Kettle lives to battle another day

Chris Rader
Staff Writer

Kettle Falls traveled to Springdale on Friday and after almost three quarters of very hard hitting football, the Bulldogs had to forfeit the game in the name of player safety while trailing 14-6.
Head coach and athletic director Loren Finley released a statement on the Bulldog Football- Kettle Falls Facebook page, explaining his reasons for stopping the game, and here is that statement:
“Last night I made one of the most difficult decisions as a coach that I have ever made. I made the decision to throw in the towel. Literally.
Late in the third quarter, I made the decision to forfeit the remainder of the game against Mary Walker. We started the game with 20 eligible players. Three of which have experience at the quarterback (QB) position. All are competitive and desire to play to the bitter end.
In the second quarter, we lost our starting QB with what I thought was a high ankle sprain. The final prognosis was a bit worse. Shortly after, one of my linemen came out of the game having muscle spasms from being hit or speared in the back so many times. I made some substitutions at halftime, moving our fullback to a halfback spot. Our halfback to QB, and put in our second team utility fullback (FB).
Shortly after the change, while on defense, our second team FB began to have some back issues and was done. One last substitution at FB, sliding in one of the toughest freshmen I’ve ever seen play football. But it was in vain.... as my second QB went out with a concussion. That was it... we had lost four eligible players... we were down to 16 healthy, but bruised men. My last QB was a freshman, weighing in at around 125 pounds.
My conscience would not allow me to throw him out there, so I made the decision to throw in the towel.
Our boys wanted to keep fighting. They wanted to continue to play. They had poured out their hearts, put everything into this game, but they were spent. As a parent, I started to think about the safety of our and your boys.
I’d like to apologize to our community, the parents and the boys. I have never quit anything competitive in my life.... this was a time that I felt the safety of your children far out-weighed the need to play. The officiating of the game was lack luster at best. There was an extreme lack of control of the game, and we could see the lack of sportsmanship by many of the opponents during the play of the game.
I’m proud of all of my football players! Your heart, your desire to overcome, your desire to compete. We will live to battle another day! We will have our chance to be on top again. We will do it with class, integrity and character! Our injured boys need to heal. We are tired, lean and beaten. Heal up and get the rest that you need. We will reassess next week. Thank you to the parents and community members for your tremendous support of our boys! Thank you for entrusting your young men into my hands, and the hands of my amazing coaching staff. You support all of them, not just one. You believe in them and want what is best for them, as do I. I care about all of your boys and I want what is best for them. Their safety is my concern.
This week Kettle Falls (0-3) is scheduled to play host to Northwest Christian (3-0), kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.