The odds did not favor the 0-7-1 Healdsburg Greyhounds for the Oct. 27 Redwood League matchup with the 6-2 St. Vincent Mustangs at Rec Park, and it’s safe to say no one lost their jersey on a bet.
Prior to the game, Healdsburg High’s seniors on both the varsity football and cheer squads were recognized for their participation by the school’s new principal, Francisco Manriquez. The football players were Mario Castro (jersey number 55), Alexis Gonzalez (50), Moises Lopez (25), Ulises Nunez-Roman (75), Max Suazo (4) and Tyler Swanson (10 in this game).
The senior girls on the cheer squad included Brisa Cruz, Yuri Hernandez, Ariana Lopez, Marina Lopez, Virginia Onate, Addie Parmeter, Vanessa Rea and Yuri Ruiz.
But visiting St. Vincent de Paul showed no respect to those who attended for Healdsburg’s Senior Night, as the Mustangs galloped up and down the field for three-and-a-half quarters while holding the host Hounds to a single first-quarter touchdown.
That touchdown, on the opening drive in the first quarter, brought a glimmer of hope to town as newcomer Tyler Swanson started the game at quarterback, a slot largely occupied by the overworked Nova Perrill II for most of the season. Swanson, a senior transfer from Windsor, has fidgeted on the bench all season hoping to show his stuff, and he got his chance Friday night.
He found an open Perrill downfield on his first pass; by the time the junior athlete was tackled he was in the end zone, and Healdsburg took the early lead.
Perrill, a threat as a rusher as well as passer, added pass receiver to his stats. A kick by Mario Castro, one of the graduating seniors, made it 7-0.
St. Vincent came right back with a touchdown on a pass from Gabe Casanovas, and before the game was three minutes old it was tied 7-7.
From that point on, Healdsburg’s offense sputtered while the defense proved unable to stop St. Vincent’s onslaught. The Petaluma school, which began the game with a 1-1 league record, showed little difficulty or compassion in drowning the Healdsburg team in touchdowns.
The Mustangs’ sophomore quarterback, Casanovas, passed for 203 yards, including four passing touchdowns. Casanovas also made two rushing scores, to end up with 84 rushing yards for the day.
The game ended with Healdsburg in last place with a 0-3 league record, tied with Santa Rosa’s Piner High. A month ago, on Oct. 7, Piner fell to the St. Vincent Mustangs by a nearly identical score, 54-6, to that which claimed the Greyhounds, 56-7.
Still, the Greyhounds have shown that over the season they learned the fundamentals: show up for every game, make every play, congratulate the winning team with dignity.
This Friday’s season ender pits Healdsburg against Piner in Santa Rosa. Greyhound fans can easily venture down Highway 101 to the Prosecutors’ home field, at 1700 Fulton Rd. Varsity kickoff time is 7pm.