The final game for Tiger football took place Nov. 22 in Fall River as the Tigers faced the Bulldogs. Portola lost the game to Fall River 40-26.
“It’s been an outstanding season and I believe this group has overachieved all year,” said Portola High School head football coach Steve Heskett. “It’s been my pleasure to work with this group of young men!”
In Fall River on the Bulldogs home field, junior Portola quarterback Dylan Gonsalves threw 18 passes. Seven were completed in the game and one pass caught by fellow junior Owen Bowling resulted in a Tiger touchdown. Junior Dominic Bautista successfully kicked two extra points after the Tiger touchdowns.
Junior Diogo Juarez had six carries for a total of 106 yards rushing with one touchdown in the mix. Senior Mario Ruiz managed five carries for a total of 22 yards rushing. Junior Zach Mulhall had three carries for a total of 17 yards rushing. Senior Taylor Koski had one carry for 11 yards and senior Irving Juarez made a carry for 12 yards rushing. Koski caught two passes for a total of 33 yards and junior Xavier Avila caught a nice 31-yard pass from quarterback Gonzalves and junior James Sampson caught an 8-yard pass.
Junior Shane Curren made four kickoff returns for 68 yards total. On the other side of things, Taylor Koski made three kickoff returns for 34 yards, Curren had one for 47 yards and junior Carver Wearin picked up one with no gain.
Wearin and Mulhall led the Tiger defense with nine tackles each. Mulhall had six solo tackles and Wearin made five. Bowling and Ruiz each made seven tackles. Senior Chase Nielson made six tackles as did Curren. Junior Xander Loomis had three solo tackles and two assists. Senior Oscar Torres and Diogo Juarez both made two tackles each. Junior Xavier Avila and Koski each made a solo tackle.
Senior Keegan Folchi made an interception and carried it for 20 yards before the Bulldogs stopped his advance. And that’s a wrap, that’s the end of the Tiger football season for 2019.
It was a very good year for the Portola boys. Of the 32 members of the Tiger team, seniors graduating off the team are Derham Thompson, Mario Ruiz, Oscar Torres, Keegan Folchi, Taylor Koski, Jacob Dias, Chase Nielson, Irving Juarez, Kyle Green and Simon Bourgoine. These players will be missed. Fortunately for the Tigers, the junior players in 2019 were really strong forces on the team and diverse.
Twenty-two members bring experience from the winning 2019 Tiger season. Returning quarterback Dylan Gonzalves will provide a consistency for the team. Leading defensive player Owen Bowling, and stand out juniors, Shane Curren, Diogo Juarez, Zach Mulhall, James Sampson and Dominic Bautista will help shape the Tigers next season.
Head coach Steve Heskett was a dream to work with providing details and stats for the games. It is hard to put a value on the dedicated members of the community that have the ability to step up for the youth of today by providing support for athletic activities. Thank you. And thanks to the dedicated Portola Tiger fans that attend games, Booster club members, cheerleaders and students that make the games so much fun to attend, even when it’s cold.