Dylan Holler and Joseph Barnes had nights for the books.
They combined for 450 yards rushing with five touchdowns as Gilroy got into the win column with a 49-27 victory over Sobrato Friday night.
The Mustangs (1-1 overall) had 546 yards rushing total. They added 10 yards passing, completing a single pass in five attempts.
It was for a touchdown.
That was the kind of night Gilroy was having while Sobrato just couldn’t keep up despite having it chances.
The Bulldogs fall to 1-1 overall and were disappointed afterwards because of how much confidence they had coming into the game after a strong win over Overfelt the week before.
“I thing we got a little bit over confident coming into this game, coming off a win last week,” said coach Tony Holmes. “As I explained to the boys, that was Overfelt. We’re about to play somebody who is at the equivalent to our league and based on how you guys play this evening will give us a good estimate where we stand in league.”
The Mustangs found much of its success from the age-old Statue of Liberty play. Combined with solid blocking up front, Gilroy got big yardage from the play they had implemented just this past week.
“We started working that on Monday and we really didn’t get it down until this Friday,” Holler said. “It worked good in the game. They couldn’t stop us.”
Gilroy also played a bunch of hurry up at the line trying to take advantage of Sobrato utilizing a lot of two-way players.
“We changed up our pace on offense and it worked out well for us,” said coach Jubenal Rodriguez. “It really can wear down the defense.”
Those plays were made even more remarkable as Gilroy was forced to make a change at right guard this week because of injuries.
The Mustangs called up Troy Perez from the junior varsity squad and Rodriguez couldn’t have been happier.
“He practiced with us all spring and all summer, and he played the first game on JV,” Rodriguez said. “We had some injuries, brought him up and he just fits right in. That’s what happens when all your lower levels run the same system you can do that kind of stuff.”
The Bulldogs had a kickoff returned for a touchdown, a bobbled punt set up a two-play, four-yard touchdown and a 77-yard touchdown pass.
They just weren’t able to turn a sustained drive into points until the game was out of reach.
Gilroy’s defense came away with six sacks and two interceptions. Max Pierce came away with three of them.
“We bounced back (from the loss to Christopher) in all aspects of the game: D-line, linebackers, DBs. I’m proud of the guys. They deserved this one,” Rodriguez said.
The Bulldogs were held to 25 yards on the ground.
“Up front it just seemed like we were not jumping off like we should have been,” Holmes said. “It was just a little bit rough. Their pass rush was a little bit fast. We had not time. It was just really hard.”
Sobrato’s two opening drives both died in the red zone on failing to convert on fourth down.
The second one changed the tenor of the game.
“We always tell the boys about momentum, and that definitely gave us momentum going into the rest of the game,” Rodriguez said. “I’m proud of the guys. They read their keys, did their jobs and that was our goal coming in.”
Sobrato had great field position after a Gilroy punt netted just 10 yards on to the Mustang 38.
The Bulldogs pushed the ball to the 1 where they failed to punch the ball in on two tries.
Gilroy took over and 15 plays later—bridging the first and second quarters—the Mustangs got on the scoreboard first with a 4-yard run for Barnes, the first of his two touchdowns.
That one made the game 8-0 after Barnes converted the two-point play.
“I think that solidified how this game was going to end,” Holmes said. “To be on the 20 yard line and to run it four times and you can’t punch it in, that says a lot. Momentum was definitely not on your side and it seems they were just a little bit more hungry than we were.
“I think were expecting to score, but the effort wasn’t there to guarantee it.”
He found the endzone again later in the quarter, finishing an 80-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run with 1:16 to go in the half.
Holler, meanwhile, got rolling in the second half, where he scored all three of his touchdowns.
He had runs of nine, 67 and 29 yards in the second half, which turned the game from a 27-21 close contest to a 49-21 margin that held until the final 46 seconds of the game.
Holler provided the haymaker midway through the third quarter capitalizing on a Brandon Weiler interception that he took for 67 yards and a 41-21 lead.
To that point, despite giving up big plays, Sobrato was still in the game.
“It wasn’t as if we were not being effective offensively, it was the fact we couldn’t stop the bleeding on defense,” Holmes said. “It was really good to see that hey we could still score. Even through adversity we could still come out and put some points on the board.
Gilroy had gone up 15-0 on a Richard Perez 19-yard touchdown run when Jonathan Bell launched a bomb down the Sobrato sideline hitting Nathaniel Campbell behind the Mustang defense for a 77-yard touchdown.
To close out the half, the two teams combined for three touchdowns in 44 seconds.
After Barnes’ second touchdown, Sobrato countered immediately when Marcos Ramirez took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to again pull within 7 at 21-14 with 1:03 to play in the half.
But again, Gilroy had an answer.
With 32 seconds left, Jon Jon Castro hit Andrew Castro for a 10-yard touchdown to go up 27-14 at the half.
Sobrato had a shot with 6 seconds left at the final snap, but Eddie Vargas pulled down the first of the Mustangs’ two interceptions on the night.
To start the second half, Sobrato had its best sequence as the Bulldogs forced Gilroy 3-and-out and capitalizing on a bobbled punt to pull within 27-21.
From there, Gilroy put the game away, holding Sobrato scoreless until backups were put in for the final minutes.
Rodriguez said he wished the defense could have kept the score lower, but said the night will be a learning tool to help push things going forward.
“We gave up a few more points than we wanted to, but again, we’re going to use this film as a tool to learn to get better,” Rodriguez said.
He added later, “We’re going to enjoy this one, but next week, we’ve got to forget about it.”
Gilroy will next host Gonzalez 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9.
Sobrato will next gear up for the annual El Toro Bowl 7 p.m. Sept. 9.
“We still have one more game against Live Oak and a lot of questions are going to be answered based on how they do in practice this week,” Holmes said.
Dylan Holler and Joseph Barnes had nights for the books.