VISALIA – The 2-0 Gavilan Rams will have a 24th ranking in
California but will not have running back El Ray Henry available in
tonight’s 7 p.m. clash with the host College of Sequoias
VISALIA – The 2-0 Gavilan Rams will have a 24th ranking in California but will not have running back El Ray Henry available in tonight’s 7 p.m. clash with the host College of Sequoias Giants.
Coach John Lango will keep Henry, the returning Offensive Player of the Year in the Coast Conference, on the sideline to rest a knee injury. Henry is expected to return to the line-up next week against Diablo Valley. Defensive lineman Leonard Pinon will miss a second consecutive game due to injury.
The Giants defeated the Rams 6-3 last year and are “a little better team” this year, according to COS head coach Roger Kelley. While Gavilan is tabbed 10th among Northern California squads, the Giants trail at 14 after a 1-1 start.
The Rams are first among the state’s teams in total defense, allowing just 85.5 yards per game (and seven total first downs allowed). Mount San Antonio is second defensively with a 147.0 mark.
“COS is big and fast, like West Valley with more speed,” analyzed Lango of the match-up.
“They spread it out on offense. If we play good defense, we can keep in the game. We’ll need good punting to play the field position game.”
Kelley lauded the play of offensive sparkplugs De Monte Johnson, quarterback, and David Robinson, running back.
“De Monte’s a 6-2, 210-pound prototype quarterback with good wheels. David’s a little guy, a slasher.”
Johnson has thrown for three touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards in a 57-18 win over San Jose City and a 28-14 loss to San Mateo. Robinson has covered 166 yards.
Kelley, in his 16th campaign leading the Giants, tabbed linebackers Chris Maloney and Daris Glenn has leaders of the defense.
“Gavilan has a very good defense,” said Kelley. “John Lango and his staff have done a heckuva job this year.”
Lango expects to use Daniel Salinas and Melvin Bryant in place of Henry. Quarterback Will Kilday has had games of 126 and 260 yards, keying on wide-outs Guy Blightman and Shane Butcher for the bulk of the aerial yardage.
“This is a real good test for us,” said Lango. “The team may have played down to the level of play of Marin last week, but I’m confident we can respond with better play against COS.”