Rams’ Nailbiter

Ricardio Cosio hits the corner as a De Anza player closes in on

The Coast Conference portion of the 2005 schedule arrived just
in time for the Gavilan Rams football team. Reeling with a 1-4
pre-conference mark, the Rams rallied past the DeAnza Dons 23-22 at
Andy Hardin Field.
Hollister – The Coast Conference portion of the 2005 schedule arrived just in time for the Gavilan Rams football team. Reeling with a 1-4 pre-conference mark, the Rams rallied past the DeAnza Dons 23-22 at Andy Hardin Field.

Tony Castaneda’s point-after kick with 2:23 left in the game capped a 16-point comeback in the second half.

Three touchdowns in the final 1:06 of the first half, two by DeAnza, left the Dons with a 22-7 halftime cushion.

After 30 minutes of miscues and penalties, coach John Lango reminded the Rams at the break to stay focused and keep with the game plan.

While the Gavilan defense held DeAnza scoreless in the final 30 minutes, the Rams posted two points in the third quarter. Matt Virus had a third interception snared by the Don defender at the DeAnza one. One play later, the Dons quarterback was pulled down in the endzone for a safety, making it a 22-9 score with 10:52 left in the quarter.

The Rams posted an 85-yard march to paydirt in 12 plays in the fourth quarter. Louis Jones, the Rams’ top defensive lineman at 295 pounds, was called upon to carry the ball the final yard with 7:54 to play in the game. Castaneda’s point-after made it 22-16.

Gavilan powered into DeAnza territory in the final four minutes. Quarterback Matt Leal directed the Rams to the eight with 2:30 to play. Leal rolled left and found Shane Butcher open in the end zone for the eight-yard TD strike. Castaneda calmly delivered the PAT winner.

DeAnza threatened in the closing minute, driving to the Gavilan 33. Ram linebacker Bradley Niles registered a nine-yard sack. Defensive back Korey Gray knocked down the fourth-down toss near the 30-yard stripe.

“We stayed with the game plan in the second half,” said Lango. “The coaching staff suggested I have Calvin Ressler play on the edge defensively to put more pressure on DeAnza’s quarterback. That seemed to work. Our offensive line worked well in the second half.”

DeAnza took a 6-0 lead with 3:19 left intwo-yard burst. Gavilan blocked the in the first quarter on a Thomas Russell two-yard burst. Gavilan blocked the extra-point try.

A bad snap on a punt attempt by Gavilan resulted in a DeAnza safety and 8-0 lead with 1:25 left in the half.

Given good field position after the safety, DeAnza struck quickly behind a 40-yard touchdown pass and successful PAT with 1:06 left. Gavilan went 56 yards in five plays for a Garrett Burgess five-yard TD run with 25 seconds left. David Andrade returned the kick-off 83 yards for a DeAnza touchdown and 22-7 advantage.

Leal completed six of 11 tries for 96 yards, Virus 3-of-10 for 36 yards and three picks. Butcher topped the Ram receivers with four grabs worth 54 yards and one score. Burgess carried 20 times for 77 yards. Gavilan mustered a 288-227 edge in total offense, limiting DeAnza to 23 rushing yards.

The Rams continue Coast Conference play Saturday night in Salinas against the Hartnell Panthers.

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