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Losing in the rain

By Josh Bronson and Bill Choy

WesCom News Service/ Triplicate Sports Editor

Playing in wet, rainy, nasty conditions, the Siskiyou Savages semi-pro football team lost its grip early in the game, falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, before mounting a comeback.

But it was not enough, as the Savages lost 14-10 in Brookings last Saturday night to the Salem Monarchs to fall to 1-3 for the year.

In the three losses, the team has been defeated by a total of only 11 points.

"We just kind of shot ourselves in the foot," head coach Dick Trone said, adding the wet, constantly rainy conditions did not help matters for both teams.

"I have coached games in the rain before, but this was as bad as any I can remember," he said. "The field was treacherous. It was a swamp."

The Monarchs were first to find the endzone as quarterback Slade Crooks found JT Tonkins for a 58-yard touchdown on the second play of the game.

After an interception by Nick White, the Savages turned the ball over with a fumble on the 2-yard line.

On the next play, the Monarchs pounded it into the end zone to take a 14-0 lead.

At the tail end of the first quarter, the Savages were able to put their first points on the board as Matt Albanese, Chip Bradley and Ryan Teal plowed through the offensive line and gang tackled the Monarch quarterback for a safety, cutting the lead to 14-2.

In the second quarter, the Savages scored their lone touchdown of the game as Crochet hit Brian Carnicello for a 10-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 14-8.

The Savages were able able to pick up two more points on a safety as Quinn Closson, Larry Munyon and Teal chased the Monarchs quarterback out of the back of the end zone.

The Savage defense shut down the Monarchs for the final three quarters, but the offense had trouble finding a rhythm in the wet and slippery conditions.

As the fourth quarter faded away, the Savages found themselves within striking distance of the Monarchs, but they could not close the deal.

With less than five minutes to play, the Savages had the ball at the 15-yardline, but on third down, quarterback Tim Crochet threw his third interception of the game and the Monarchs took over at the 1-yard line.

After the Savages got the ball back, they could not gain another first down and turned the ball over to the Monarchs who kneeled down for the win.

White led the defense with two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the night.

A strong performance on the offensive side of the ball came from new Savages running back Devin Libron, a former Humboldt State player who joined the Savages last week. He rushed for 54 years on 17 carries. Trone said Mike Zeck, who has been the starting running back and is also a starter on defense has been recovering from broken ribs and said he's relieved he has found a player like Libron.

"He's picked up the offense pretty fast," Trone said.

The next game for the Savages is on Saturday against the High Desert Lightening of Bend at Del Norte High School at 6 p.m.

Normally, the Savages play all its home games in Brookings, but a recent conflict came up and the game was moved to Crescent City. "I'm glad we get one here," said Trone, a long-time Del Norte county resident.

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