Rams dominate, even record

Decisive win comes as team begins to gel
Gavilan College Football Coach John Lango has reason to hold his
head high. After four games, his Rams have a .500 record and have
already doubled the number of games won by the 2001 squad.
The latest win came last Saturday night in Ukiah as Gavilan
scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat the
Mendocino College Eagles 30-7.
Decisive win comes as team begins to gel

Gavilan College Football Coach John Lango has reason to hold his head high. After four games, his Rams have a .500 record and have already doubled the number of games won by the 2001 squad.

The latest win came last Saturday night in Ukiah as Gavilan scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mendocino College Eagles 30-7.

With the victory, the 2-2 Rams are suddenly having high expectations.

“And they’re getting higher everyday,” said Lango. “We expect a battle every game. Last year, we didn’t give our complete effort. But this year we are instilling ‘R.E.’ into our players. That’s Relentless Effort every game, minute and second that they are on the field. And that’s what we are working on and expect everyday. We can’t control the other team’s size or ability but we can control our R.E.”

But they’ll need a little more than relentless effort to come off the field with a road victory this week at San Mateo, and Lango is the first to point that out.

“They’re as good as Sierra, if not even better,” said Lango. “After that, we play the College of Sequoia at home. Last week, was a great win but we’ve got to put it behind us and focus on the next game-one game at a time.”

If CSM is as good as Sierra, the Rams could be in for a long night. Gavilan lost to the Wolverines 50-10.

Against the Eagles, Gavilan got on the scoreboard first thanks to a 21-yard field goal by Brandon Almaguer that made the score 3-0 at 12:28 in the second quarter.

The key to the drive was a 15-yard reception by Gavilan running back Danny Gallo on a third and 11 play. For the night, Gallo rushed for 73 yards on 14 carries but missed the second half after twisting his ankle and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.

Mendocino took the lead at 3:49 in the second quarter when Chris Sprague scored on a 32-yard touchdown run, making the score 7-3.

Part of the key to Gavilan’s victory was the Rams effectiveness at shutting down Sprague in the second half. In the opening half, the sophomore standout had 126 yards on 15 carries but only 14 yards on 13 carries over the final two quarters.

“Our defense played extremely well,” said Lango. “We struggled on offense early. We moved the ball but couldn’t get it into the end zone; but the defense kept us in the game.”

Trailing 7-3, Gavilan took the lead with 16 second remaining in the second quarter. Gavilan quarterback A.J. Palmer, who replaced Russell Schaefer early on, scampered into the end zone from 9-yards out on a broken down play that originally called for a pass.

That drive was set up by a Mendocino miscue. The Eagles center snapped the ball over the head of their punter and he frantically fell on the ball at the 14-yard line, where the Rams took over.

Gavilan headed into the locker room at halftime with a 10-7 lead and never looked back.

In the second half, the Rams offense came alive and so did the defense.

Perhaps the most impressive defense stint occurred early in the third quarter. It all started when Palmer was picked off at the Ram 33-yard line and Mendocino returned the ball to the Gavilan six. But the Rams didn’t buckle and held the Eagles to a field goal, which tied the score at 10-10.

Feeling confident in their defensive abilities, the Gavilan offense caught fire in the fourth quarter.

The scoring frenzy started when the Rams recovered a fumble at Mendocino’s 17-yard line. Two plays later Palmer hooked up with Will Lawrence on a 15-yard strike that made the score 17-10.

On their next possession, the Rams marched 80 yards downfield to make the score 23-7. That drive was capped off by a six-yard touchdown run by A.J. Garcia. The big plays in that drive included a 24-yard pass to Lawrence and a 15-yard penalty against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles received four unsportsman-like conduct penalties.

Gavilan’s final score came as a result of an Eagle fumble at their own 33-yard line with just over 5:00 remaining. Gavilan recovered the ball at the 27-yard line. After a 21-yard run by Garcia and a 4-yard run by Art Ortega, the Rams led 30-7 in just two plays.

For the night, Gavilan had 322 of total offense to Mendocino’s 138. Perhaps the most impressive statistic was the fact that the Eagles could only muster 57 net yards on the ground, thanks to the half-dozen quarterback sacks by the Rams swarming defense.

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