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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