Gilroy spreads the wealth in win over Harbor; improves to 4-0

Gilroy's Spencer Soares was one of six players to score a touchdown against Harbor Friday night as the Mustangs improved to 4-0 on the season.

Gilroy had touchdowns from six different players as the Mustangs scored a resounding 44-8 victory over Harbor to improve to 4-0 as they now gear up for Pacific Division play.
Christian Rodriguez was the only one to score two touchdowns as he went for 137 yards on five carries.
For the night, Gilroy had 391 yards rushing spread among eight ball carriers and all done without the Mustangs’ biggest weapon.
Gilroy opted to hold out its biggest weapon Joseph Barnes who is averaging more than 200 yards per game. And from the first snap, it was obvious why.
On the first play from scrimmage, Rodriguez broke off a 65-yard run that went to the endzone, but was called back on a holding call.
That didn’t deter the Mustangs who went to Richard Perez who picked up 20 yards, then back to Rodriguez for 48 and finally to Brandon Weiler for the final two for a 7-0 lead.
That is more or less how the first half went for Gilroy: Big plays setting up easy scores.
All three of those players had touchdowns for the game, with Parker Wong and Spencer Soares both running for scores and Jon Jon Castro hitting Braulio Rodriguez for a 27-yard TD.
Coach Jubenal Rodriguez was pleased with his team’s performance overall but was quick to show some respect to an old friend on the otherside of the field.
“It’s always nice to spread the ball around. I have a lot of respect for coach (James) Gaynor he’s one of my buddies and former teammates,” Rodriguez said. “I know what he’s feeling, I was there in 2015.”
Wong had the longest touchdown of the day, breaking off an 84-yard run to capitalize on an interception pulled down by George Palacios.
That was the second INT of the night for Gilroy, the first hauled in by Braulio in the second quarter.
Christian had scores of 13 and 24 yards to put Gilroy up 13-0 and 38-0, respectively.
Perez scored from 18 yards out and Soares scored on a 1-yard run to cap a 65-yard, 10-play drive.
Despite scoring seven touchdowns, the Mustangs could have had more as three TDs were called back on the night because of penalties.
But it didn’t matter in part because the offense was efficient to the tune of 13 yards per carry, 446 yards of total offense and a defense that was stingy the whole game.
Harbor was limited to 19 total yards of offense in the first half with five first downs and one turnover.
The Pirates finished with 176 yards of total offense, much of that coming against Gilroy’s second and third string defense.
In fact Harbor’s first touchdown of the game should not have happened.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the officials lost track of the downs and as a result, Gilroy turned the ball over after coming up a yard short on what should have been third down but the officials called it fourth.
On second down, Parker Wong had a touchdown called back on a block in the back call. That should have replayed the down, but the officials changed it to third.
Two plays later, Harbor had the ball back on its own 19 after Wong came up a yard short on fourth down.
But the Mustangs nearly got out of it, but couldn’t stop quarterback Bailey Schantz scrambled for a 16-yard gain on fourth down.
Harbor then got deep into Gilroy territory on a 42-yard dump off pass and several broken tackles.
Four plays later, Harbor got on the board on a Schantz 15-yard pass play to Jameson White 6 seconds into the start of the fourth quarter.
But by then the clock was running because of the deficit and Gilroy simply ran out the final 11:54 of the game.
It gave runners who normally don’t see much game time a chance to get some experience.
Zendejas garnered the biggest reaction from her teammates, rushing for 46 yards on eight carries and three first downs.
It was her 18-yard run in the third quarter while dragging defenders that got the Mustang sideline going crazy.
Zendejas refused to go to the ground and caught the Harbor defense by surprise.
Coach Rodriguez was proud of not only Zendejas but everyone who carried the ball late for the Mustangs.
“It was awesome. She deserved it,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone who carried the ball in the second half deserved it. The work just as hard as the No. 1s so it was good to see that.”
Gilroy will now kick off league play next week, hosting Alisal who is 1-3 overall but the Trojans’ record is deceiving.
Alisal has played three A-league teams out of its first four games, defeating one of them.
Gilroy is going to see the three best teams in the Pacific Division in the first three games. After Alisal comes a resurgent Watsonville sitting at 3-1 and then the Severence Bowl against Christopher who is also 4-0 to start the season.
But coach Rodriguez is confident his team is where it needs to be at the start of league play.
“We feel great. We feel very fortunate to head into league healthy,” Rodriguez said. “That’s a coach’s nightmare to have injuries going into any game, but we’re real fortunate to be real healthy at this point so we’re really excited.”