Successful Season Debut

by Sep 9, 2019

The Gavilan football team kicked off their 2019 season on a rare Friday night under the lights at the Garcia-Elder Sports Complex, taking on the Mustangs…of Los Medanos College. And for the first time in his second go around as head coach, John Lango and his squad came away with a 24-7 win.

After forcing a Mustang turnover on their opening drive, the Rams looked to get on the board first. However, after their drive which started on the Mustang 22 stalled, Coach Lango called on freshman kicker Rodolfo Rivera to try a 44-yard field goal. The kick sailed through the uprights, giving Gavilan a quick 3-0 lead.

After a pair of three and outs by both teams, Los Medanos was the first team to cross the goal line as they scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-3 lead after the p.a.t. attempt was successful. The Rams answered back with a 10 play, 78-yard drive which was highlighted by a 36-yard reception by sophomore Desmond Hatten from freshman quarterback Raul Garnica. After a Los Medanos personal foul penalty, freshman running back Rich Denton punched it from four yards out to give the Rams a 10-7 lead which they would never surrender. In fact, the Rams would go on to score two more times, while not allowing Los Medanos to score another point.

Gavilan would score again in the second quarter as they went on another 10 play 42-yard drive.  This drive was highlighted by runs by Garnica, Denton and freshman Stephen Reyes, before Denton took it in from 1 yard out for his second rushing touchdown to push the lead to 17-7.

The final Ram touchdown came just after halftime, in the third quarter when sophomore Matt Wiitanen came up with an interception, returning it 15 yards to the house to give Gavilan a commanding 24-7 up on the scoreboard.

Garnica finished the game going 11-18 for 115 yards. He threw the ball to five different Rams, with Hatten catching a team high 4 for 93 receiving yards.  Denton carried the load for the offense with 22 rushes for 63 yards and the fore mentioned two touchdowns, while Garnica finished with 15 attempts for 31 yards. While the offense put up 17 points, it was the Rams defense that held strong, holding the Mustangs to 176 yards forcing 3 turnovers. Sophomores Alec Calderon and Kyree Harbin finished team with 7 and 5 tackles. Meanwhile, Richard Justo had the teams only sac an 8-yard loss while also finishing with 2 tackles for a loss. Calderon also had the second interception of the Los Medanos quarterback. The Rams also forced a turnover, when Josh Takahara recovered a Mustang running back’s fumble.

The 1-0 Rams will now turn their attention to Eureka, where they will take on the College of the Redwoods next Saturday. It will be a bit of a shorter week of preparation, as the Rams will head north on Friday night to get ready for the 1:00 p.m. kick off. Go Rams!