The Greyhounds wrapped up a character-building season on Friday in the North Bay League finale against visiting Montgomery, giving the Vikings all they wanted before falling, 40-25.
The loss gave Healdsburg a final NBL mark of 0-3 and 0-9 overall.
Although the team took its lumps in a winless campaign, the season finale at Recreation Park left the Hounds feeling good about both the present and future of the football program.
“The future looks bright, with only three of our starters seniors this year,” HHS assistant coach Dave Stine said. “Seven of our starters were sophomores, with the rest juniors. These kids showed a lot of character and never quit in any of the games. They are motivated to work hard this off-season,” he added.
Vikings outlast Hounds
After being outscored 384-35 through the first eight season games, the Greyhounds saved their best effort for the Nov. 8 meeting with Montgomery. Both teams entered the contest winless, so something had to give.
The game did not disappoint, as the Vikings jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead before Healdsburg return man Jose Nunez found pay-dirt on a 90-yard kickoff return. Montgomery led 21-7 at the end of one.
The Greyhounds continued their comeback in the second period when senior Brian Garcia scored on an electrifying, 65-yard punt return, cutting the deficit to 21-13 at the half.
The Hounds had the home crowd on their feet in the third quarter, surging into the lead on a 45-yard touchdown reception by Jacob Preciado, followed by a two-yard scoring plunge by Garcia for a 25-21 advantage. The euphoria was short-lived, as the Vikings scored on the ensuing kickoff return to re-take the lead at 28-25 after three.
The magic ran out for Healdsburg in the fourth quarter, as the Vikings added a pair of insurance touchdowns en route to a 40-25 win.
“I always tell the kids that the little things make a big difference,” Stine noted. “It was a few little things that made the difference in winning and losing this game.”
There were plenty of accolades to go around from a Healdsburg standpoint, with the Greyhounds getting touchdowns from Garcia (2), Nunez and Preciado.
Leading receivers were Preciado (4-103 yards) and Chris Dow (1-37 yards).
Defensively, the team got sacks from Jesus Reyna, Diego Mandujano and Emaldo Ahumada. Preciado had one interception while Ahumada recovered a fumble.
“The kids continued to improve week to week, especially our pass blocking by the offensive line and our tackling on defense,” Stine said. “We will continue to stress fundamentals in the off-season.”