The Central Coast Barnstormers (5-1) bounced back from their
first loss of the season and notched their fifth win last Saturday,
defeating the California Rhinos 35-21 in Hayward.
By Zach Hewett
The Central Coast Barnstormers (5-1) bounced back from their first loss of the season and notched their fifth win last Saturday, defeating the California Rhinos 35-21 in Hayward.
The Barnstormers, strapped with a banged up and injury depleted roster, persevered in a game that was closer than some players felt it should have been.
The Barnstormers, playing without starters or key backups at several different positions, received clutch performances when needed most.
Receiver Chad Iacovetta scored his first and second touchdowns of the season, helping to keep the Barnstormers ahead of the Rhinos (1-5) each time. Sean Hale paced the Barnstormers with five carries for 28 yards and five catches for 65, including a critical 21-yard carry that allowed the Barnstormers to run out the clock and end the game.
Defensively, Brandon Lattimore rose to the occasion at outside linebacker, tallying five-and-half tackles and a forced fumble after being inserted into the lineup due to an injury to Lance Goularte.
Korey Gray continued to terrorize opposing quarterbacks, sacking the Rhinos’ quarterbacks three times to bring his season total to 11 1/2, just a half-sack shy of the NCFL lead.
Adrian Melendez added a sack and a pass deflection, while Melendez’ former Gilroy High teammate Jorge Rivera contributed a 25-yard fumble recovery return.
The Barnstormers continue their season against the Golden Gate Giants in San Francisco this Saturday at 1 p.m.