JUCO Football: Gavilan falls 56-6 to Shasta in opener

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REDDING—Gavilan dropped its 2015 season opener 56-6 at Shasta College Saturday. The loss was due in part to too many penalties and not enough yards.
The Rams drew 17 flags, which set them back 120 yards. The team generated just 210 yards of total offense to the Knights’ 657. It was not the start Gavilan had hoped for.
“We’re a lot better than the score showed and a lot better than we played,” Rams head coach Mike Dovenberg said. “It’s on me to get it right. It’s on me to make us play better. We’re going to get things evaluated here tomorrow and fix it on Monday.”
Shasta drew first blood, scoring on a 7-yard pass from Ryan Pollard to Tanner Gallion to lead 7-0 early in the first quarter. The Rams were quick to answer and scored on their next possession off a 2-yard rush from Christian Rodriguez with 6:44 left in the first. The kick, however, was no good.
The Knights struck again off a 59-yard pass from Pollard to Jordan Versery to take a 14-6 lead after the first. They started the second quarter with a 65-yard punt return and notched a 50-yard rushing TD late to lead 35-6 at halftime.
Shasta kept its foot on the gas and covered 67 yards on seven plays to reach the endzone on its first possession of the third quarter. They would score once more in the third and again off a Dylan King pick-six in the fourth for the final. But despite the outcome, Dovenberg said he was proud of his squad for sticking together.
“We played a united game,” he said. “Nobody quit; nobody hung it up. At the same time, we didn’t execute very well.”
Sterling Montgomery got the start at quarterback and went 15 for 35 for 118 yards with an interception. He also had 14 carries for seven yards. The sophomore QB limped off the field late in fourth quarter after taking a helmet to the knee, but Dovenberg said he would be good to go next week.
Anthony Brooks led the Rams on the ground with nine carries for 38 yards. Jose Manzo was the leading receiver with four catches for 47 yards.
Defensively, Damon Perez led his team with eight total tackles. Shawn Jackson, Brandon Finona, Trevor Ross and John Barrera each had six apiece. While it was a good start, Dovenberg said his team has to do better next week.
“We need to get back to our fundamentals. We need to tackle better. We need to finish our blocks,” he said. “We need to throw the ball on time and we need to get to our routes on time. The fundamentals hurt us today. We just got to get back to playing our style of football.”
The Rams (0-1) will look to right the ship when they return to the Garlic Capital. They will host Mendocino College—which lost to Reedley 48-8 Saturday—at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 at Christopher High School for their home opener. And Dovenberg hopes they’ll be playing in front of a packed house.
“We want to have a whole lot of people out there supporting these guys because they’ve been working really hard,” he said.

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