Gavilan Football: Rams look to finish season on high note

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GILROY — For three quarters, Gavilan was neck-in-neck with Hartnell — but the difference was that one quarter.
Hartnell scored 35 points in the third, helping it to a 70-35 win over the Rams Saturday at the Garcia-Elder Sports Complex.
Gavilan was right on Hartnell’s heels, trailing 35-27 at the half. But the Panthers scored 49 unanswered points — starting with two touchdowns to end the half — to put things out of reach for the Rams. While Gavilan coach Spencer Gilford wouldn’t say exactly what led to the explosive third quarter from the visitors, it appeared to be a number of things.
Rams offensive leader, quarterback Nate Ellis, left the game with an injury in the third, bringing in backup Brandon Pickens for relief. Gavilan also fumbled on the first play of the third quarter, resulting in a 39-yard return for Hartnell to further dampen the situation.
“It was very a interesting game — third quarter is probably the word(s) to summarize it,” Gilford said. “I thought the first half we were competing; obviously by the score it was a close game. The third quarter was interesting and that’s all I really want to say about it.”
Gilford said after the game that losing the turnover battle essentially lost the game for Gavilan. The Rams fumbled the ball five times, all of which were recovered by the Panthers. They were also intercepted twice, resulting in 54 yards for the visitors.
The defense, however, was the bright stop for Gavilan. It was able to come up with eight tackles for a loss of 37 yards and got to Hartnell QB Curt Ceralde five times for 31 yards.
“We had some stops defensively against a very good team,” Gilford said after the game. “We gave up way too many points defensively in the first half. The key to the game was that we lost the turnover battle.”
Gavilan (3-6 overall, 1-3 in conference) will look to close out the season on a positive note, taking on Cabrillo in the season finale. The keys to victory against Cabrillo (3-6 overall, 2-2 in conference), Gilford said, are no different than any other week. The Rams must focus on executing on all sides of the ball and do their jobs in order to win.
“It’s just about finishing — finishing our season, finishing everything we’ve been working on throughout the year,” Gilford said. “We can still try to accomplish our goals, at least on paper, that we are improving from year to year.”
Gavilan will play at Cabrillo at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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