Wildcats start the season strong with unprecedented 5-0 record but stumble to the Campolindo Cougars

After a record breaking 5-0 start to the 2015 football season, Wildcats football lost to the Campolindo Cougars 41-0, as a result of weak defense and turnovers, especially compared to the Cougars’ nonstop offense.

After beating Novato, Castro Valley and Skyline High School in their opening games, the Wildcats were on a 3-0 start not seen since 2008. While somewhat of a shock to many, Coach Nick Tisa attributed this dramatic change to a group of players that want to show what Dougherty Valley can do.

“We were able to perform really well this year because I got a group of kids that want to make a statement and change the image of the football team,” Tisa said. “We also changed our offense, which improved our game.”

Seniors Trey Hoskins and Sam Tarasow are definitely making a statement, as they have 401 and 505 yards rushing, respectively.

Continuing their efforts from their Sept. 11 win against Skyline, the Wildcats came out dominantly against the Mountain House Mustangs on Sept. 18, leading 21-6 at the end of the first quarter. Only two minutes into the game, Hoskins scored a touchdown, making the score 7-0. Both Hoskins and Tarasow continued to stall the Mustangs’ progress, including a stunning 95- yard touchdown from Hoskins. After a slightly shaky start early in the second quarter with a TD from Mountain House that brought the score 21-13, another TD from Hoskins and a fumble recovery and interception by junior Jack Wang that led to a TD from senior Jackson Phillips, the Wildcats led 35-13 at halftime.

The second half was much of the same, as the Wildcats saw a weakened Mustang offense and defense. Senior Dylan Kumar, Tarasow and Phillips all scored TDs in the third quarter, raising the score 55-13. The fourth quarter was mercy ruled soon after a quick Wildcat field goal, and the Wildcats emerged victorious, 58-13.

Tisa remarked, “This game came out exactly how I wanted it to go. There were four quarters of good football and the team gave up less than 100 yards, which is good. Also the offense played really well and spread the ball amongst the players.”

Next up for the Wildcats was Las Lomas on Sept. 25 at Los Lomas High School, making Wildcats history by beating Las Lomas for only the second time in school history, 21-14.

Despite an early TD from the Knights, the Wildcats came back strong, answering with an TD from Tarasow. The gameplay was neck and neck throughout the first half, as both teams continued to answer the other’s efforts; at the end of the first half the score was tied at 14-14.

The second half showed shining moments for the Wildcats, as junior Teni Adeoti ran in a touchdown with just two minutes remaining in the third quarter, making the score 21-7. But it was their defense that ensured the win for the Wildcats, including holding the Knights from scoring at the end of the third and a fumble recovery from senior Robert Riveroll after a Wildcats interception and offside penalty in the fourth quarter.

With just 9 seconds left in the game, the Knights looked poised to score, but impressive defense, including a block from sophomore Jack Wang, ensured Wildcat victory.

Tisa attributed the win to his players’ impressive efforts and mindset, explaining, “We executed and played with confidence.”

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their streak came to an end on Oct. 2, losing 41-0 to Campolindo.

During the first quarter, the Cougars led the game early, 7-0. Their runningbacks gained large amounts of yardage, resulting in a Cougar touchdown within just three minutes of the game’s start. Despite efforts by Tarasow to get a touchdown, the Wildcats lost the ball and possession, leaving the first quarter 0-7.

During the second quarter, the Cougars widened the gap to 28-0. The Wildcats quickly

gained the ball, but lost possession quickly as a result of not utilizing their passes. To remedy their losses, the Wildcats tried for long passes in hopes for a touchdown but to no avail, turning over the ball several times, including an interception, which ultimately led to another TD from the Cougars.

“On Friday we had two turnovers and our defense didn’t tackle well,” Tisa explained. “We weren’t playing to our full potential.”

In the second half, the Wildcats allow several more touchdowns. Strong Cougars’ cornerbacks prevented Hoskins from performing optimally, and the Wildcats could not get on the board. More turnovers and interceptions led to the final score of 41-0.

Despite the loss, Tisa is optimistic and practical, taking the team through the season one step at a time.

“There are four games left, and our goal is to take one game at a time and execute each Friday night,” he explained.

Next up for the Wildcats is the Miramonte Matadors, who they play on Oct. 11 at this year’s Homecoming game. Their last official game of the season is on Oct. 30, against rival Dublin Gaels.

Looking forward, Tisa is less focused on the loss, and more so focused on the future and the response from his players.

“I’m excited to see how our team responds to this loss,” he said. “You can always measure character by how you respond when something doesn’t go the way you want. We will continue to work hard and show up to compete on Friday nights w