FOOTBALL: Salinas rolls past Gilroy

If there is one team that isn’t fazed by a less than glorious non-league record it’s the Salinas High football team.

The Cowboys have reached the Central Coast Section playoffs four years in a row, and the last three have done so without a winning non-league record.

Right on cue Salinas took a 1-2 record into Friday’s Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division opener and celebrated with a victory on Homecoming night, besting Gilroy 54-7 at Salinas High Stadium.

The Cowboys struck with ease and they struck often against a Gilroy team missing its top all-around player, junior running back Brandon Boyd out with a separated shoulder, and a roster that is about half the size of what it used to be now that the team has to share the town with four-year-old Christopher High.

Salinas scored so quick that it put two touchdowns on the board even though it ran only one offensive play.

Everett Ball went 55 yards on the Cowboys first play of the game. And after forcing Gilroy to punt, Elijah Kirkland returned it 73 yards for a touchdown.

Ball scored again on a 16-yard run to give the Cowboys a 21-0 lead at the quarter.

Salinas scored on every possession but one in the first half and led 41-0 at halftime. The one drive the Cowboys didn’t score on it was only because time expired with the ball inside the Gilroy 5-yard-line.

Five different Cowboys scored with Julian Wilcox scoring twice in the second quarter on runs of 1 and 18 yards, Jon Santos scoring on a 5-yard run in the second quarter and Jordan Torres putting the finishing touches on a one-sided game with a two-yard jaunt in the third quarter.

Salinas rushed for nearly 300 yards in the first half alone. Ball had 134 yards on 12 carries in the first half and carried only once for five yards in the second half.

Wilcox rushed for 73 yards and Kirkland, who ripped off a 45-yard touchdown run in third quarter finished with 55 rushing yards on four tries.

Ruben Flores went the distance at quarterback for Salinas, completing three of five passes for 39 yards.

Gilroy was held to one first down in the first half and had only one in the second half until deep in the fourth quarter.

Gilroy’s only score came when Brendan Holler returned a kickoff about 85 yards in the third quarter.