FOOTBALL: Gavilan travels to Hartnell in conference action

 

Hartnell College brings a 2-1 Coast Conference record into
Saturday’s 6 p.m. tilt at Salinas High Stadium against winless
Gavilan College.
Hartnell College brings a 2-1 Coast Conference record into Saturday’s 6 p.m. tilt at Salinas High Stadium against winless Gavilan College.

The Panthers shook off a 14-3 deficit in the first quarter in last year’s matchup in Gilroy, rallying to a 41-20 victory.

Gavilan coach John Lango sports a 4-6 mark against Hartnell since he became the Rams’ head coach in 2000.

“We’ll have to be mistake-free,” he said before talking about last week’s 35-27 loss to Monterey Peninsula College. “We did some great things last weekend, but there were mistakes in the second quarter that cost us the football game.”

“Hartnell’s become more balanced,” Lango continued. “Before, Hartnell really threw the ball around. Rickey Rockwell is a big (6-foot-1, 224 pounds) running back who really pounds out yardage for them.”

When the Panthers do go to the air, coach Matt Collins has utilized both Brad Smet (67-for-133, 785 yards and seven touchdowns) and Austin Fales (71-for-105, 750 and six).

“We’re concerned about getting better each game,” Collins said. “We didn’t play a good first half last week (56-21 win over West Valley).

“Gavilan has some talented athletes at the perimeter.”

Rockwell has carried the ball 87 times for 461 yards and three touchdowns this season. He has also caught 28 passes for 216 yards and two scores.

“Rockwell’s more of a power back, while (Alvin) Jenks (108 carries for 575 yards and eight TDs) is more of a smooth, gliding runner,” Collins said.

While the Rams have middle linebacker Chris Archuleta keying their defense, Hartnell’s defense is paced by Kiero Small (5-foot-9, 260 pounds).

Gavilan, 0-3 in conference and 0-8 overall, concludes the season Nov. 13 at home against Cabrillo College.

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