The Monterey Peninsula College Lobos built a 27-7 lead and held
on to stop the Gavilan Rams 27-21 in a key Coast Conference clash
on the winners
The Monterey Peninsula College Lobos built a 27-7 lead and held on to stop the Gavilan Rams 27-21 in a key Coast Conference clash on the winners’ turf.
The teams shared first place in the six-team conference heading into play. The Lobos take a 3-0 record into this week’s game against San Jose City, while the Rams, 2-1 in the conference and 5-3 overall, visit Cabrillo.
Gavilan managed a 411-300 edge in total offense, but big plays earned the win for the Lobos.
A frustrated Gavilan coach John Lango could only note that “we made mistakes in the first half that just killed us.”
Defensive stalwart Janall Arthur pointed to the “big-play factor” in the loss.
“We’d hold them until third down and then they’d make a big play,” said the sophomore linebacker. “Mental mistakes killed us.”
MPC quarterback Dustin Long, the most proficient passer in the state entering play, responded to the challenge offered by Gavilan’s state-leading defense to connect on 12 of 26 attempts for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
Gavilan’s running attack came up with 187 yards, including 141 from defending conference Offensive Player of the Year El Ray Henry. The tailback has passed the 100-yard mark 11 times, tying Greg Goularte for second place in the Gavilan 42-year-old record book and trailing only Alonzo Washington’s 18 times.
“The real key is to stop Gavilan’s run game to some extent,” said Lobo coach Mike Rasmussen. “Overall, we did a pretty good job. We got conservative and ran the clock in the second half. That’s okay, whatever it takes.”
Long only threw three times in the second half, although his one completion was an 83-yard scoring bomb to wideout Clarence Love for a 27-7 lead with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
Gavilan came up with two touchdowns in the final 4:45 of play to close to within six points. The Rams were able to get the ball back with six seconds left but could not get off a final pass from the Ram 27 as time expired.
Gavilan quarterback Will Kilday covered 104 yards in a 10-for-21 showing including three interceptions. When the redshirt freshman threw wildly on a fourth-and-two swing pass with 7:48 left in the third quarter and trailing 20-7, Lango pulled Kilday for Rhett Van De Mark for the remainder of the game. On Gav’s final possession, Van De Mark led the Rams 80 yards to a final score, hitting Live Oak grad Steven Conner for the seven-yard touchdown with 1:45 left to make it 27-21.