Milpitas here we come…

The 2014 football season has now completed 7 weeks. Our Wildcats stand at a very solid 6-1 after last week’s 49-7 defeat of Palo Alto. The cats got off to a bit of a slow start on offense and defense, but then got things going with all three phases of the game, and never looked back.

After a quick “3 and out” on offense, and then an impressive touchdown drive by Paly that included two 3rd down conversions and two 4th down conversions by the Viking offense, the Cats started to roll and never looked back. The offense went on to score 49 unanswered points, while the defense and special played great football for the remainder of the game.

Dru Brown was solid again completing 11 of 16 passes for 160 yards and touchdown passes to Matt Wilcox and Quinn Spiteri. The ground game ran for 256 yards and 5 touchdowns, with Joey Wood leading the way with 102 yards. Spiteri, Jack Salcido, and Jordan Howell all contributed over 30 rushing yards each.

That brings us to Halloween night and a trip to Milpitas High School. Both teams are highly ranked and undefeated in league play. Milpitas has impressive wins over Valley Christian and Wilcox with a dominant defense and explosive offense. This is one of the games that many Cats fans have marked on their calendars. The Milpitas-Los Gatos rivalry has been a great one over the last ten years, with Los Gatos winning 5 times, and Milpitas winning 4 times, with one tie.

To keep up the current winning streak, the Cats will have to play a great game on both sides of the ball and certainly on special teams. We are as healthy as we have been in recent weeks, getting back several players that have been out with injury. Should be a fun trip to Milpitas.

Go Cats!!

Cats Not Gracious Guests to Bruin Hospitality

The Wildcats visited Santa Clara Friday night, the previous home of their head coach Mark Krail. Los Gatos was not a very gracious guest as they pummeled the Bruins 63-7 in front of their home town hosts. The Cats racked up over 500 yards of offense, while holding the Bruins to under 200 yards. This was a dominating performance by Los Gatos as they prepare for Palo Alto next week.

The rushing attack was led by Jack Salcido with 57 yards, followed close by Ryan Gault 54 yards, Jake Parinello 52 yards, Jordan Howell 50 yards, and Quinn Spiteri 49 yards. That was one great running attack spread out among a lot of Wildcat rushers. Dru Brown led the aerial assault. Brown was 12 of 16 for 215 yards and a touchdown to Quinn Spiteri. Matt Wilcox was the star receiver on the night with 4 receptions for 75 yards. Grant Rosenbaum caught 2 passes for 54 yards while Hunter Impey, Nick Occhipinti, Jake Parinello, and Aviv Brender also contributed to the Cats air attack. The Cats rushers hit pay dirt 8 times on the night, AJ Trapani, Ryan Gault, Jake Parinello, Aviv Brender, Quinn Spiteri, Jack Salcido, Jordan Howell, and Ian Mccollam all had a rushing touchdown. The ground attack was anchored by the offensive line that pushed the Bruins around all night.

Colt Doughty, and Jake Holton led the Los Gatos defense with 6 tackles each, but their were plenty of other defensive players that contributed to holding down Santa Clara.  Jordan Howell, and Brendan Ross each had an interception, and Nick Stojanovich had a sack. The defense was punishing all night as the Bruins could never get into an offensive rhythm against a strong Wildcat defensive line. 

Los Gatos will play host to the Palo Alto Vikings next Friday night, and although the Vikings record is not what it was in the past, they always play the Cats tough, and would like nothing better than to play spoiler in this match-up.

Let the League Begin!

The Wildcats opened league play with two impressive wins against Monta Vista and Santa Clara. On both occasions the Cats scored 60-plus points on offense and the defense has continued its outstanding play.

On Friday, October 10th, we hosted Monta Vista and on Friday, October 17th we travelled to Santa Clara. During these two games, several players were held out while healing from injuries. Most notable were Joey Wood and Nick Occhipinti, two standout offensive players. But, as good teams will do, we responded with the common “next man up” philosophy. The ground game hardly missed a beat running for over 250 yards against Monta Vista, and nearly 350 against Santa Clara. Several running backs have stepped in to replace Wood and Occhipinti. They include Jordan Howell, Quinn Spiteri, Jack Salcido, and Jake Parrinello. Ryan Gault, and Harry Hibberd. Fulback play had been steady as well with Nick Stojanovich, Colt Doughty, and Jake Holton all in the rotation.

The common denominator with that outstanding running game is obviously the offensive line. They have been solid all year long with our offense averaging over 190 yards per game through the air, and over 220 each night on the ground. 400 yards per game on average is very good, and it starts up front. The offensive line unit is made up of 4 seniors, Jack Jarningan (Center), Brendan Ross (Left Tackle), Henry Tuckfield (Right Tackle), and Griffin Jordan (Left Guard). The lone junior on the line is Right Guard Matt Terbet. Junior reserves Trevor Taormina, Zack Smits, Clayton Kingsbury, Mark Shaheen and Aidan Craythorn have also contributed of late. The future of the offensive line looks solid moving forward.

The defense for the Cats has been great all season, holding teams to teams to a 15 point per game average. That number is a little high because of the high scoring game at St. Mary’s where the Cats allowed 35 points in a shootout. Other than that, we have allowed 13, 7, 14, 14, and 7 points per game. One of the things that our team really prides itself in is creating turnovers and winning the turnover margin. Through 6 games the Cats defense has created 17 turnovers and have only turned it over 5 times. That is a decisive edge on the battle for turnovers.

As we look forward, our schedule gets much more challenging beginning on Friday, October 24th. This will be the Homecoming game for the Cats and we face always-tough Palo Alto. Palo Alto is coming off a win against Monta Vista and will be hungry for a win at Helm Field. For the first time in many years, the Paly sideline is not being controlled by Earl Hansen. The long time head coach retired last spring, and has been replaced by Jake Halas. Halas was the Vikings defensive coordinator for many years under Hansen.

The Cats will look to continue our winning ways by playing stout defense and balanced offense. Special Teams have also been very solid for LG with Walker Sedgwick and Nick Stojanivich handling the kicking and punting duties, respectively.

Homecoming is always a special time for a high school, its alumni, and its community. Hopefully the large crowd is treated to a good game with the Cats coming out on top!

Go Cats!

Cats Too Much for Matadors

The Los Gatos team was ripe for a let down. Coming off a bye week and a heartbreaking loss to Saint Mary’s, it would be easy to overlook the Monta Vista Matadors. That did not happen Friday night. Other than a slight break down on special teams that allowed Max McCann to run back a kick off for a touchdown, the Cats were flawless, as much as a 63 to 14 trashing can be flawless.

Coach Krail and his staff have this team playing at a very high level and nothing seems to get them off track to their 2014 goal, another CCS championship. The Wildcats are keeping pace with a standout Milpitas team that seems just as focused as Los Gatos, and it looks as if the DeAnza title may be determined on Halloween when the Cats travel to the Trojans house for this anticipated matchup… Trick or Treat.

But let’s not overlook the Wilcox Charger, they may have something to say about who ultimately wins the DeAnza prize, and they always play the Cats tough. The Matadors, however were no match for a focused Los Gatos team that was clearly superior and scored 63 points to prove it. A total of 10 players carried the ball for a combined rushing total of 253 yards. Jack Salcido led the Cats rushing attack with 78 yards on only 3 carries, that is an average of 26 yds. per carry. Salcido also had a TD. Joining him with TD caries were Hunter Bigge, Dru Brown, Harrison Hibberd, Nick Stojanovich, and Jordan Howell.

The defense had an outstanding night limiting the Matadors to just 144 total yards of offense. Jake Holton led the defense with 9 tackles, Zach Smits had 8, while Colt Doughty and Nick Kryvicky had 6 tackles. But there were a lot of players making plays on defense including Hunter Bigge, Dylan Plane, Jake Parinello, and John Cruse. The Cats defense caused 4 fumbles on the night.

It was a solid performance for Los Gatos who will travel to Santa Clara next week to face the Bruins, and they will need another win to keep pace with Milpitas and Wilcox in the highly contested DeAnza division.

2014 Pre-season Recap

Our Los Gatos Wildcats just finished the toughest pre-season of any public school in the CCS. We took on four perennial playoff teams, and the results were quite good. We started the year with CCS Open Division runner-up Mitty with a nice, hard fought win. The Cats followed that up with impressive wins against Menlo-Atherton and San Benito in consecutive weeks.

Week four was a new experience for LGHS Football. For the first time in many years, if ever, the Cats travelled out of section to take on Stockton power-St. Mary’s High School. The trip was great in all ways, except the final outcome. The team stopped for a team meal at the Graduate, in Stockton. We were treated very well by the local eatery, and were off to a good start. Upon arriving at St. Mary’s, we were welcomed, and treated very well there as well.

The game turned out to be one for the ages, as it was a back and forth struggle between two very good teams. With 5 minutes in the final quarter, we found ourselves down 10 points after St. Mary’s scored the last touchdown. The Cats responded with a touchdown drive to bring the score to 35-32 with 2 minutes remaining. We recovered and onside kick, and proceeded to drive the ball down inside the five yard line. Unfortunately, with 6 seconds left on the clock, we went for one last pass play to win the game, but as things turn out, we committed a fumble, and the clock ran out. It was a great high school football game, hard fought with both teams “giving it” everything they had. Matt Wilcox and Dru Brown continued to lead the Wildcat offense.

It’s worth mentioning that our offense was without three of our big playmakers, Ryan Gault, Nick Occhipinti, and Joey Wood, all lost to injury. Lots of credit goes to the Wildcat players that stepped and carried the load, and continued to compete to the last play. League play is just around the corner, and the De Anza league will once again prove to be one of the best leagues in the CCS. The Cats open league play following a bye week.

Opponent number one is Monta Vista. Monta Vista is a well-coached, scrappy team that will compete to the end. Looking down the road to Santa Clara, Palo Alto (homecoming), Milpitas, Saratoga, and Wilcox, we have a tough league schedule, and our goal, as always, is to compete for a league and CCS Championship.

The 2014 Varsity team is a group of tough, hard working young men, who have really gotten off to a great start. We’re all committed to “pulling the rope” in the same direction.

This season should be a great one for LG football.