In a game only scheduled in the middle of the week, Los Gatos lost 22-21 to defending 3-AA state champion Grant-Sacramento
LOS GATOS — Yardage gained and time of possession indicated a one-sided outcome.
The final score, however, was as close as it could get without the game ending in a tie: Grant-Sacramento 22, Los Gatos 21.
The San Joaquin Section visitors gained 432 yards on 77 plays from scrimmage. Los Gatos gained 230 yards on 34 plays.
“They had some long drives, and we couldn’t get off the field,” said Los Gatos coach Mark Krail. “To be fair to our defense, they were out there a lot and gave us everything they had.”
The game was put together almost at the last minute earlier this week, after Los Gatos’ scheduled game against Live Oak was canceled. The Wildcats were able to convince Grant, the 3-AA state champions from last fall, to come to the Bay Area despite not wanting to make a second straight road trip after last week’s dramatic win at Liberty-Brentwood.
“I have no regrets about taking this game,” Krail declared. “None. Sometimes a tough loss teaches you more than an easy win.”
“They were hard-nosed, well-disciplined, and very impressive,” said Grant coach Carl Reed of Los Gatos. “You have to have a lot of confidence to pick up a game like this on short notice against a defending state champion.” They played with such assurance.”
Both teams scored three times. Different approaches to the points after resulted in a one-point difference in the final score. Los Gatos converted three extra-point attempts. Grant attempted and converted two two-point conversions after each of its three touchdowns.
Los Gatos (2-1) raced out to a 14-0 lead that could have been extended. Jaylen Thomas made an interception on the first play of the game and returned it 27 yards to the Grant 8. However, Los Gatos was unable to capitalize on the unexpected opportunity. Jeziah Lopa intercepted AJ Minyard’s pass after a running play was stopped for no gain.
Los Gatos needed only three plays to go 56 yards after Grant turned the ball over on downs. Minyard’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Hobson was set up by a 47-yard run by Boxer Kobcsak-Yeung.
Scott Garwood’s interception set up another quick-strike score for the Wildcats, this time a 56-yard halfback-option pass from Thomas to Garwood.
Grant had failed to score on its first three possessions, but that was about to change with a lengthy 11-play,.80-yard drive for a touchdown and two-point conversion.
Later in the second quarter, the Pacers got the ball back and went on a 17-play drive that ended on the Los Gatos 10 as time expired in the first half.
A fumble recovery gave the Pacers a short field to start the third quarter. They capitalized with a 2-yard touchdown pass and took a 16-14 lead on Leon Martin’s two-point conversion run.
Los Gatos responded quickly, driving 54 yards in seven plays and scoring on a 6-yard pass from Minyard to Thomas.
Grant (3-1) started going heavy for the run and marched 80 yards for the go-ahead score, a 3-yard run by Martin, who stepped in after starting running back. Wayshawn Parker suffered an injury and was limited to 35 carries for 190 yards.
“I’m really proud,” Krail stated. “It’s quite an accomplishment to limit that team to (22) points. I wish we had scored a few more goals. We’ve been scoring more points lately, but we didn’t tonight because we didn’t have the ball. They limited the number of offensive snaps we had. But these guys aren’t going to give up. We’re going to improve.”
Los Gatos’ Kopcsak-Yeung rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries. Thomas demonstrated his ability as a triple threat by intercepting a pass, scoring a receiving touchdown, and throwing a touchdown pass.
“We’ll definitely be able to capitalize on this loss,” said Thomas. “We’ll cover up our mistakes and be able to compare this team to the better teams we’ll see the rest of the season.”