Los Gatos falls to Corona del Mar

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By Giuliano Orsi, Prep2Prep

LOS GATOS — The start to the season is nerve-racking for a lot of teams, especially when it’s in front of their home crowd. But that didn’t seem to be the case for Los Gatos on Friday night as it rolled over visiting Pioneer 35-7.

The confident Wildcats were able to control both sides of the ball from the start. On offense, they put up an impressive 344 total yards, including 295 rushing. The success on the ground was led by junior Will Fordyce, who had 66 yards on 15 carries, including two touchdowns. Senior wide out Ben Grasty also ran for an 85-yard touchdown.

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Los Gatos Cruises Past Pioneer

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By Giuliano Orsi, Prep2Prep

LOS GATOS — The start to the season is nerve-racking for a lot of teams, especially when it’s in front of their home crowd. But that didn’t seem to be the case for Los Gatos on Friday night as it rolled over visiting Pioneer 35-7.

The confident Wildcats were able to control both sides of the ball from the start. On offense, they put up an impressive 344 total yards, including 295 rushing. The success on the ground was led by junior Will Fordyce, who had 66 yards on 15 carries, including two touchdowns. Senior wide out Ben Grasty also ran for an 85-yard touchdown.

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Los Gatos Too Much for Homestead

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Quarterback Hunter Bigge threw two touchdowns, connecting with Ryan Gault and Ryan Wilcox as the Wildcats moved to 5-1 in the SCVAL De Anza Division. Gault also rushed for a TD, and senior linebacker Jake Holton returned an interception for a score.

Los Gatos 27 “‚7 “‚0 “‚0–34
Homestead 0 “‚0 “‚0 “‚7–7

LG — Gault 8 run (Craythorne kick)
LG — Holton 22 interception return (Craythorne kick)
LG — Gault 5 pass from Bigge (kick failed)
LG — Wilcox 53 pass from Bigge (Craythorne kick)
LG — Grasty 5 run (Craythorne kick)
H — Ward 23 run (Faria kick)

Records — Los Gatos 6-3, 5-1; Homestead 3-6, 1-4.

Cats Down Vikings

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Miles Beach caught two tochdown passes of 30-plus yards from Hunter Bigge as Los Gatos won a SCVAL De Anza Division game. Jordan Howell scored two first half rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats. Eli Givens scored two touchdowns for Palo Alto, one on a 90-yard kickoff return.

Los Gatos 21 “‚7 “‚7 “‚7–42
Palo Alto 0 “‚13 “‚7 “‚0–20

LG — Beach 38 pass from Bigge (Craythorne kick)
LG — Howell 22 run (Craythorne kick)
LG — Howell 4 run (Craythorne kick)
PA– Riley Schoeben 17 pass from Justin Hull (kick failed)
LG — Doughty 40 run (Craythorne kick)
PA– Givens 10 pass from Jackson, III (Dorward kick)
LG — Geredes 25 run (Craythorne kick)
PA — Givens 90 kickoff return (Dorward kick)
LG — Beach 30 pass from Bigge (Craythorne kick)
Records — Los Gatos 4-3, 3-1; Palo Alto 3-5, 2-2.

High school football: Milpitas tops Los Gatos 28-14

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LOS GATOS — In a showdown between first place teams in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League’s De Anza Division, Milpitas took charge early Friday night and then had to hold on in the second half.

When it ended, the Trojans had a 28-14 victory over Los Gatos that puts them one big step closer to repeating as De Anza champs.

Behind its massive offensive line, quick and shifty running backs and elusive quarterback — not to mention a defense that finished with four interceptions — Milpitas scored the first 21 points to take command.

Los Gatos tried to claw back after halftime, but two fourth-quarter interceptions by sophomore Tariq Bracy silenced the rally.

Milpitas quarterback Oliver Svirsky (3) gets by Los Gatos’ Jake Holton on this second quarter run in Los Gatos, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Milpitas quarterback Oliver Svirsky (3) gets by Los Gatos’ Jake Holton on this second quarter run in Los Gatos, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (John Green/Bay Area News Group) “We had to fight,” said Bracy, who also rushed for 148 yards in 15 carries. “Gatos is always a good team, and it’s always a rivalry. So we had to fight and get the win.”

Los Gatos (3-3, 2-1) cut the deficit to 28-14 in the third quarter on Hunter Bigge’s 3-yard run, which followed a 28-yard halfback pass from Harrison Hibberd to Ryan Gault.

The Wildcats threatened to pull closer early in the fourth quarter, reaching the Milpitas 23. But the drive ended with Bracy’s interception, which he returned to near midfield.

Milpitas (5-2, 3-0) then drove to the 1, but quarterback Oliver Svirsky was stopped short of the goal line on fourth down with 4:32 to play.

Los Gatos, aided by a slew of penalties, went from its 1 to the Milpitas 6. But on first down with three minutes left, Bigge’s pass to the corner of the end zone was intercepted by Bracy.

“He’s the future of our team,” running back Cros Chavez of Bracy. “Once all the seniors leave, he’s up next.”

Milpitas collected all the points it needed before halftime.

The Trojans scored their first touchdown when Svirsky ran toward the right sideline, turned and ran across the field and into the end zone to give the Trojans a 7-0 advantage.

Tyree Bracy — Tariq’s twin brother — intercepted a pass three plays later and returned it 22 yards to the 1. Chavez’s 1-yard run extended Milpitas a 14-0 cushion with 5:16 left in the first quarter.

The lead widened to 21-0 the next time Milpitas got the ball as Svirsky threw a 5-yard pass to Michael Pyle for the touchdown.

Los Gatos took advantage of a muffed punt for its first score. After taking over at Milpitas’ 39, Bigge threw a strike to Miles Beach on the next play for a touchdown that made it 21-7.

But Milpitas answered quickly, getting a 34-yard scoring run from Chavez that gave the Trojans a 28-7 halftime lead. “It was all my line,” said Chavez, who finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns in 16 carries. “I give all the glory to my line.”

Los Gatos had a much better second half, but the deficit was too big to overcome.

“The first half was about as bad as it got,” Los Gatos coach Mark Krail said. “We didn’t take care of the ball. We were feeling the pressure, I think. They were bringing the house, and we didn’t block very well. Good team like that, you can’t give them easy scores, and that’s what we did.”

Milpitas 14 14″‚ 0 “‚0 — 28
Los Gatos 0 “‚7 “‚7 0 — 14

M — Svirsky 12 run (Silva kick)
M — Chavez 1 run (Silva kick)
M — Pyle 5 pass from Svirsky 12 run (Silva kick)
LG — Beach 39 pass from Bigge (Craythorne kick)
M — Chavez 34 run (Silva kick)
LG — Bigge 3 run (Craythorne kick)

Records — Milpitas 5-2, 3-0; Los Gatos 3-3, 2-1

Wildcats roll over Falcons, now face big test against the Trojans

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Sure it’s a rivalry … a rivalry that dates back some 55 years.

But when his Wildcats were heading into Friday’s game at Saratoga, Los Gatos head football coach Mark Krail was worried about more than just the Falcons–he was concerned that his Cats just might look past Saratoga and ahead to league title favorite Milpitas, just a week away on the Gatos schedule.

The Cats had already beaten Wilcox–42-32 in the first week of the league season–and Milpitas is the other favorite in the De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League.

“We always know where [Milpitas] is on our schedule, and we try not to look ahead,” said Krail, whose Cats host the Trojans on Oct. 16, 7 p.m., at Helm Field. Still, with the Falcons entering last Friday’s game riding a three-game losing streak, Krail had good reason to worry about his Wildcats looking past Saratoga and ahead to the Trojans.

It turns out, though, any such concern was unfounded.

Los Gatos scored twice in the first two minutes of Friday’s game at Benny Pierce Field, and went on to move out to a 34-0 halftime lead on the road to an easy 41-20 victory.

“Our concern coming over here was that we wouldn’t play at high level, yet we did,” said Krail. “We didn’t feel good in terms of offensive rhythm; it wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the scoreboard was.”

The Wildcats dominated Saratoga just the way Krail had hoped they would, and now they match identical league records with Milpitas heading into play this Friday. Both clubs are 2-0 in the division with Los Gatos 3-2 for the year and Milpitas 4-2 overall.

“[Milpitas] is always a tough game,” said Krail of Friday’s clash. “It will be a great challenge for us.”

“They’re doing well and taking care of business,” he added. “They’re very good, just like they always are.”

Los Gatos was pretty good last Friday night, scoring on the third play after the opening kickoff and then again just two plays after kicking off to the Falcons.

Senior running back Jake Parinello set the tone early when he broke the third play from scrimmage 73 yards for a touchdown.

Saratoga quickly discovered that the Wildcats were just as tough defensively as they were on offense. After Caden McCloughan stopped the Falcons for no gain on the first play after the Gatos kickoff, Mile Beach ripped the ball out of the hands of Saratoga quarterback Will Liddle, picked it up on a bounce and ran 22 yards for a touchdown. After Arun Craythorne kicked the first of his five extra points, the Cats were up 13-0 just 1:53 into the football game.

The Wildcats would go on to score three more times before the half and four more times in the game, but it was really the defense that played a starring role in this one. The Cats held the Falcons to just 40 yards of total offense in the first half and forced four turnovers–three interceptions to go with Beach’s fumble recovery.

Jake Tonges had one of those picks, and it was impressive indeed. Liddle was attempting to throw a screen pass but Tonges was right in his face, and with lightning quick reflexes, picked off a pass that didn’t go more than a few yards.

“As coaches, we were kind of proud of that to be honest,” said Krail. “They do a lot of that quick screen, and we were working on it this week. In fact, he intercepted one in practice that was very similar to that one.”

Tonges’ interception set up the fourth Gatos touchdown, a 15-yard TD run by Harrison Hibberd with 4:59 left in the half. It had been a 23-yard punt return by Hibberd that led the third Los Gatos touchdown, a 15-yard pass from Hunter Bigge to Ryan Gault.

Moments after Hibberd’s score, Parinello intercepted a Saratoga pass, but the Cats went out on three plays and a punt. They weren’t out for long, though. Gault picked a Falcon pass on the first play after the punt and ran it back 39 yards to the Saratoga 22. Bigge tossed a screen pass to Parinello and he went 22 yards for the score.

That put the Wildcats up 34-0 and their offense was finished with just 1:51 left in the half. The defense? That’s another story.

The Falcons completed a 23-yard pass to move into Los Gatos territory at the 39, but their hopes for a possible score were quickly dashed when Beach dropped Saratoga quarterback Alec Lindeman with a pancake sack to end the threat.

“It was a textbook sack,” said Krail. “He kept his head up and he hit him in the right spot.”

Saratoga managed to open the second half with a scoring drive, but Los Gatos matched the touchdown when back-up quarterback Kyle Reid snuck over from the 1-yard-line.

The Falcons would get two more scores, but it was much too little far too late to pose any sort of threat to the Cats.

It was a night when the defense grabbed the spotlight, and senior linebacker Jack Randolph led the show by topping the team with eight tackles. He also knocked down a Saratoga pass.

Colt Doughty and Matt Hanna were in on five tackles apiece for the Cats and Kevin Potts finished with four. Jake Holton had three tackles and knocked down a couple of ‘Toga tosses and Beach, Mike Fogerty and Frederick Pittman were in on three stops each.

McCloughan, Hibberd, Ryan Wilcox, Tonges, Paul Badaracco, Jake Seandel, Reid, Craythorne, Jake Clyne and Thomas Gregg were also in on tackles for the Wildcats. McCloughan and Wilcox also batted down passes and Craythorne had a quarterback hurry.

Parinello was the offensive star for the Cats with four carries for a team-high 86 yards and two catches for 29 more. Ben Grasty had a big night carrying the football with 40 yards on four tries and Jordan Howell ran seven times for 25. Doughty had three runs for 22 yards and Jared Geredes had three for 12.

Los Gatos finished the night with 196 yards on the ground behind the offensive front wall of tackles Seandel and Savo Miljevich, guards Charley Laragione and Matt Terbet and center Mark Shaheen.

Bigge ended the evening hitting on 4 of 10 passes for 52 yards. In addition to the two screens to Parinello, he hit Gault twice for 23. Reid completed his only pass, a 33-yarder to Wilcox.

In a game loaded with offense, defensive stand leads Gatos to win

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The two teams combined for 84 points and 838 yards of total offense. They ran for seven touchdowns and passed for four more.

Still, on a night when offense was the name of the game, it turns out that defense proved the difference when Los Gatos pulled out an exciting 42-32 win over a powerful Wilcox team last Friday night at Helm Field.

Late in the game, with the Wildcats up just 35-32, the Wilcox offense had the football with nearly six minutes left to play–and Los Gatos hadn’t had much success stopping the Chargers most of the night.

This time, though, it would be very different.

Aftert Matt Hanna dropped a kick off returner at the Wilcox 39, the running game that had provided the Chargers with so much all evening ran into a wall. Matt Terbet made a tackle at the 41 on first down and Caden McCloughan followed with a stop at the 44 a play later.

So the Chargers tried to go to the air, and that didn’t work so well either. After an errant pass on third down, Miles Beach shot through the Wilcox line to slap a fourth-down pass into the quarterback’s face, and the Wildcats had the football and the lead with 4:32 left to play.

Seven plays later junior running Jordan Howell was dancing into the end zone, and in a game that saw eight lead changes, the no-quit Wildcats had all but locked up the 42-32 victory.

“These kids are just fighters,” said head coach Mark Krail of the Cats. “That’s what I really love about them.”

“Our offense was not pretty at times, but we were effective,” he added. “And I’m very proud of our offensive line, especially when it came to our running game in the fourth quarter. That’s when the linemen got real excited and just said run it, run it.”

And run it they did … 11 times for 63 yards in the fourth quarter, including the 4-yard run by Howell for the game-clinching touchdown with 2:03 left to play.

Howell finished the night with 88 yards on 15 carries and Ryan Gault ran six times for 32 yards. In all, Los Gatos ran up 153 yards on the ground behind tackles Savo Miljevich and Jake Seandel, guards Terbet and Charley Laragione and center Mark Shaheen.

“Our line just keeps getting better and better and better,” said Krail.

While the running game was strong, the Cats were pretty good through the air, too. Senior quarterback Hunter Bigge hit on 10 of 21 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns, and junior Kyle Reid added a 42-yard TD toss to Grant Rosenbaum on the fake punt late in the first quarter.

“[Bigge] played great,” said Krail of his QB. “He’s our leader. He’s calm in the huddle and confident with what we’re trying to do.”

The win over Wilcox came in the league opener for each club. The Chargers brought a 3-0 record into Friday’s game before getting tagged for their first loss of the year, and the Wildcats evened their record at 2-2.

Los Gatos will travel to Saratoga on Oct. 9, 7 p.m., for the second game of the year in the De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League. The Falcons are 1-3 after opening the year with a tough 42-35 double overtime loss at Palo Alto.

Krail isn’t looking at Saratoga’s record, though. He knows the Falcons are always intent on beating the Wildcats, and with their high-scoring spread offense they are also tough to defend.

“We’re going to have our hands full,” he said. “We need to show up with everything we’ve got.”

And that means maybe a little more defense than the Cats showed against the Chargers, who ran for 373 yards and threw for 77 more while scoring five touchdowns last Friday night. Still, despite the numbers, the Wildcats put up some very impressive defensive stats in the game.

Senior linebackers Jake Holton and Colt Doughty combined for 31 tackles, Holton leading the club with 18 stops and Doughty adding 13. Three of Doughty’s tackles were in the Wilcox backfield and he also recovered a fumble.

Jack Clyne had a big night with 10 tackles and Terbet, Beach and Harrison Hibberd finished with six each. Hibberd and Beach each batted down passes and Beach forced a fumble that McCloughan recovered. McCloughan and Jake Tonges finished with four tackles apiece (Tonges forcing the fumble by Doughty recovered).

Gault and Kevin Potts added three tackles each, Thomas Gregg and Reid two each, Ryan Wilcox had two tackles to go with a pass interception and A.J. Trapani had two stops on special teams. Hanna, Seandel, Jack Randolph and Paul Badaracco were also in on tackles.

Los Gatos battled from behind early in the game. Wilcox scored on its first possession, but Seandel and Potts pounded the Wilcox ball carrier on the try for the two-point conversion to keep the lead at 6-0. Gatos answered before the end of the quarter.

A 22-yard toss from Bigge to Hibberd took the Cats to midfield before the offense stalled. The punt team came on, but Gatos faked the kick and Reid tossed a beauty down the right sideline to a streaking Rosenbaum for a 42-yard TD pass. Arun Craythorne kicked the first of his four extra points to give Gatos a tight 7-6 lead with 43.1 seconds left in the first period.

Wilcox scored again, but once more the two-point run was foiled–this time by Hibberd and Terbet–and the Cats trailed just 12-7.

Gault ran twice for 14 yards, but the offense stalled and the punt team came on again. This time Craythorne punted, and his 38-yarder pinned the Chargers at their own 11.

On the first play after the punt Beach forced the fumble that McCloughan recovered, and the Cats were in business deep in Wilcox territory at the 14.

Howell ran for 13 yards, then a couple of plays later followed Seandel and Laragione over the left side for the final yard and the TD.

The interception by Wilcox gave the football again with 2:27 left in the half and Bigge took advantage of it. He hooked up with Hibberd on passes for 13 and 12 yards, and after a 13-yard run by Howell, Bigge connected with Gault for 26 yards and a score with 49.8 left in the half, putting them up 20-12 at intermission.

The Chargers struck quickly in the second half, scoring on back-to-back possessions to move in front 25-20.

Jake Parinello got things going and then finished them up to put the Cats back in front. He returned the kickoff 25 yards to the Gatos 43, and after Bigge hit Beach for 32 yards and ran for 14 more, Parinello hauled in a toss from Bigge for four yards and a touchdown. Beach, who had made the tackle stop the Chargers on a two-point attempt after their first touchdown of the second half, caught the two-point pass from Bigge to put the Cats on top 28-25.

Wilcox scored early in the fourth to regain the advantage, 32-28, but then the Cats took over. A 12-yard pass from Bigge to Beach set up a 50-yard touchdown pass for the two, and that set up the big defensive stop that led to the final Los Gatos score that wrapped up the win.

After Beach batted down the Chargers’ fourth-down pass, Gault ran for 12 yards, Holton for six, Howell for 16 and Parinello for nine to set up the 4-yard TD run by Howell. Craythorne’s fourth kick made the final 42-32.

In addition to his 32 yards on the ground, Gault finished the night with three receptions for 67 yards. Beach caught three for 94, Hibberd two for 25, Parinello two for seven and Rosenbaum the one for 42.