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Morgan Hill
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September 26, 2023

Rams try to keep door open without Shutts

Gavilan looks for second win against Sierra College
The Gavilan Rams will be without all-Coast Conference free safety Cameron Shutts for the remainder of the season, head coach John Lango announced Tuesday.

The Rams, preparing to face 15th-ranked Sierra College at Buzz Ostrom Field on the Rocklin campus Saturday at 1 p.m., will likely have strong safety T.J. Moore move to free safety.

Lango will look to either sophomore Arnold Rivera or freshman Pablo Soto to handle the strong safety position.

Shutts, one of the two Ram defensive team captains, broke his right arm attempting a tackle on College of Marin quarterback Geary Davenport with 9:51 left in the Gavilan 28-24 loss to the Mariners.

Davenport completed the 18-yard run on a third-and-12 play, and the Mariners scored the winning touchdown two plays later.

Shutts missed the last game of the 2002 season after suffering a broken left leg against Monterey Peninsula College.

Based upon the arm injury happening in the second game of the season, Shutts will likely be red-shirted for the season.

He will have the opportunity to either play one more year at the community college level or have three years of eligibility at a four-year school.

The Gavilan defense, stung by the passing game fashioned by the Marin offense, faces another talented offensive unit in the 2-0 Wolverines.

“We’re about the same team as last year,” said Sierra coach Jeff Tisdel. “We’ll use a spread offense with one back. Our quarterback, J.P. Greco, is back. He’s thrown for seven touchdowns and rushed for two more so far.”

Greco played into the third quarter of Sierra’s 50-10 victory over the Rams last year. The Wolverines bolted to a 40-3 lead by halftime.

“Gavilan’s very improved this year,” offered Tisdel, in his fifth season directing the Sierra program. “They have some exceptional athletes. They’re going to win a lot of football games. Watching them on film, they look like a solid football team. Their team speed is better.”

When Greco is not running or passing the ball, the quarterback can call on sophomore running back Rob Cole (20 carries, 148 yards and one touchdown in two starts) to challenge the Ram defense.

While Sierra is eighth among Northern California ranked teams, Gavilan is within reach of a ranking and an upset of the Wolverines would lift the Rams into the top 20.

Lango, three games into his fourth year as the head coach, made no other announcement with regard to possible line-up changes, deferring any changes to later this week.

“We did a decent job defensively,” said Lango after reviewing films of the Marin game. “We have to move the ball offensively. We had too many three-and-outs.”

Gavilan, with starter Patrick Ames at quarterback, did have three consecutive three-and-outs to open the Marin game. After the Rams’ second defensive touchdown gave Gavilan a 24-21 lead late in the third quarter, Gavilan opened the fourth quarter with three consecutive three-and-outs.

Reserve quarterback Nick Buzzetta, able to add a running threat to that position as a consensus three-year all-Monterey Bay League star at San Benito High, came off the bench to create three first downs on the Rams’ final series in Kentfield.

“We need a good week of practice,” Lango said. “We didn’t have a sense of urgency against Marin. Sierra hasn’t given up any points defensively this year.

That should be enough to give us some sense of urgency.” The Wolverines opened with a 50-2 nod over Diablo Valley, then ran past Siskiyous 41-6.

Gavilan will continue the non-Coast Conference portion of the schedule with home games against Mendocino (2:30 p.m. on Sept. 27) and San Mateo (7 p.m. on Oct. 4).

Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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