One week after every other California Community College football
team began play, the Gavilan Rams will begin the 2009 season with a
visit to the American River College Beavers on Saturday
GILROY — One week after every other California Community College football team began play, the Gavilan Rams will begin the 2009 season with a visit to the American River College Beavers on Saturday.
“We were the only team with a bye,” said head coach John Lango, who is entering his 10th season at the helm for the Rams.
Gavilan needed to make a change in its pre-Coast Conference schedule when College of Marin dropped its football program. Rather than open the year against Marin, the Rams added a second game against conference foe San Jose City College on Sept. 26, previously an open date.
“Every other team has gone through their first-game jitters and mistakes,” Lango said. “We have enough experience on both units so that we should be able to start off well.”
American River, a 21-14 winner over Gavilan last year at Garcia-Elder Sports Complex, eased past host Solano College 42-7 last Saturday.
“We have improved in several positions and that showed last week,” Beaver head coach Jerry Haflich said.
Keying the American River attack was sophomore Jeared Garvard. A veteran of six starts last season, Garvard threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 16-for-21 effort.
Leading the Beaver rushing portion of the club’s spread offense are Carey Johnson (six carries for 127 yards) and Michael Dutra (two touchdowns). The team’s top receiver against Solano was Taylor Williamson with six grabs, including one touchdown.
Haflich, who was a teammate of Lango’s at Sacramento State, noted that a Beaver victory on Saturday may hinge upon “playing a game similar to last year against Gavilan – being consistent and not turning the ball over.”
“We had nine sacks last year and we hope to continue that Saturday,” Haflich added.
“We are very solid in three spots on offense,” said Lango, pointing to the line, running backs and wide-outs. “We’re looking to see better play from our quarterbacks.”
Mike Incardona will get the start behind center, with co-sophomore Matt Edwards expected to receive playing time.
“Our strength on defense should be the secondary with four sophomores starting. Our linebackers are all freshmen. Two sophomores are included in the defensive line.”
Haflich lauded the play of Beaver safety Cullen Newsome (six tackles at Solano) and ends Dane Amacher and Harrison Wilsley, who combined for three sacks, in stopping Solano’s offense.
“I like our schedule,” concluded Lango. “Every week will be a challenge. There will be no easy opponents. Ten weeks, ten battles.”
Gavilan’s first battle kicks off at 1 p.m.