Rams Leads Early; Falter Late

Gavilan’s Garrett Burgess makes a cut to get around the defense

Gavilan’s Homecoming dampened as Rams blow early lead; lose
Gilroy – The Gavilan Rams rushed to a 21-7 lead before dropping a 42-35 Coast Conference football tilt to the visiting Monterey Peninsula College Lobos at the Garcia-Elder Complex Saturday night.

Coach John Lango’s Rams trailed 42-28 after three quarters against the defending conference champion. Gavilan defensive back Xavier Ceballos returned his second interception of the game 52 yards to paydirt with 9:45 left in the game to slice the deficit to seven points. The Rams were unable to enter Lobo territory in the closing minutes.

The Rams will carry a 1-2 conference mark, 2-6 overall, into Saturday’s final home contest at 7pm against the Cabrillo Seahawks.

Melvin Bryant came up with two scoring runs, Garrett Bryant one as the Ram offense played even with the Lobos. Monterey Peninsula countered with three rushing TDs from Michael Williamson and three TD tosses from Korey Hendrix to Bryan Dougherty.

Lango went with Matt Virus at quarterback for the entire game. Virus responded with a 12-of-25 showing for 111 yards, one touchdown pass and three interceptions. Tony Castaneda was 5-for-5 in extra-point tries for the Rams.

Gavilan needed only two plays to take a 7-0 lead.

Burgess bounded through right tackle and jetted 78 yards to a touchdown with 12:15 left in the first quarter.

The Lobos pulled even on a one yard Williamson run with 6:58 showing. A Lobo punt try was blocked on the next series for the visitors, leading to a Bryant six-yard TD rush with 2:10 left.

Bryant bulled over from the two for a 21-7 edge with 9:36 left in the half. Monterey needed 18 seconds to make it 21-14, combining a 54-yard kick-off return and a 37-yard TD toss from Hendrix to Dougherty.

Gavilan appeared ready to take control of the game at 28-14 when Virus found Shane Butcher for a seven-yard scoring strike with 2:01 remaining in the half. Instead, Monterey Peninsula scored two touchdowns before the intermission. Hendrix made it 28-20 with a TD pass with 50 seconds to play. The Lobos pounced on a muffed squib kick at the Ram 48. Hendrix rewarded the special teams play by converting a one-yard TD toss to Dougherty with five seconds left. Hendrix passed to Anthony Dabi for the tying two-pointer.