The Gavilan Rams played turnover-free football for the first
time this season and shocked the Cabrillo Seahawks 19-16 in Coast
Conference play Saturday night at the Garcia-Elder Sports
The Gavilan Rams played turnover-free football for the first time this season and shocked the Cabrillo Seahawks 19-16 in Coast Conference play Saturday night at the Garcia-Elder Sports Complex.
Coach John Lango’s Rams (2-2, 3-6) rallied in the fourth quarter to send the Seahawks to a second consecutive conference loss, ending coach Steve Cox’ chance at a share of the conference crown and a bowl bid for Cabrillo.
Reserve quarterback Matt Leal found a streaking Shane Butcher in a seam route that turned into a 74-yard Gavilan touchdown play in the fourth quarter. Tony Castaneda’s point-after kick gave Gavilan the 19-16 lead. Stand-out cornerback Xavier Ceballos sealed the win with an interception in the final 50 seconds of play.
“We’ve started to come together, have good practices, avoid really stupid penalties and turnovers,” said Lango of the Rams’ second conference win. The Rams did not turn the ball over through either fumble or interception. Gavilan visits San Jose City College Saturday night to end the season against the 0-9 Jaguars.
“We tried to play very physical right away,” said Lango of the showing against the Seahawks. “We rotated defensive linemen, needing all four to play well against Cabrillo’s offense.”
Gavilan’s top lineman, Louis Jones, provided a scoring touch by returning an interception 40 yards to paydirt with 1:31 left in the third quarter for a 12-10 Ram lead.
“Defensive end Calvin Ressler made that play happen,” said Lango. “He hit the quarterback at the right time and the ball went right to Louis.”
Cabrillo retaliated with an 69-yard march to a go-ahead touchdown with 6:17 left in the contest.
Andre Avila, subbing at quarterback against the Rams after the starter was injured in a loss last weekend, threaded a 16-yard TD pass to Eric Brown for a 16-12 lead for the visitors. Brown accounted for the bulk of the aerial activity, pulling in 10 passes for 173 yards.
Cabrillo lost the lead within two minutes. Two runs on the ensuing Gavilan series lost two yards to the Ram 26. Leal and Butcher combined for the game-winner with 4:34 left.
The teams combined for nine points in the game’s first half. Gavilan’s Korey Gray pounced on a Cabrillo fumble at the Hawk 44 midway through the first quarter. After Melvin Bryant jetted 40 yards to the four, Matt Virus made it 6-0 with a four-yard pitch into the endzone to Butcher with 4:36 left in the quarter. Castaneda’s PAT try was blocked.
Kyle Milburn booted a 37-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the first quarter.
Avila converted a fourth-and-18 situation at the Ram 30 by connecting with Brown for 27 yards in the third quarter. Milo Ward covered the final yard as Cabrillo took a 10-6 lead.
Gavilan finished with 241 yards total offense, 130 on the ground and 111 through the air. Virus was 5-for-18, Leal 1-for-2. Bryant went for 69 yards in 11 carries, Garrett Burgess 20-for-57.