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Tam rivalry game extends varsity football’s losing streak

Louis Knox steps off the field after delivering a hard knock to Tamalpais quarterback Al Gant Van Vliet, who threw an incomplete pass to end Tam’s drive.

The pains of defeat were especially difficult to accept for the Varsity football team as they suffered this season’s first home-field loss on Saturday, September 8, to Tamalpais High (3-0), a rivalry match in which the Giants have been historically dominant.

Redwood’s struggles came early, and although both the offense and defense came together in the second half, a lack of consistency left the Giants trailing 28-14 at the final whistle.

With the running game struggling, quarterback Zach Dubin takes the ball on the ground in the third quarter.

Head coach Corky Henderson said Tam is Redwood’s most prominent rival, and undoubtedly, this game will do nothing to ease the tension when the teams meet again.

“To be honest I never thought of Tam being a threat to Redwood,” said Redwood running back Khari Haynes.

However, Tam was nothing short of threatening today, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first half.

The Redwood running game, which Henderson described as the team’s strength, was largely non-existent with the Giants rushing for only 43 yards compared to Tam’s 93 yards.

Redwood’s offense failed to score and the defense allowed three touchdowns in the first half.

“We need to come out of the blocks a little faster,” Henderson said. “We took too long to get things going.”

However, a more confident team took the field after half time as the passing game picked up and the defense, led by Isreal Namastere and Louis Knox, stopped

Receiver Ryland Burke came away with this one-handed 21 yard touchdown grab off a throw from Zach Dubin. Burke and Dubin connected twice for 82 yards.

Tam short on every drive.

The offense opened the second half with a 64-yard drive, punctuated by a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Dubin to Ryland Burke that Burke caught one-handed over the head of the Tam defender.

Burke and Dubin connected again later in the second half for a 61-yard reception. Their success, though, was inconsistent. Dubin threw an interception in Tam territory that was returned almost 80 yards for a touchdown, providing Tam its only points of the second half.

The rest of the Giants’ offense came from receiver Brian Hunca, who caught 6 passes for a total of 79 yards.

Dubin threw for 175 yards on 12 completions, with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

“We’ll build on the things we did well,” Henderson said, looking positively on next week’s practices.

The loss drops Redwood to 0-3. Although an MCAL team, the game did not count as part of the MCAL schedule. The Giants open the MCAL season next week at San Rafael,  a team coming off a blowout loss to Santa Rosa.

Safety William Gaul wraps up Tam’s Aseal Birir on the 20 yard-line.
Tamalpais running back Aseal Birir slips through a hole in the Redwood defense as senior Spencer Wheeler makes an attempt to bring him down.
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About the Contributor
Ben Suliteanu, Author