Five turnovers cost the Gavilan football team Saturday in its last game before conference play begins in two weeks. The Rams allowed 43 points in the game’s first two quarters on their way to a 56-21 loss to West Hills Coalinga.
West Hills Coalinga took advantage of each turnover. On defense, the Rams were burned by a rushing attack led by Cameron Boyd, who ran for 285 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries. Overall, West Hills ran for 460 yards on the ground.
“I thought that we did not play the way we hoped to have played,” Gavilan head coach Spencer Gilford said. “They had a very good running back and we knew that going in. But we didn’t do a good enough job to slow down their rushing attack which is indicative by the final rushing statistic.”
The Rams also struggled on pass defense, allowing 221 combined yards from three quarterbacks. The Rams did, though, intercept three passes. But they couldn’t take advantage of those opportunities.
“When we had opportunities we didn’t take advantage when we should have,” Gilford said. “They did a good job of playing to their strengths. We left a lot of things on the field.”
West Hills recovered four fumbles and intercepted Gavilan quarterback Omar Kharroub once to pull away. The turnover onslaught allowed West Hills to build a 43-7 halftime lead, despite 328 yards of total offense from the Rams.
“As for us, we don’t take a lot from this game other than our effort needs to be at high level at all times,” Gilford said. “Our focus on the details needs to improve. Overall, that statement goes for the whole team. The focus on the details wasn’t quite where it needed to be. When you play a team that has some very good football players on it, your attention to details has to be the difference.”
When the Rams weren’t turning the ball over, their offense played well. Kharroub struggled with accuracy – completing on 16 of his 42 attempts – but he threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns. Bobby Guyton finished with a team-high 82 yards receiving yards and two touchdowns on three catches for the Rams. Seven Rams hauled in passes on Saturday.
On the ground, Gavilan struggled as leading rusher Edward Bernard ran for 20 yards on 16 carries.
Marcus Harrell also sparked the Rams with a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Overall, though, the team will need to be more prepared to find success during the season, Gilford said.
“Its all in our preparation this week,” he said. “We need to fix the things that need to be fixed and get back to what led to our success. We have to identify that to become a better football team.”
With the exception of the first, each set between the Gavilan College women’s volleyball team and visiting Cabrillo was decided by three or less points. However, the Rams, who held leads in the middle sets, were unable to put the Seahawks on Friday, losing 25-19, 22-25, 24-26, 23-25 in a Coast Conference crossover match.
The Rams were up 15-12 in the second set, 24-23 in the third and 23-19 in the fourth but couldn’t close it.
“We played really good,” said Gavilan coach Kevin Kramer. “I am not disappointed in the way we played. I wish we could have closed it out, but it will make us better next time.”
The balanced Rams were led by Eva Latu (13 kills, 3 aces, 27 digs), Kayce Skocko (15 kills, 2 aces, 18 digs), Tasmin Apple (nine kills, two blocks), Sabina Gerard (40 assists, 19 digs) and Kayondra Hood (40 digs).
Kramer said he is optimistic heading into conference play because of the competition the Rams have faced in previous matches earlier in the season.
“We’ve played some of the top teams in NorCal,” he said. “We’re still young, but we are competing with them. It took awhile to get some of the kids used to the speed of game. But now there is no team left that will surprise anyone. We feel like we have potential to win the conference and be one of best teams in NorCal. We just got to get over the hump.”
Gavilan, finishing up the preseason at 9-7, opens up conference play Oct. 10. at Foothill College, the reigning conference champion.
Anthony Velezquez scored a goal in the final minutes Friday to give the Rams a 2-2 tie against Coast Conference opponent Las Positas College in Livermore.
Velezquez, a second-half substitution, found the net on a cross from Fabian Ruiz behind four defenders.
“We have a lot of respect for that Las Positas team,” said Gavilan coach Justin Johnson. “We had a lot of chances. But they had three really talented players who gave us a little trouble in the back.”
The Rams had a chance to win it in the final seconds, but Alejandro Gaeta’s shot hit the top cross bar.
Miles Mammen scored a goal in the first half off a header from a corner kick.
The defense, led by Josh Gonzales in the middle, shut down Las Positas for the most part, Johnson said.
The Rams (5-3-2, 1-0-2 conference) will return home to face Chabot College at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“It is still early on in the season,” Johnson said. “We are trying to take it one game at a time. Our conference is incredibly competitive and every game is going to be a fight. It is great that we are starting to build an identity. We’re growing as a team every day and that is all I can ask.”