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Morgan Hill
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September 30, 2023

Acorns explode in 2nd half against Willow Glen

Live Oak’s offense fed off the effort the defense put on the second half to cruise by Willow Glen on a 56-28 win Friday night.
When Willow Glen showed life after being down by three touchdowns halfway through the second quarter and closed the gap to 28-21, the Acorns responded with a 61-yard drive that was finished by Cole Davis’ 3-yard run to take a 35-21 lead at the half.
“Usually we are a second half team, but having that lead going into the second half is always good. You have that confidence and you just keep on rolling with it,” Cole Davis said.
Davis lead the team in rushing with 71 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown and helping on the air with 48 yards on two receptions.
Live Oak had difficulties stopping Connell Ryans in the first half. He accounted for all of the Ram’s touchdowns; three in the first half and one in the second.
“He’s a really good player and he’s tough to bring down,” Live Oak coach Mike Gemo said. “We just had to help to contain him.”
Live Oak felt like they had the game under control coming into the third quarter, but Willow Glen wasn’t going down without a fight.
The Rams surprised Live Oak opening the second half with an onside kick that they recovered on Live Oak’s 49-yard line. The Acorn defense stood their ground and forced a turnover on downs when the Rams decided to go for it on fourth and 4.
“It was a battle. Willow Glen came to play and we had to play a really good game against them,” coach Gemo said.
Live Oak’s defense was just getting started.
On the next Rams’ possession, Tyler Warren was forced out of the pocket and as he was running right he tried to connect with Gilbert Pizarro, but Eric Payne stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball on Willow Glen’s 41-yard line.
Despite the great fiend possession, Live Oak was forced to punt.
On the very next play, Rudy Amann ran right into an Acorn wall and was brought down on the Ram’s 9-yard line. It wasn’t until the pile was sorted that the referees signaled the ball was fumbled and Live Oak recovered the ball.
Again on the next Rams possession, and again Payne jumped the route near Willow Glen’s 47-yard line as Warren was trying to connect with Carlos Chavez.
Willow Glen would turn the ball over one time in the fourth quarter. Warren was falling back looking for a receiver. As he pulled his arm back to throw, the ball slipped out of his hands. The Acorn defense fell on the ball on their own 45-yard line.
“We got a couple of turn overs in the second half that helped changed the game. We could have played better in the first half but they did a better job in the second half,” coach Gemo said.
Live Oak scored 21 points off the five turn overs the Rams had in the night.
Singleton was 14/31, 392 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. Only four of his passes were less than 10 yards.
His first complete pass was to Jacob Ryder near the 30-yard line. Ryder broke two tackles in the middle of the field and out ran the rest of the defense to tie the game at 7 on a 85-yard play.
Singleton later connected with Alex Cornejo on a 50-yard play. This time, Cornejo found himself wide open past all the defense. It looked like the defense was expecting a run-play but when they saw the ball in the air and Cornejo all alone, they were too far to do anything about it.
Garret Cardona joined the fun by running two of his three catches for touchdowns. The first was in the second quarter when he caught the ball around the Rams’ 45-yard line and ran around two defenders to get to the end zone for the 54-yard play. His second was in the fourth quarter when he outran the defense on his 40-yard touchdown reception giving the Acorns a 49-28 lead.
Anthony Martinez scored Live Oaks final touchdown on four consecutive carries for 37 yards.
“It’s a big win getting to 8-2 (overall) and looking forward to next week. We expect a tough one next week in the playoffs,” coach Gemo said.

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