman Marco Cano pressures Mt. Shasta quarterback Cole Kindley during the RedHawks 26-8 win over the Bears. Cano drew praise from Coach Mikey Badaluco for his play on both sides of the ball.

For the first time in nearly two years, a football game was played in Colusas RedHawk Stadium and the hometown team made the most of the opportunity by downing Mt. Shasta 26-8 to notch its first win of the season and the first for new head coach Mikey Badaluco.

Hot and smoky conditions didnt deter the RedHawks, who opened the game with good defense, as junior Hayden McCarty picked off a pass on the Bears third play from scrimmage to put Colusa in business.

It didnt take long for the RedHawks to capitalize either, when after moving the ball to the Mt. Shasta 39 on four straight running plays, quarterback Emanuel Frias connected with receiver Nick Price who made an acrobatic catch for the touchdown with just over eight minutes remaining in the opening period.

Another miscue by the Bears would also play to the RedHawks advantage toward the end of the first quarter, as a bad snap on a punt attempt resulted in an eight yard loss and Colusa taking over at the Mt. Shasta 40.

From there, with 2:31 on the clock, Frias again found Price, who did the rest, racing down the far sideline for his second score of the night.

In the game, both seniors made significant contributions, with Frias finishing with 96 yards passing and another 83 on the ground, while Price caught three balls for 84 yards.

That would be all the scoring for Colusa, until the fourth quarter, as the Bears, despite having just 16 total players on their squad, were able to contain the RedHawk offense in the second and third periods.

Once again, Colusa made the most of a Mt. Shasta mistake, when on the final play of the third quarter, senior Joe Maciel, hustling down the field in punt coverage, alertly covered the ball that was touched by the Bear returner.

From the Mt. Shasta 35, the RedHawks turned to a ground attack, and following two five yard gains by Frias, senior Juan Arreguin rumbled 25 yards to the end zone to put Colusa in the drivers seat with a 20-0 lead and 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Arreguin then tacked on an additional score at the seven minute mark with a one yard plunge.

While overall, the RedHawk defense was solid in its performance, it did become somewhat complacent at the end of the game yielding a touchdown with a minute left in the period.

Still, on this night, it was all the Bears could muster as Colusa closed out the contest in victory formation.

For Badaluco, it was a relief to nail down the first win and is pleased with his players attitudes, however he still feels there is much his squad needs to improve upon as they move forward.

” We were a bit sluggish, but we did what we had to do to win,” Badaluco said. ” We know what we have to work on.  Our guys know that no spots on this team are given.  They have to work for it. 

One RedHawk, turning in a particularly noteworthy performance that may go unnoticed in the stats, was Marco Cano, who laid waste to Bears on numerous occasions and drew praise from his coach, who credited the senior lineman as ” playing lights out on both sides of the ball. 

Badaluco also complemented his quarterback, Frias, whom he felt showed a great deal of toughness running the ball.

Defense has been a point of emphasis in practice, and while there is definitely work to be done, the RedHawks had Trent Mendenhall record 2.5 sacks, while Chonito Santana had a fumble recovery and was in on a sack as well.

Colusa (1-0) was scheduled to be in Weaverville to take on Trinity this Friday, but that game has been cancelled due to fires in the area. As of the Pioneer Review print deadline, no replacement opponent had been announced. – 

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