Last Hurrah

The Mustangs Justin Sweeney (1) makes a spectacular catch for a

Gilroy Looks Ahead to Live Oak; Acorns Coming Off Big Win as
Well
Hollister – In Live Oak/Gilroy showdowns, rivalry bragging rights are always at stake.

But after a crazy week of football, the playoffs will also be on the line this Thursday.

“We’re feeling we have to win the game to get in the playoffs and that’s what we’re striving for,” said Live Oak football head coach Rick Booth.

Both Live Oak (4-5, 2-2) and Gilroy (5-4, 2-2) pulled off upsets Friday night, which tightened the TCAL playoff race. The Acorns defeated San Benito at home while the Mustangs spoiled Salinas’ Homecoming at The Pit. Now Gilroy and Live Oak are in a four-way tie for second place in the league and both teams are in must-win situations for the playoffs.

And, there’s a little bit of history on the line.

With Live Oak moving to the Blossom Valley Athletic League (BVAL) next season and Gilroy staying in the TCAL, this is the last time the Mustangs and the Acorns will face each other as league arch rivals on the gridiron.

Against San Benito, Live Oak stopped Hollister by forcing the ‘Balers into a passing game. Finishing every play was also a factor.

“Finish every block, every tackle. Just finish,” Booth said. “And the kids worked hard.”

The question this week is, how do you stop Justin Sweeney?

As a junior last year, Sweeney burned the Acorns for three touchdowns. Though Live Oak won that game in Gilroy 28-21, Booth remembers how dangerous the tailback can be.

“The first play (last year) he caught a little hitch pass and ran 60 yards for a touchdown,” Booth recalled. “I don’t think you can ever stop him, but you can try to slow him down.”

Gilroy will likely focus on slowing Live Oak’s own running force Dustin Muhn, who

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