Sobrato’s defense was nearly perfect Saturday, holding San Jose

Sobrato nearly perfect in 27-6 victory over San Jose
MORGAN HILL — To understand the change in culture for Sobrato football, consider the team’s reaction to this weekend’s 27-6 romp over San Jose.

There is an old adage in college football that says you don’t have to be the best team to win the national championship. You just have to be the best team on Saturday. The same can be said for any team hoping to win the West Valley Division title. Sobrato certainly was the better team Saturday at Richert Field, and, though the score might have charmed the 2008 squad that won two games, this year’s Bulldogs (4-1 overall, 2-0 league) were less than satisfied.

It will take stronger play to be the best team in the West Valley each week.

“The way we worked in the offseason, we expected to be in a good position to have a chance of winning a league title,” Sobrato coach Nick Borello said Sunday. “We had two pretty big emotional games in a row [wins over rival Live Oak and Silver Creek], so we went into the San Jose game a little toned down. We have to come back next week for Mount Pleasant. We can’t let up.”

If not for a late touchdown surrendered in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, the Sobrato Bulldogs would have had their first shutout victory to celebrate along with homecoming. Not that there’s been little to commemorate this fall; Sobrato’s best start in program history is only getting better.

“They have adapted well to their new surroundings,” defensive backs coach Albert King said. “They’ve gone from being the hunter to the hunted. We have a target on our backs now. We’re the team to beat.”

That has the Bulldogs on edge for any opponent, whether its Mount Pleasant — also 2-0 in league — or struggling San Jose (0-4, 0-2).

“We approach every game the same. We try not to change anything,” senior defensive tackle/center Joel Rueda said Monday. “We know every team is going to have some good athletes. We just need to play to our level every game; play like we know we can.”

A semistellar effort was more than enough Saturday. Senior fullback Ralph Jackson scored two touchdowns in the first quarter to help propel Sobrato to a 21-0 halftime lead. He turned a screen pass from senior Patrick Bacciarelli into a 35-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, then crashed into the end zone from a yard out. Wide receiver Joe Snyder scored on a 15-yard slant pass from Bacciarelli in the second quarter.

“The offense worked well; not as well as we could have, but it was good enough to win,” Borello said, alluding to his team’s two turnovers. “We handled some things we knew they were going to do. San Jose put up a decent fight. Their defense went after us. They knew it was our homecoming game and we were excited.”

Following a scoreless third quarter, sophomore back-up QB Jerry Jacob threw his first varsity touchdown pass to Chris Bradley — good for 25 yards. Borello has tabbed Jacob as Sobrato’s quarterback of the future.

“It was good to get him in there. He looked sharp,” Borello said. “We’re in pretty good shape moving forward.”

Winners of three straight, the Bulldogs host Mount Pleasant at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

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