Football is a game of emotion

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More than any other sport, football is an emotional game. Determination and desire are important in every sport, but no amount of desire will help a hitter get around on a 90-mph fastball or guide a 3-point shot through the net. No amount of want to will direct a penalty kick to the back of the net or serve an ace. It takes skill, determination and focus.

Football requires those same skills, determination and focus, but it is played with a controlled frenzy that can be detriments in other sports. Football players that can harness and focus that emotion are successful. Teams that can harness and focus that emotion are winners.

That was a lesson learned by Casa Grande's young Gauchos in their 20-13 loss to El Molino last week.

Many strange things happened to the Gauchos in their game against the Lions. Twice they were denied continued ball possession by the thinnest of ball-placement margins. Two Gauchos didn't get the message that a punt return was called. Instead of dropping back to block, they crashed into the punter, allowing El Molino to continue a march for a touchdown. In a weird play, the ball was stripped away from a Gaucho ball carrier and taken 80 yards for an El Molino touchdown.

Make no mistake, El Molino is a good football team. John Carlson is an excellent quarterback, but the Lions are far from a one-man team. They have a solid front line, good running backs and swift receivers.

Still, there is no way the Lions should have been able to control the football for 20 of the 24 first-half minutes, or 36 minutes in the game.

It was obvious from the opening kickoff that El Molino was motivated. The Lions played with heart and determination that, honestly, surpassed their physical abilities.

Casa Grande is capable of playing with the same emotion. When — as opposed to if — the Gauchos combine that desire with their size and natural ability, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in Redwood Empire football.

Casa still controls its own destiny. If it wins out, it will, at worst, share another SCL championship. But for the Gauchos it has to be one step at a time, one round of Friday night lights emotion at a time.

Traveling by &‘bus'

I missed Casa's thrilling last-second win over Montgomery. At about the same time that the Gauchos were rallying to beat the Vikings, I was having my worse-than-useless gall bladder removed at Kaiser-Permanente Hospital in Santa Rosa.

Although my procedure got a bit complicated, it is a big deal only to me.

Thousands of people have the surgery and, like me, come out just fine.

What made me slightly unique was the journey I took to the operating room.

My cantankerous organ decided to give me trouble about the same time that Kaiser nurses decided to string a picked line across the hospital entrance.

What it meant for me was that over the course of three days, I went via "bus" from Petaluma Valley Hospital to Kaiser in Santa Rosa, to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and back to Kaiser where appropriately named surgeon Dr. Galstar finally did the mechanical work.

At each stop, the doctors and nurses on staff were professional and caring and, had I not been traveling all over the county and watching television at each stop, I wouldn't have known about the strike.

(Contact John Jackson at

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