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Long-time followers impressed with team's performance

By: Matt Long
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Tom Doherty coached two section championship teams at Folsom High in 1989 and 1990 and won with a strong defense and an offense that ran the ball much more than it threw it. The former Folsom High teacher, coach and athletic director was on hand Friday night to watch the current version of the Bulldogs beat Grant to win the school’s first football section title since Doherty’s teams did it and had a great time. “It was a great game and I loved it,” Doherty said. “I’m excited for them and very happy for the boys. This is the best offense we’ve ever had and the defense kept getting better. When you’ve got good players you’ve got a chance.” Another long-time fan with ties to the Bulldogs is their announcer, Rich Payne. He’s been the team’s public address announcer for 34 years and while he wasn’t in the booth for this game, he loved the view from the sideline very much. “I love announcing games but you’re not connected to the game like you are on the sideline,” Payne said. “It was a fantastic experience to watch the game and be right there to listen to the coaches and the players.” Payne has seen more Folsom High football than anyone over the last three decades and he was as excited to watch the Bulldogs win a section title as the players and coaches. “I’m very impressed with the players and the culture that Coach Richardson has developed here,” Payne said. “One thing I noticed about this group was even after the shaky start they had, the expression on their faces didn’t change. There was no sense of panic and they recovered quickly from their slow start. “When you look at Folsom’s team, they’re not physically spectacular like Grant, but they can play football. I noticed about three years ago that Coach Richardson was creating something special. This offense, I feel, can score on any given play and that’s a good feeling to have. After watching the defense shut down Vacaville and Buhach Colony, I knew they were ready for Grant.”