There are losses on the high school gridiron, and then there are beat-downs so severe that it invokes questions of sportsmanship.
That was the scene at Recreation Park on Friday when the undefeated Livermore Cowboys built an insurmountable 61-3 halftime lead and refused to let up en route to an 88-3 rout.
The lone score of the game for the Greyhounds came in the form of a first-half field goal from kicker Miguel Gonzalez.
The Cowboys, a much bigger school classified as Division 2, didn’t follow the usual script of pulling starters with the game in hand, instead continuing to pound an overmatched Healdsburg squad in the final two quarters.
The reaction by coaches and fans was not a surprise following the game.
“Based on my coaching experience I felt it was unethical to run up the score on a young, rebuilding team,” HHS veteran coach Dave Stine said. “But I told the kids that ‘I don’t care what the scoreboard says, you guys played your hearts out.’ We played a much bigger, more experienced team and we’ll use this as a learning experience.”
Although the outcome was never in doubt, the loss to Livermore did feature a few highlights for the Hounds, including a long pass completion from quarterback Cole Conley to receiver Chris Dow.
“Offensively, we were in position to make plays, but missed some good opportunities,” Stine noted.
The Greyhounds (0-4) will attempt to right the ship this Friday, Sept. 20 when they travel to San Rafael. Kickoff times at Miller Field for the JV and varsity are 4:30 and 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs (2-1) began the season with a pair of wins, but suffered their first defeat of the year on Saturday in a 33-20 loss to St. Vincent.