Gavilan gridmen hope Saturday’s a hit vs. Co. of Sequoias

GILROY
– What a week to look at the Giants as the Bad Guys.
The College of Sequoias, nicknamed the Giants, visit Gilroy’s
Mustang Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m. to close out the Gavilan College
Rams’ six-game pre-Coast Conference schedule.
GILROY – What a week to look at the Giants as the Bad Guys.

The College of Sequoias, nicknamed the Giants, visit Gilroy’s Mustang Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m. to close out the Gavilan College Rams’ six-game pre-Coast Conference schedule.

While the Rams have been hit and miss while fashioning a 2-3 record, the Giants carry a 3-1 record into the game.

Third-year coach John Lango may have been able to forecast the 2-3 mark halfway through a 10-game campaign. The Rams secured wins over beatable Marin and Mendocino, while providing little competition against upper-level teams from Merced, Sierra and San Mateo.

College of Sequoias, based in Visalia, is seen as a team in the middle, not an overpowering team, yet not an outmanned team unable to match up with the Gavilan club.

“Seqouias is right in the middle” among the pre-conference opponents, said Lango. “We think we should win the football game. It won’t be easy, by any means, but we match up with them in many ways and we have some things we can do on offense that might hurt them.”

Lango describes the Giants as “a running team. Seqouias has more speed at running back than us, but we’ve improved each week against the run because of our speed on defense.”

Roger Kelly is in his 14th season as the Sequoias head coach. The Giants have played the Rams several times, though not last season. “They’ve always played tough when we’ve played them,” Kelly said. “Gavilan’s defense really runs to the ball well. We can’t afford to make many mistakes or turn the ball over to them.”

Paul Ferreira, the Giants’ starting quarterback, has thrown for 488 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions, producing a 158.1 rating. No Coast Conference passer is within 19 points as Ferreira’s rating, while Gavilan’s duo of Russell Schafer and Ajene Palmer each boast a rating in the mid-90’s.

Kelly noted that running back Joe Houk has been a consistent runner through the first four games, covering 489 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, linebackers Cedric Taylor and Wade Brown anchor the Giants.

“We were playing really well until we ran into a buzzsaw,” Kelly said of the Giants’ setback to Delta 62-30 last weekend. “We need to get back on track.”

Gavilan’s chance at a third victory centers on the Rams offense. “We know what we want out of the passing game, but we have to perfect it,” said Lango. “The whole goal of these non-conference games is to iron out these problems.”

The Rams should be at near-full strength. While running back Danny Gallo is sidelined with an ankle injury, defensive linemen Brock Prather and Jason Broussard should be available. Running back Steven Salcedo may be ready by Saturday night.

“Sequoias has 53 players on the roster, just like we do,” Lango said. “They have a lot of local guys, similar to us. That’s why it’s a decent match-up.”

The Rams are still geared toward a post-season bowl berth, although either a 7-3 or 6-4 record is a necessity. A victory over Sequoias and a share of the Coast Conference title would be a strong resume to send to Bowl committees in December.

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