Mustangs win on the road

Team will be tested tonight at home against powerhouse San
Lorenzo Valley
After falling to Terra Nova in the opener, the Gilroy High
Football team bounced back with vengeance last Friday night,
crushing Santa Cruz High School on the road 33-13.
Team will be tested tonight at home against powerhouse San Lorenzo Valley

After falling to Terra Nova in the opener, the Gilroy High Football team bounced back with vengeance last Friday night, crushing Santa Cruz High School on the road 33-13.

Tonight the Mustangs will look to keep the ball rolling in their home opener against San Lorenzo Valley-a team that is 25-1 over the last two seasons.

“They (San Lorenzo Valley) always win the Santa Cruz Coast League championship,” said Gilroy Football Coach Darren Yafai. “They have a huge defensive and offensive line and they execute well on both sides of the ball and are especially good at stopping the run.”

They need to be.

Last week, the Gilroy racked up 290 yards on the ground-courtesy of the overpowering trio of Mustang runners Melvin Bryant, J.L. Mangono and Isaiah Gonzalez.

Bryant led the way with 114 yards and two touchdowns. Mangono ran for 108 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown and Gonzalez had 88 yards and a touchdown.

“We ran the ball well and were able to control the clock,” said Yafai. “When you do that-without turnovers-the outcome is usually good.”

In all, Gilroy racked up 430 yards of total offense.

“We put up a lot of points and really improved our play from the Terra Nova game,” said Yafai. “It was good to get a win against a good team. But San Lorenzo Valley is going to be even tougher.”

Against Santa Cruz, Gilroy was able to jump on the scoreboard before some patrons even took their seats.

On the first play of the game, Gilroy quarterback Ben Hemeon, a junior, rolled right and hit Mustang receiver Johnny Kirkish on a screen pass. Kirkish ran 57 yards to the Cardinals 12-yard line before being pulled down from behind.

On the second play from scrimmage, Gilroy took a 6-0 lead when Bryant eluded tacklers all the way to the end zone. After a blocked extra point, Santa Cruz got the ball back and countered to take a brief 7-6 lead on a 19-yard touchdown pass.

But that didn’t discourage the Mustangs or slow their offensive surge-it ignited it.

The Mustangs scored on their next two possessions. Mangono made his way to the end zone via a three-yard TD run at the end of the first quarter. Bryant picked up his second TD of the night on the next possession when he caught a screen pass from Hemeon and took it 52 yards for the score.

The Mustangs almost scored on four consecutive possessions in the first half but the Cardinals made an impressive goal line stand-keeping Gilroy out of the end zone on four consecutive gut wrenching downs from Santa Cruz’s own one-yard line.

Gilroy headed to the locker room with a 19-7 halftime lead.

In the second half, Mangono made the score 26-7 with a one-yard scamper. In the opening play of the forth quarter Gonzalez iced the road victory with an eight-yard TD run to start the fourth quarter.

“That was a good win for us,” said Yafai.

For the night, Hemeon was 6 of 11 for 140 yards and a touchdown pass.

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