Anderson Valley Panthers versus Rincon Valley Christian Eagles, Friday evening, September 27, 6pm.
Last Friday night's football game was a mismatch from the outset in favor of the Panthers. The fall air was crisp and cool for this game in the early fall of the 2013 season. Before halftime, while only a sliver of light remained over the crests of the eastern hills, the score was already 74-19, Panthers.
Cesar Soto ran for about 363 yards on offense and tackled on defense like a tornado spreading destruction on the Texas Panhandle and the flats of Oklahoma. He scored six touchdowns and made solo tackles with tough precision.
Jesus Fernandez ran like a bowling ball on offense piling up 141 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and he hit like a bowling ball on defense. He is a strong player who is pretty fast and very hard to block or tackle.
As always, Erin Perez and Tony Pardini were both smooth, skillful players. Their abilities as passers and kickers make them terrific assets to the team.
Will Lemons and Jared Johnson are strong young men whose rugged presence and excellent play make add significant strength to the team.
Prior to the game coach Dan Kuny had both teams go to the south end of the field to salute the flag. In the announcing booth Riley Lemons sang the Star-Spangled Banner beautifully.
Anderson Valley resident Patrick Ford was a sergeant in the Marines in the Vietnam War from 1970-1974. He is now post commander of the 385th. He rendered a beautiful ode to America.
Mr. Ford spoke of the big things in America that make it special —the mighty Mississippi River, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the great redwood forests. Plus he spoke of the small things that make the heart swell like a dewdrop shining in the morning sun on a red rose, the remnants of snow in a wheat field, a warm fire in winter. Mr. Ford made the ode beautiful.
At half-time the cheer squad of Danielle Andersen, Yazil Magana, Juana Manriquez, Mayte Guerrero, Amber Lopez, Lexi Johnson, Valerie Franco, Rosie Guerrero, Brittany Kinsey, and Riley Lemons gave an athletic and attractive performance. The cheer squad is coached by Belma Rhoades and Erica Lemons. Erica said that the girls would dance to the music of the Beach Boys at the homecoming game.
This was an excellent game to watch because of the good sportsmanship by both teams and the tough, clean contact. It is also fun to listen to the announcing of the game Ernie Pardini. His plainspoken, laid-back announcing of the game has become an attraction by itself.
Joe Delgado, the Anderson Valley Pop Warner head coach, was at the game to watch his boys Michael Delgado and brother Jacob Delgado play good football and to film the game. Coach Delgado's excellent coaching will keep coach Kuny's varsity teams filled with strong players. The kids grow up together playing football together from age 8-9 on into high school.
Cesar Soto was so good on Friday night that in the beginning of the third quarter he burst through the line on defense to grab the pigskin from Eagles quarterback Daniel Maples and run for a 51-yard touchdown. He then made three solo tackles in a row.
In league play, Mendocino High School has beaten Point Arena High School according to Coach Kuny. I believe that the Point Arena Pirates will be a strong opponent next time. (The Panthers beat them at the Apple Bowl in a tight game a few weeks ago.) So the two recent blow-outs mean that the Anderson Valley Panthers are good, but they face some stiff competition ahead.
The next game will be against the tough Mendocino High School eight on the 5th in Mendocino, followed by Round Valley JV game on the 12th. The next home game is the homecoming game against Point Arena at the Fairgrounds on October 25. See you there.