One in, two out

Pee Wees advance to division title game; Junior Pee Wees, Junior
Midgets close out seasons.
GILROY – As the second round of the Pop Warner Playoffs played itself out over the weekend, one Gilroy Browns football team advanced into the Peninsula Division II title game while two others suffered tough season-ending losses.

The Pee Wees – which won the Peninsula II Championship last season and marched all the into round-two of the Western Regional Finals – are still alive as they crushed the Almaden Chargers, 26-0.

“They were still a very tough opponent,” said head coach Manuel Mura of the Chargers. “It was a one of the toughest games this season.”

Meanwhile, the Junior Pee Wees dropped a 19-7 decision to the East Bay East Wolverines and the Junior Midgets came up short 14-12 against the Mountain View Marauders.

The Pee Wees will play for the Peninsula Division II title Sunday at 9 a.m. at Westmont High School in Saratoga. The Southern League Champs go into the Division II title game up against the East Bay East Wolverines, the Northern League Champs.

In their second-round victory, the Pee Wees opened the scoring with a Nick Gutierrez touchdown run. Soon after, Ryan Costa returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown with Eric Vegas kicking the extra points to give the Browns a 14-0 halftime lead.

The Browns defense delivered a big blow in the third quarter when Travis Gluck recovered a fumble to begin another Gilroy scoring drive. Once again, Gutierrez found the back of the end zone on a run. With the defense holding strong, the Browns secured victory when quarterback Steven Martinez found receiver Jered Schreckengost for a 25-yard touchdown connection in the fourth quarter.

The Junior Midgets were in a dogfight against the Marauders to the bitter end. Gilroy’s Jo Jo Gutierrez scored two touchdowns – but a pair of failed extra points kept the locals from keeping pace.

Gilroy – which finished its season with a 7-3 record – had a shot to win late in the game, but time ran out with the Browns first-and-goal from the one-yard line.

The Junior Pee Wees had their hands full as well against the East Wolverines. In a defensive first half, the Browns found themselves behind 6-0 at the break. After East Bay added another touchdown to open the third quarter, Gilroy running back Ritchie Sotelo finally cracked the end zone on a 45-yard TD run. It was the first time all season that the Wolverines’ defense gave up a point. The Wolverines, however, retaliated with their third touchdown to put the game out of reach for Gilroy – which ended its season with an 8-2 campaign.

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