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Fall River snaps 13-game win streak with 36-14 loss to Ferndale

Bulldogs snap 13-game winning streak with loss to visiting Ferndale.

FILE PHOTO -- Fall River's Ryan Osborne (8) hands the ball off during the 2018 Northern Section championship game against Chester. (Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)
36 - 14
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MCATHUR — Fall River came into their tilt with Ferndale on a 13-game win streak. The Bulldogs had not lost since Nov. 22, 2017, and had won all of their 2018 games and their 2019 opener by double digits. The Bulldogs though, ran into a brick wall this Friday at home when they played the Ferndale Wildcats of the North Coast Section, losing 36-14.

Ferndale had a big physical offensive and defensive line, and took full advantage, offensively pounding at Fall River with a mix of runs through inside gaps and around the outside. Modoc tried the same thing last week and was unable to do it. But Ferndale did. The Wildcats had 6 drives in the first half. Four of them ended in touchdowns, one in an interception, and one where the Bulldogs forced a punt but fumbled the punt return and gave the Wildcats a short field just before the half.  On offense, the Bulldogs had some chances.  They got down into the red zone twice in the first quarter but turned it over on downs.

The Wildcat pounding was merciless, and they had gone up 21-0 midway through the second, when Kenny Westlund took the kickoff return from his own 15 to the Wildcat 35. Two plays later, he caught a pass from Ryan Osborne for 30 yards and the touchdown. The PAT failed, and the Bulldogs were down 21-6. On the next defensive series, the Bulldogs finally held Ferndale to just a couple of first downs and forced a punt, and looked like momentum might be shifting. But as Kenny Rogers sand in The Gambler, (sort of) “You gotta know when to take chances and know when to let the punt drop.”

Kenny Westlund attempted to field a punt on the bounce in traffic and paid for it, as Ferndale recovered the fumble at the 10, and added one more score before half to lead 29-6. As the game went to the half.

Last week, the Wildcats led Clear Lake 17-6 at the half then lost 28-17. As the third quarter started the Bulldogs were fired up, and the Wildcats looked a little tentative, like that memory was fresh in their minds. Early in the 3rd, the Bulldog defense was fired up, making hits, stopping the run, putting pressure on the quarterback.  Then in the middle of the 3rd, Fall River got the ball about midfield, and Tim Westlund took a run for 40 yards down to the 2. Next play, Ryan Osborne took it in, the 2-pointer was good, and suddenly, it was just a two-score game, 29-14. The defense was strong and flying around, and then Ferndale remembered their first half. Though their offense had stagnated, their defense stepped up, and through the second half of the 3rd and first part of the 4th, both defenses dominated. Last week, Fall River took the ball a minute into the 4th and drove the length of the field over 10 minutes to put the game out of reach.

This week, they were on the receiving end of a 6-minute, 80-yard drive for a final touchdown to put the Wildcats up 36-14. At that point, though the Bulldogs fought valiantly and tried to mount a comeback, the game was out of reach.

Fall River now sits at 1-1 on the season, and the sophomore-laden team now gets to see what they are made of.

Cascade Valley League


Wil Keepers is a teacher, coach, and writer, who now teaches Science and coaches Track and Cross-Country at Fall River High School. He has 18 years of experience as a teacher, 12 years experience as a cross-country coach, nine years experience as a track coach, and six years coaching middle school basketball. He began writing four years ago and in August 2018 began writing for Shasta County Sports. He has been married for 21 years, and has three daughters


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