good times local news media events catalyst santa cruz california metro silicon valley news local events san jose weekly pajaronian watsonville local newspaper, news events pajaro valley california gilroy dispatch local news events garlic festival santa cruz media events local california weekly king city rustler newspaper media local events car sales buy new car media
54.7 F
Morgan Hill
English English Spanish Spanish
March 26, 2023

Stormers sack Fury

– The character of the Central Coast Barnstormers’ was seriously
tested Saturday afternoon as the local semi-pro team fell behind by
a touchdown to close out the first half against the visiting
Capital City Fury.
GILROY – The character of the Central Coast Barnstormers’ was seriously tested Saturday afternoon as the local semi-pro team fell behind by a touchdown to close out the first half against the visiting Capital City Fury.

One week ago, the Barnstormers watched their 14-point, fourth-quarter lead slip away in a matter of seconds – putting an end to their season-long, seven-game winning streak in a 31-30 home loss to the South Bay Buccaneers.

So after the Fury scored on a nine-yard TD pass with nine ticks left in the half, the Barnstormers’ psyche – that they spent all week nurturing back – was put to the challenge. They could fold up and keep their heads down, or they could rise above the first-half letdown and come out gunning in the second half.

The Stormers chose the latter – scoring two straight touchdowns to jump out to a 14-7 advantage with 3:18 left in the third quarter. But the undefeated Fury fired right back – recovering a fumble and running it back for touchdown and then stealing the lead on a 59-yard bomb.

Once again, the Stormers dug deep inside and, with quarterback Brian Smith leading the charge, mounted a game-winning 76-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a one-yard quarterback sneak. Then the stingy Central Coast defense barred down and preserved the locals’ slim 20-19 comeback victory.

“It makes up for everything. To go so far down one week and come back up the next week shows a lot about this team. We fought hard,” said Smith, who had a hand in all three Stormer TDs. “It shows what kind of team we have. We played hard. We didn’t get down. We never quit.”

Smith, called ‘Smittee’ by his teammates and coaches, would not let them get down – throwing words of encouragement their way whenever he got the chance on the field and from the sidelines at South Valley Junior High School.

“Not this go around,” said Smith, who made sure this victory was secured before any celebration. “Last week we were up by two with four minutes left (and blew it) so we kept our focus this time until the last second.”

On their opening drive of the second half, the Stormers mixed up the run and pass – moving methodically down the field from their own 29-yard line. Following a short run by power back Tommy Jimenez, Smith hooked up with slippery receiver Arvin Sylvestre on back-to-back pass plays of five and 24 yards. A 15-yard personal foul on Capital City moved the ball inside the 30-yard line.

Jimenez then barreled his way to a first down as the Stormers fooled the Fury defense with a delayed draw for nine yards up the middle on a third-and-eight situation. Smith found Sylvestre again for a seven-yard completion and Jimenez pounded up for two yards. On third-and-short, Smith got the first on a quarterback sneak.

After being stuffed on an inside run, Smith found his tight end Siskokid in the end zone for the Stormers’ first TD. The score remained 6-7 though, as the extra point went wrong and the Fury stopped the two-point attempt.

The Stormers’ defense forced a quick three-and-out – highlighted by Jeff Hewitt’s quarterback sack for a 10-yard loss – and the Central Coast offense was back on the field in a flash.

Starting from their own 31-yard line, the Barnstormers mounted another successful drive with Smith connecting on two big gains to wide-out Jimmy Williams for 11 yards and to receiver David Gittens for 24 yards to get things moving up field. Then Smith continued with the hot touch – finding T.J. Tungs for a 12-yard touchdown on a third-and-seven play.

But after the Stormers’ defense forced another Fury punt, Jimenez fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and Capital City ran it back for a touchdown. The Stormers remained in the lead 14-13 after the Fury failed on a two-point attempt from the 18-yard line due to an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction.

The Fury opened the fourth quarter in knockout fashion – going deep for a 59-yard TD and a 19-14 advantage after another failed two-point attempt.

With their backs against the wall, the Stormers went back to work on their ensuing drive from the 24-yard line. The Stormers kept the Fury defense guessing with a steady mix of run and pass – including tough ground yardage from Jimenez and Sylvestre.

An 18-yard draw play by Jimenez then put the Stormers inside the five-yard line and Smith fell into the end zone on a quarterback sneak from one yard out. On the two-point attempt, Smith threw the ball away to leave the lead at 20-19.

The Stormers defense refused to give in – shutting out the Fury for the final 7:12 to secure the well-deserved victory. The Fury did try a field goal fro 40 yards out, but it fell short.

“It’s a great team win,” said Smith before he ran over to join his teammates in their post-game celebration. “This puts us in first place in our league.”

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

Please leave a comment


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here