Homecoming Week-Here We Come.

Friday night’s victory over Saratoga was a great night for all of Los Gatos. The crowd was great, the energy was great. Rivalry games are one of the highlights of the season, and Friday night was no exception. There was a special energy on campus all day Friday, as the students, teachers, and the entire LGHS community were anticipating the game against the longtime rival.

Much like the previous four games, the Cats got off to a quick start, scoring on our first possession, and adding another score to make it 14-0. Unlike the last three games, Saratoga answered with a score of their own, making the score 14- 7. At that point, we knew we had a game. The Cat defense held Saratoga on their next possession, and the offense put together a drive to score right before the half, making the score 21-7 at halftime.

The second half belonged to the Cats. The offense started to get the running game going, and it became a very physical second half. The Cats built a 42-7 lead, and finished up with a 42-14 victory. It was another night where the entire roster got on the field to see some action. A great night for the Seniors, who can say “they never lost to Saratoga”…

Homecoming week is next up against Wilcox. Wilcox comes in with a 6-1 record, and is playing very well. They are a big, physical team with one of the best running backs around in Delshawn Mitchell. Our defense will have to be disciplined, and assignment perfect in stopping their Option/Veer offense. Wilcox is also very stout on defense. Fortunately our offense has been playing pretty well in recent weeks, averaging over 42 points a game the last 4 games. We’ll need to continue to run and throw the ball to be effective. Joey Wood is coming off a great performance against Saratoga, rushing for over 200 yards. The offensive line play continues to improve, and fortunately for the Cats, both Nick Bawden, and Dru Brown have played exceptional football at the quarterback position.

Looking forward to a good week, and a great challenge on the field!

Go Cats!

Cat’s Pummel Falcons

Los Gatos extended its winning streak to five games Friday with another one-sided victory — 42-14 over Saratoga. Saratoga put up a valliant challenge in the first quarter, but the Falcons could not hold off the determined Cats in front of a packed Helm field crowd.

Joey Wood had 23 carries for 201 yards, scoring three second-half touchdowns. Corey Olivett rushed for 97 yards in 10 carries and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter from Dru Brown. Brown also threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cody Marshall to start the scoring. Jonathan Walters threw two touchdown passes for the Falcons.

Now comes the teeth of the 2013 schedule for Los Gatos. They will play Friday at home against the Wilcox Chargers, Nov. 8 at Palo Alto, and then at home against Milpitas Trojans. The Cats now possess a 5-2 record, and the next three games will determine who walks away with the De Anza title. Los Gatos will face a 6-1 Chargers squad coming off a 50-0 win over Mountain View on Friday night. This game will be a great test to determine where this 2013 squad stands in the talented De Anza League. The Cat’s hold their fate in their own hands, and they should not expect any inter-leage help as the other top three schools have already played against each other.

Wilcox plays Los Gatos, then finishes up with Santa Clara and Saratoga, two games they should win. Milpitas has Fremont and Mountain View before ending the season at Los Gatos. This should be a very exciting home stretch for the Cats.

LG — Marshall 12 pass from Brown (Chapman kick)
LG — Olivet 9 pass from Brown (Chapman kick)
S — Capek pass from Walters (Walters kick)
LG — Kreutzer 4 run (Chapman kick)
LG — Wood 3 run (Chapman kick)
S — Medeiros 42 pass from Walters (Walters kick)
LG — Wood 1 run (Chapman kick)
LG — Wood 39 run (Chapman kick)
Records — Saratoga 1-6, 0-4; Los Gatos 5-2, 4-0.

Momentum is a Good Thing

Friday night’s victory over Mountain View makes four in a row for the Cats. We’ve seen a great deal of improvement with the team over the last 4 weeks. Granted, this has been the very doable part of the schedule, but the players have done a nice job of keeping the focus on us rather than our opponents. One of the things that we’ve talked a lot about is momentum. We gained some nice momentum with our win at San Benito, and have continued that over the last three weeks. Our offensive and defensive lines have really grown to become strengths of our team. We had very little returning experience on these units, and each week they are getting better and better.

This rivalry week should be a lot of fun, and a great week for Los Gatos High School. Over the years, I’ve been a part of some pretty good rivalries. These weeks always have a little more energy, a little more enthusiasm around the campus, and on the practice field. While it’s not Wedemeyer vs Pierce, the coaching aspect will be fun for me as well. Tim Lugo, the head coach at Saratoga, coached with me for 10 years at Pioneer, and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a person. His players are well coached and I guarantee they will give him everything they’ve got Friday night. We have to match and exceed that enthusiasm if we’re going to be successful. I have a hunch we’ll be “up” for this game! Lugo is the only Saratoga coach to beat Los Gatos in many years. Congrats to him, but 1 is enough!

Friday’s game vs Mt. View was a well-played game by all three units for the Cats. The offense continued to improve and executed at a high level. Dru Brown started at quarterback, played the entire game, and played very well. We are very fortunate to have great depth at the quarterback position. There is no doubt that Dru would start at 90% of the schools in the Central Coast Section.

Our game plan did not change a bit, and neither did our execution. Dru stepped in and did a great job leading our offense. Cory Olivet had another good night for the Cats, returning a punt for a touchdown, running for a touchdown, and receiving a pass for a touchdown. Joey Wood had over 100 yards rushing and another rushing touchdown. Logan Chapman and Cody Marshall also caught touchdowns for the Cats. The defense continued to shine as it allowed only 1 touchdown in a very sold effort. The defense also recorded a safety when Nick Stojanovich tackled a Mt. View player in the endzone.

The end of our regular season schedule is stocked with great teams. The team knows what lies ahead, and is very excited to take each week head on, starting with Saratoga this week.

Go Cats!

Successful De Anza League Opener

Friday night was the opening night of De Anza league play for the Cats. It was a successful night all around for the Boys of Fall. The Frosh-Soph team got the night started off in the right direction with a convincing victory over the Santa Clara Bruins.

The challenge of the week for the Varsity was to get off to a “fast start” and leave no doubt. We did just that scoring 35 points in the first quarter. It was really a night for the defense as they completed dominated and shut down the “fast pace” no huddle offense of the Bruins. In fact, the Bruins recorded 2 first downs in the first half, both coming by Wildcat penalties. It was a long night for the Bruins, as their running game was not a factor, and their quarterback, Antonio Nazario, was hurried and harassed all night long.

The defensive play of the night came in the first quarter when Brendan Ross stripped the quarterback of the ball, and Cameron Ackerman was there to “scoop and score”. This is a theme that has been preached all season long by the defensive coaching staff, especially linebacker coach Joe Farwell. Griffin Jordan also added a fumble recovery deep in Bruin territory that led directly to a Cat touchdown!

On special teams, it was a night to remember as well. Early in the game, Bailey McNally blocked a punt deep their territory. The next play Joey Wood ran in the touchdown from the 15-yard line. Logan Chapman had a good night as well. He continued his perfect streak on PAT’s, and added 4 touchbacks on kick-offs.

The offense was efficient in the first half, scoring touchdowns each time it reached the red zone. Joey Wood scored 4 times on runs, and Corey Olivet added a rushing touchdown as well. Nick Bawden and Dru Brown combined to be 9 for 11 for 104 yards, and the team added 212 yards rushing as well.

It was a night where every varsity player saw action in the game, and it was well deserved. Our players work extremely hard during the summer and during the season, so it’s gratifying to get all of the team on the field on a Friday night.

Friday night we, as a school, honored Breast Cancer Awareness at the game, and specifically honoring Chris Brienzo, long time Cat parent and supporter. It was a nice tribute to Chris and the effort toward fighting Breast Cancer. Thanks to all who contributed to the Chris Brienzo Scholarship fund.

Next up for the Wildcats: We travel to Fremont High School for a 7:00 pm start. Go Cats!

Life During a Bye Week

Life during a Bye WeekBye weeks are an interesting part of a season. It’s a time to certainly continue to work on the fundamentals, blocking, tackling, etc, but it’s also a time to get people healthy by giving some needed time off.

The challenge always lies with which way to go, “back off and heal” or “pedal to the metal” knowing there is no game. Our approach this past week was somewhere in the middle. While we did rest certain players to allow them to get healthy, but we also pushed the team very hard for three days working on the mentioned fundamentals. In the end, it was a good, productive week.

We appear to be healthy for this week, and look forward to getting a couple of players back in the next couple of weeks.

The one other factor, when dealing with a bye week, is momentum. Having come off a nice win, it would be great to get right back out there the next week to continue to build that momentum. Worst-case scenario is a tough loss before the bye week. That week off can seem like 4 weeks, but fortunately our team didn’t have to go there.

Our next opponent is the Santa Clara Bruins. This is our league opener, and a very important game for the Cats. We have some good momentum going into the game, and we want to build on it! As many know, it’s also the school that I coached at the last three seasons. There are some great kids at Santa Clara, ones that I hated to leave, but this is 2013 and we’re “Full Throttle” ahead. The Bruins are running a new offense that resembles the fast paced offense of the Oregon Ducks. They are “no huddle”, rapid fire with their play calling. But, don’t be fooled, they are a running football team. Their MVP is four-year varsity running back Adam Garza. He is the point person of the offense. If we can stop Adam as an option, things get a bit tough for the Bruins.

On offense, our strategy will be consistent with our last game. We are going to try to establish the power running game, and then go to the play action passing game. Our offensive line play is improving each week, as they, as a group, are starting to accumulate some game time together! They are becoming a strength of our team!

Friday night we, as a school, will be honoring Breast Cancer Awareness at the game, and specifically honoring Chris Brienzo, long time Cat parent and supporter. It should be a nice tribute to Chris and the effort toward fighting Breast Cancer