Shasta broke its four-game losing skid with a 49-26 win over Red Bluff on Friday. (File photo / Shasta County Sports)
After a bruising four-week stretch that saw four losses for Shasta, coach JC Hunsaker was happy to be on the other side of the scoreboard Friday in the Wolves’ 49-26 Eastern Athletic League win over Red Bluff.
The Wolves started the season by eeking out a 28-24 win over Corning, but had run into a four-week buzzsaw consisting of Elk Grove, Eureka and then EAL foes Chico and Pleasant Valley.
Red Bluff proved to cure, for one night at least, what ailed the Wolves as the offense that had sputtered over the past month got rolling early against the 1-6 Spartans.
“It’s been a while. It feels good,” Hunsaker said. “The kids have been putting in the work, but this has been a five-week tear where you don’t always see the results you want. The small things are there and you’re seeing improvement and finally we end up on the right column of the scoreboard.”
James Weaver opened the scoring for Shasta on its first possession, finding pay dirt on a 32-yard scamper for a 6-0 first quarter lead. The Wolves defense stepped up next as Dominic Hicks intercepted an Eli Wehbey pass – one of two picks for Hicks on the night – and set up Shasta’s next score, a 24-yard touchdown by Brayden Coon on a sweep.
The Wolves were set to get the ball back on the Spartans’ ensuing possession, but a roughing the kicker penalty on the kick gave Red Bluff new life, which they capitalized on with a 20-yard scoring strike from Wehbey to Logan Robertson to cut the Shasta lead to 14-7 still in the first.
The Wolves added to their lead on a second Coon touchdown – a 14-yard scamper – set up by the hard-nosed running of junior varsity call-up Bryson Kimp at full back. The sophomore ran hard between the tackles, taking over after injuries last week sidelined both Johari Woods and Alec Meek.
“I think he was anxious to prove to himself that he could play varsity football and he ran well,” Hunsaker said. “His feet churned and he ran low. His vision has some development (needed) but that’s OK. For a sophomore, it’s about effort and being aggressive and he was.”
Kimp found his first varsity end zone midway through the second quarter, scoring on a 15-yard trap to boost the Wolves’ lead to 28-7.
Shasta would enter halftime homecoming festivities up 35-13 and roll to the victory as Weaver scored three times, and Kimp and Coon each found pay dirt twice.
The Wolves head to The Ridge next week to take on a Paradise team that handed Chico its first loss of the season.