– A 71-14 loss to the De Anza Dons Saturday night at
Garcia-Elder Sports Complex left the Gavilan Rams disappointed in
the result yet eager to correct mistakes and accept the challenge
of a Sept. 17 road game with the Merced College Blue Devils.
A 71-14 loss to the De Anza Dons Saturday night at Garcia-Elder Sports Complex left the Gavilan Rams disappointed in the result yet eager to correct mistakes and accept the challenge of a Sept. 17 road game with the Merced College Blue Devils.
Coach Dan Atencio’s Dons struck for 10 touchdowns while using three quarterbacks and 10 different running backs against the Rams. The 71 points broke the school record for points given up in the 49 years of Ram football. The previous high was the 65-0 win by Sierra College in 2003. Gavilan defeated UC Berkeley’s junior varsity team 68-0 in 1974 for the previous high score in a Gavilan game.
“They played hard, showed some discipline and put a lot of pressure on us, especially our quarterbacks,” said Atencio, Gavilan’s head coach in 1998-9.
Although the Dons started Joshua McCain at quarterback, Gilroy High graduate Nick Marra played two quarters and threw for 149 yards (6-of-8) and four touchdowns. Marra, a freshman, also ran one yard for a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half.
“Marra showed a lot of good leadership,” Atencio said.
One bright spot for Gavilan was wide-out James Broughton, a freshman out of Irvington. The 5-8 speedster began to make waves in the first half with kick-off returns of 30 and 40 yards. By the end of the third quarter, Broughton scored both Gavilan touchdowns.
Gavilan did not register a first down until halfback Jakari Johnson took a pitch from quarterback Nate Ellis and bolted eight yards around left end for eight yards and a first down with 7:05 left in the first half. On the next Ram series, Johnson took a handoff, then stopped and pitched a 30-yard pass to Broughton behind the Don secondary. Broughton broke clear of the corner and raced untouched to the endzone to complete the 52-yard pass play. Anthony Velasquez added the point-after kick to leave the Rams down 27-7.
De Anza quickly regained the momentum when Marra found Joshua McCain behind the Gavilan defense for a 65-yard scoring pass on the first play from scrimmage.
The Rams scored another touchdown on the first series of the second half.
Omar Kharroob was sent in at quarterback in place of Ellis by Gavilan coach Spencer Gilford to begin the third quarter. After two incomplete tosses and a two-yard rush, Kharroob converted the fourth-and-eight play by threading a hard pass past one defender to Broughton at the 10 yard stripe. Broughton’s one-handed catch accounted for the home team’s second six-pointer when the wide-out darted to the end zone past a final defender.
De Anza finished with 584 yards of total offense, netting 285 yards on the ground and 299 through the air. Gavilan had to settle for 122 yards of total offense, the 150 yards through the air added to the negative 28 yards on the ground.
“We kept fighting, played hard to the end,” said Coach Spencer Gilford. Gavilan took advantage of a De Anza turnover in the closing minutes to reach the Don two-yard line in the final 20 seconds.
“Our kicking game looks promising,” Gilford added. “We do need to correct our mental mistakes.”
De Anza, the 2009 Coast Conference champion before adding a Golden Gate Conference title in 2010, scored on its first play of the game, a 50-yard pass from McCain to Roy Abousamra with 12:27 left in the first quarter. De Anza, on the way to an 18-2 edge in first downs in the first half, added a two-yard run to paydirt by Calvin Mafeleo with 7:23 left in the quarter for a 14-0 cushion. Marra’s first TD pass, with 13:01 left in the half, was 24 yards to an open Glyn Borel. Marra found Niko Evaristo open for a 10yard TD with 7:47 left in the half.
McCain threw 42 yards to Abousamra for a TD to give De Anza a 48-14 lead with 11:41 left in the third quarter. Richard Ramirez turned an interception of a Kharroob pass into a 48-yard TD return with 11:15 to go. Marra’s final TD pass went 10 yards to Evaristo with 8:43 left in the third for a 62-14 lead.
Third-team quarterback Derrick Renteria threw a 12-yard TD to Brian Maldonado in the fourth quarter.
Broughton and Nate Shelton each managed threw pass receptions for the hosts.