It would have been easy for College of the Sequoias to overlook
Gavilan in their junior college football game Saturday with Valley
Conference titan Reedley College looming on the horizon, except for
Visalia – It would have been easy for College of the Sequoias to overlook Gavilan in their junior college football game Saturday with Valley Conference titan Reedley College looming on the horizon, except for one factor.
Call it the Hartnell College factor. One year ago, the Giants were sailing along 4-0 and the Panthers were 0-4. Hartnell upended COS 66-60. Fast forward to this year. Gavilan was coming off a 28-20 win over the Panthers.
Thus, coach Curtis Allen had no trouble getting his players’ attention about the need to not overlook the Rams. There was no letdown or looking ahead for the Giants, whose swarming defense stopped Gavilan in its tracks and paved the way to a 35-0 win in Visalia.
College of the Sequoias (4-1) passing made the offense go as quarterback Andre Sloan El completed 28 of 40 passes for 379 yards. The Giants racked up 493 yards of total offense and had 27 first downs.
“We had opportunities early in the game to make things happen,” Gavilan coach John Lango said. “College of the Sequoias hurt itself early and we tried to take advantage.”
In fact, Lango believed so much that the Rams (1-5) could compete with the Giants that he actually took points off the board.
It was in the second quarter and COS was ahead 14-0 when Gavilan put together a drive that was capped by an Erik Cifuentes’ 31-yard field goal. However, a personal foul gave the Rams a first-and-goal at the 7, and Lango opted to try for a touchdown. An interception ended that opportunity.
Gavilan had two chances in the red zone in which it came up empty. Meanwhile, Sloan El hooked up with A.J. Jackson for a 13-yard touchdown pass, and Daniel Dufrene scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 6-yard run on the last play of the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.
“It could have been 14-7 or even tied at halftime if we had been able to take advantage of opportunities,” Lango said.
The second half was all COS. The Giants took the second-half kickoff and drove 66 yards in eight plays with Sloan El connecting with Dufrene for a 28-yard touchdown play. Abner Brown and Michael Benson also caught second-half touchdown passes for COS.
Gavilan was again short on bodies, playing without injured running backs Matt Perkins and Justin Sweeney. Quarterback Will Kilday was harassed all game by the swarming COS defense and completed just 6 of 32 passes. The Rams had 139 yards of total offense.
Merced – Gavilan continues to do an excellent job of digging the volleyball.
The only problem is the Rams (4-8) keep digging themselves a hole by dropping the first two games of their best-of-five matches and find themselves playing from behind.
The situation was exacerbated Saturday because the Rams had just seven players who made the trip to the Merced College Tournament. Thus, Gavilan dropped four-game matches to American River and Diablo Valley.
“I am happy for the most part, but that’s three matches in a row where we have lost the first two games, won the third, and did play well for half the fourth game,” Gavilan coach Stephanie Pascucci said.
American River defeated the Rams 30-19, 31-29, 18-30, 30-22 in the tourney opener. Barbie Csore had 13 kills, Jenny Fowles had eight kills and Malie Ka’anapu had eight kills and 40 assists for Gavilan. The Rams had 108 digs as a team with Heather Harms getting 22 and Fowles 21.
Diablo Valley got past Gavilan 30-27, 30-26, 21-30, 30-27. Csore had 19 kills, and Harms and Silveira had eight kills apiece. Janet Unciano had seven kills and 19 digs, Fowles had 19 digs and Ka’anapu had 50 assists.
“That’s a match we should have won,” Pascucci said. “I expect more and want more from the team. We could and should have a few more wins. But when I sit back and think about it, I am happy with the effort and what we’re doing.”