FOOTBALL: Gavilan thumps West Valley

SARATOGA – Bobby Guyton caught 10 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night to highlight the Gavilan College Rams’ 44-20 domination of the West Valley Vikings at Saratoga High School.

The Rams (3-5, 2-1 conference) will carry a two-game winning streak into next Saturday’s showdown against the Hartnell College Panthers at Salinas High Stadium.

“It’ll take everything we have to be successful,” Rams coach Spencer Gilford said of the date with the Panthers. “Hartnell’s the class of the Coast Conference.”

Quarterback Omar Kharroub keyed the Rams offensive explosion with a 31-for-50 night through the air, good for 337 yards and five touchdowns.

“Definitely his best game,” Gilford said of his signal-caller.

Kharroub kept several plays alive by avoiding the rush, allowing his speedy receivers time to find seams in the Vikings secondary.

Guyton, like Kharroub a product of South San Francisco’s El Camino High, snared touchdown passes of 36, 6 and 47-yards. Guyton picked the 6-yard scoring catch as his favorite of the night.

“It was still a tight game and we needed that one,” Guyton said of the touchdown with 3:12 left in the third quarter to extend the Ram lead to 31-14. “It was a corner fade route and the pass was right on target. We worked hard at practice all week because we knew we should have beaten West Valley last year.”

After the Vikings responded with a touchdown with 12 minutes to play in the game, Guyton’s next catch gave Gavilan a 38-30 advantage with eight minutes to play.

Facing single coverage along the right sideline, Guyton pulled up to take a Kharroub pass at the Viking 20, then stepped away from the cornerback to race untouched to the end zone to complete the 47-yard play on a third-and-seven call.

“Once I had the ball, I knew I’d beat him,” Guyton explained about his deke of the defender.

Gavilan finished with 475 yards of the total offense, enjoying a 33-14 edge in first downs.

“The offense played close to its potential,” said Gilford. “We looked ready to play. Fortunately, we played the way we practiced all week. We are still waiting for the defense to come up to its potential.”

West Valley produced 341 yards of total offense, paced by 216 yards rushing on 22 carries by workhorse tailback Dre Hill.

Kharroub spread around his 50 passes, finding Danny Maiello for nine passes and 87 yards and Marcus Harrell for seven passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Gavilan took a 7-0 lead on its first series. Kharroub converted three third-down situations, connecting with Guyton on an inside slant for the final 36 yards. Donovan Weatherspoon’s 11-yard rush on a draw kept the drive alive. Weatherspoon finished with 64 yards on 16 carries.

After the Vikings responded with a touchdown, Gavilan settled for a 22-yard Dominic Changco field goal at the end of an 18-play drive.

West Valley’s lone lead of the game came with 6:16 left in the first half when Hill bolted 64 yards off left tackle for the 14-10 Viking edge.

The Rams responded with a crisp 10-play drive to the 17-14 lead. Edward Bernard, the Rams’ top runner with 71 yards, earned the first of four first downs on the drive with a strong 8-yard rumble around right end. Kharroub went 6-of-7 on the drive, tossing a 12-yarder to Harrell for the score.

The Rams came out of intermission with a 10-play drive to take a 24-14 edge. Kharroub threaded a 19-yard pass to Guyton to keep the march alive. Harrell was unstoppable on a quick slant pass from Kharroub for the final five yards.

Gavilan’s final touchdown of the night came at the end of another 10-play drive. After Bernard raced 16 yards to the Viking 2-yard line on a fourth-and-13 call by Gilford, Bernard found the end zone on the next run through the middle of the West Valley defense.

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