Defense dominates

GHS receiver Jorden Newton gets tossed after one of his five

– The shutout is what they wanted.
The shutout is what they got.
Salinas – The shutout is what they wanted.

The shutout is what they got.

In Friday’s 41-0 blowout of North Salinas at the Salinas Sports Complex, the Gilroy High defense absolutely dominated for its second shutout of the season.

“We set a goal before the season for two goose eggs,” GHS defensive coordinator Greg Garcia said. “We came close against Watsonville and almost had it against North County.

“They came through tonight. That’s the first thing I congratulated them on afterward.”

The offense wasn’t bad, either.

A week after rushing for 301 yards on the same muddy field, tailback Justin Sweeney opened the game with a 76-yard breeze to the end zone. The junior wasn’t touched on the draw play.

TCAL’s leading rusher ended up with 115 yards on just nine carries. He didn’t even need to play in the second half – the team played that well in the first.

On three of the next four possessions, senior quarterback Peter Mickartz threw for touchdown passes. The first was a 22-yarder to tight end Jared Gamm.

After Gamm blocked a punt deep in Viking territoy, Mickartz found wideout Jorden Newton for a 15-yard score. A few plays into the next drive, he found him again – this time from 47 yards out.

“We knew we could throw the ball on them,” said Mickartz, who finished 8-of-13 passing for 160 yards and three TD passes. “Jorden and I play pitch and catch every day at practice for like an hour.

“It was kind of like a typical pitch and catch today. It was a lot of fun.”

By the time Mickartz ran in a score late in the first half, it was already 34-0 Gilroy. Z-back Shea Lemos added a score in the fourth quarter to pad the lead for the ‘Stangs (7-1/2-1 TCAL), who avenged last season’s 42-14 loss to the Vikings.

“We just wanted to put them away, get the win and get out of here,” Newton said. “We didn’t need to play around.”

The Mustangs’ defense certainly wasn’t playing around.

“We came out to dominate,” defensive tackle Rico Loza said.

And dominate they did.

In the first half alone, the Gilroy defenders produced five sacks. Loza, cornerback Titus Karvon and Armando Franco each had one. And defensive end Kevin Collins shared a pair – one with Loza, the other with linebacker Taylor Micali.

“That was a lot of fun out there,” said junior defensive end Andrew Ojeda, making just his second start of the year. “It seemed like we were in the backfield all night. We just took care of business.”

Just how good was the defense?

At halftime, North Salinas (1-7/0-3 TCAL) stood at minus-11 yards total offense, compared to 277 for the Mustangs. The Vikings, an 11-yard drive being their longest, churned out two first downs in the opening half.

In the second, they managed 89 yards on the Gilroy reserves, adding up to a grand total of 78 yards of offense.

“We brought a lot of heat today,” Garcia said. “We put in some new coverages with more blitzes. So we brought everybody. We brought the house.”

And for the second straight week from the Sports Complex, the Mustangs brought home the win.