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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.
On the defensive side, Los Gatos held the Mustangs to under 200 yards.
“We wanted to control the line of scrimmage, and we did a pretty good job of that tonight,” Los Gatos coach Mark Krail said. “The first game out, you don’t really know what you have, but our players did what we asked them to.”
Right from the start, the Wildcats proved they were ready. On the first possession, Los Gatos quarterback Kyle Reid lofted a 6-yard pass into the reaching hands of tight end Jake Tonges for a an early 7-0 lead.
The second quarter was only more trouble for Pioneer as Los Gatos ran all over the Pioneer defense. The Wildcats scored three rushing touchdowns on three straight possessions, including both of Fordyce’s scores on the night.
All of these touchdowns gave the Wildcats a commanding 28-0 lead at halftime. This was despite an injury coming to starting Wildcat running back Jordan Howell at the end of the first quarter.
“The linemen were there all night,” said Fordyce, who helped fill in. “I got a couple tucks and reads and I felt comfortable [stepping up] the rest of the game.”
In the second half, Los Gatos kept Pioneer from rallying and handily walked out with the win.
Pioneer had its own injury problems. Star two-way player Ronald August has been out with a hamstring injury, but hopes to make it back soon. After the game, he said, “I just love to play and almost nothing will stop me. Sitting out and watching the guys lose, it hurts.”
August should be healthy in time for the team’s next game, which is at home against Salinas on Sept. 2.
“We gotta work on tackling, reading, and getting the right places,” Pioneer coach Eric Perry said. “Salinas is going to be a tough opponent. We gotta get back to work on Monday practice.”
Los Gatos next plays Sept. 2 against Corona del Mar.