Football Season Summary and Playoff Previews
By Robert Haugh
Chargers Open CCS Open Div. I Playoffs as Low Seed
The No. 8 seed Wilcox Chargers (5-5, 3-3 SCVAL De Anza) open CCS Div. I playoffs at No. 1 seed Menlo-Atherton (8-2, 5-0 PEN-Bay), the Peninsula Bay division champions on Friday, November 11 at 7 p.m. in Atherton.
Wilcox, the leading rushing offense in the CCS, is coming off a bye and should be well-rested. Their three-pronged rushing attack has cruised to 367.3 rush yards/game – the next closest is their opponent, Menlo-Atherton with 289.2 yards/game rushing.
The Chargers, hindered by turnovers, key mistakes, costly penalties and earlier-season injuries have shown tremendous depth. They ranked fifth overall in CCS in scoring averaging 36.3 points per game – while Menlo-Atherton ranks first n the CCS in scoring.
Junior QB David Hernandez leads the Chargers’ rush-first offense with 1,136 rushing yards and five TDs, though he has also thrown for 794 yards and seven TDs. Senior Richard Herrera has 1,135 yards rushing and 23 TDs while senior Isaiah Chavez has garnered 607 yards and five TDs.
The Wilcox defense, which has been clutch several times this season, including in a late-game stop against De Anza rival Milpitas that sealed the Chargers’ a huge De Anza win have immense depth with no one player dominating on defense. Senior Jarius Baddo has three INTs, senior Sione Taulfalele has four sacks, sophomore Nick Malvini has three sacks and senior Hesekia Tali Finefeuiaki has 51 tackles and two sacks.
The Bears lead the CCS in scoring – averaging 40.5 points per game and are second in the CCS in rushing and are also averaging over 150 yards passing per game. They also have a stout defense leading the CCS with 18 INTs and also have accumulated 30 sacks.
Leading the Bears’ offense is senior QB Aaron Johnson who has 883 yards rushing and 10 TDs. He is also averaging 150 yards a game passing. Senior Jordan Mims has amassed 1,462 yards and 20 TDs on the ground. Bears LB Christian Wiseman is one of the leading tacklers in the CCS.
If Wilcox scores the “upset” they would likely advance to play at West Catholic powerhouse Bellarmine next week, and if they were to survive that matchup, they would likely play San Benito, who were defeated 45-30 on Sept. 6 in Hollsiter.
The Chargers have the tools to make a run. Coach Paul Rosa is not afraid of challenges, nor afraid of making bold play calls – a key call in the huge win over Milpitas was a fake punt that the Chargers converted.
Despite Winless De Anza Slate, Santa Clara Bruins Hopeful
Though the Santa Clara Bruins (2-8, 0-6 SCVAL De Anza) went winless in De Anza division play and will fall to the “C” El Camino division next season, they showed poise and heart all season, hanging in against some of the strongest teams in the CCS.
The Bruins were led on offense by junior QB Chris Brown who was eighth in the CCS with 1,842 yards (230 yards/game passing) and 20 TDs and seven INTs. He also added 144 yards and three TDs rushing.
Brown had an array of weapons in the air, led by sophomore Richard Corona with 35 receptions for 416 yards and six TDs and sophomore Nick Garcia with 536 yards and six TDs. Garcia was also 23-for-25 on PATs and kicked two field goals. Senior Pako Vehikite added 33 receptions for 346 yards and two TDs and also recovered a fumble recovery for a TD and a returned a punt for a TD.
Brown recorded five multiple-TD games and three 300-yard passing performances, including a 371-yard, six TD performance in a 45-28 win over Jefferson on Sept. 2. He also recorded 306 yards and four TDs in a 35-27 loss to San Lorenzo Valley on Sept. 10.
Junior Erik Ketton led the Bruins’ backfield with 651 yards and five TDs and added 17 receptions for 148 yards and four TDs.
The Bruins had a stellar outing against Mountain View on Oct. 21, falling to the Spartans 40-34 in double overtime. Another highlight of the season for the Bruins was once again playing at Levi’s Stadium – which saw them defeated 19-14 by Gunderson on Aug. 27.
The Bruins started the season behind the eight-ball after a fire at Santa Clara High in April caused more than $45,000 in losses to the football program – uniforms, girdles and various pads, Gatorade products and more.
Thankfully for the Bruins, the San Francisco 49ers stepped to help the team prior to their Friday Night Lights game at Levi’s Stadium. Read more at: http://prep2prep.com/feature.aspx?ArticleID=14609