Tahquitz football gets shutout by Hemet High, 24-0
■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
A cold wind was blowing. Clouds were overhead. It was a perfect storm. Who would survive last Friday night at Tahquitz Canyon? The Tahquitz High School football Titans, or the visiting Hemet Bulldogs?
Sadly, the Titans’ band director couldn’t be here for this match, so while the band did play the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the start, only the percussion section would be present afterward to provide the soundtrack for this game.
The Titans kicked off this match, with Hemet getting the first down of the game. After pushing back against Titan defense, Nick Thornburg completed a pass to Kyle Serna to bring in the first touchdown of the game for Hemet four minutes in. Their first seven points were the only points scored during the first quarter.
The second quarter continued to see the winds blow in the Bulldogs’ favor, as Tyler Richardson brought in Hemet High’s second TD of the evening. With two seconds left in the first half, Wyatt Salinas completed a field goal to bring the half to an end, 17-0 Hemet.
The Titan’s Dance squad, dressed in pink for breast cancer awareness, put on a flash mob-style routine for halftime, as cheerleaders and mascots gathered on the sidelines to watch. The cheer squad then took over to show off their moves, and possibly inspire their Bulldog counterparts. They were dressed warmly, as the winds continued to chill Tahquitz Canyon.
The Bulldogs would kick off the second half, and while the Titans were able to make a move toward the goal zone, they just couldn’t bring in the TD in this third quarter, as the Bulldogs intercepted their attempts. The quarter would largely play out as a game of tug of war.
The clock seemed to tick down quite swiftly in the final quarter, as the Bulldogs’ offense staged attack after attack to keep the Titans down. At 7:58, the Bulldogs brought in a third TD, sending fans in red over the moon and leaving the Titans behind. With a score of 24-0, this would be the Bulldogs’ first league win of 2017.
The Titans’ head coach Damon Dustin admits his team didn’t fire on all cylinders today, instead, playing, as he described, it, “flat.”
Bulldogs’ head coach Jason Thornburg said his team finally hit their stride.
“The difference from last week to this week was no turnovers,” said Thornburg. “I would like to recognize the whole defense for their effort and belief in the system.”
With today’s game in the history books, both the Titans and the Bulldogs are now 3-4 for the season and 1-2 in the Mountain Pass League.
The Titans’ next stop is tomorrow at San Jacinto High School. The Bulldogs, taking it one game at a time, have a few Mustangs to ride tomorrow.
“Not worried about the postseason, just worried about our next game vs. West Valley,” said Thornburg.
Elsewhere in football:
The West Valley Mustangs took claw marks from the Beaumont Cougars, losing 23-6. Even though the Mustangs are now 0-8 for the season, whether the Bulldogs will benefit from that fact tomorrow remains to be seen.
The San Jacinto Tigers felt the squeeze at Citrus Hill, as the Hawks beat them 48-14. The Tigers remain 5-3 for the season and 2-1 in league.