A depleted Gavilan College Rams football squad completed a 3-7 season Saturday afternoon at Garcia-Elder Sports Complex by dropping a 52-7 Coast Conference game to the visiting Cabrillo Seahawks.
Gavilan, looking for its fourth win of the season after suffering a 0-10 slate last season, avoided a shut-out when Omar Kharroub threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Edward Bernard in the game’s final 39 seconds.
The Rams were playing without standout wide-out Marcus Harrell (illness) and safety Jeff Smith (injury).
“Every team has injuries,” said Gavilan’s second-year head coach Spencer Gilford.
“I don’t think we were ready mentally to finish the season the way I would have liked them to,” Gilford said of the Rams’ second consecutive loss after two conference wins. There were no surprises. They did everything better than we did.”
Cabrillo’s Steven Ross ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns and the quarterback tandem of Brent Moyer and Lucas Romanski combined for 326 passing yards and four touchdowns to send the Rams to a 2-3 conference mark.
“We executed at a very high level,” said Seahawks coach Bill Garrison of the regular season finale. “As a whole, we played an outstanding game in all three phases.”
The only segment of the Seahawk playbook that was ignored was the punting game. Cabrillo did not need to punt, instead powering to seven touchdowns, a field goal and missing on two other field goal attempts. The Rams punted seven times.
Ross scored on a delay that covered 10 yards and the game’s first touchdown with 11:07 left in the first quarter. The freshman halfback added a one-yard bolt to a touchdown early in the third quarter, then danced eight yards off left tackle for a TD with 1:12 to go in the third.
Eight Seahawk receivers made at least one catch, including three with four grabs.
Mario Rodriquez, the sophomore tight end, hauled in a touchdown pass that was first tipped by Cabrillo wide-out Devyn Grimes in the first quarter for a 14-0 cushion.
“Everything was going our way,” Moyer said of his one touchdown pass in a 15-for-21 (174 yards) afternoon.
Romanski threw for 152 yards on a 7-for-11 performance, including three touchdowns. He found Grimes open for a 2-yard score in the second quarter, then threaded a slant pass to Tige McSwain Jr. that turned into a 46-yard touchdown play with 80 seconds left in the half. After Taylor Peasha drilled a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter, Romanski found Lamar Cowans behind the secondary for a 57-yard touchdown pass with 14:02 left in the game.
Gavilan finished with 130 yards of total offense, 129 of that total through the air. Kharroub finished 14-of-35, the one touchdown and one interception.
Gilford noted the strong work of Rams defensive lineman Joel Rueda and center Kevin Taylor.
“We kept battling,” said Taylor, the freshman out of Sobrato. “We tried not to look at the scoreboard. Cabrillo was a very aggressive front group, but we handled them well at times.”
Bernard topped the Ram rushers with 22 yards on six carries.
Kharroub finished with the fourth-most single-season passing yards in the 50 years of Gavilan football with his 2,197 yards and 16 touchdowns. He trails only Brian Vye (2,607 in 1996), Josh Wallwork (2,421 in 1993) and Jeremy Silcox (2,373 IN 1995).
Harrell was the first Ram since Carl Monroe in 1978 to return two kick-offs for touchdowns.