By Robert Haugh
After a stunning 52-28 win over No. 2 seed St. Francis (7-4) last week, the No. 7 seeded Wilcox Chargers (8-3) are hoping for another upset today against undefeated and top-ranked Serra Padres (11-0) as they battle for the CCS Open Division championship.
Serra stormed through the always formidable West Catholic Athletic League slate, dominating their foes, outscoring them 456-91. Serra defeated Salinas (7-4) 47-7 last week. Serra has not allowed more than 17 points in any of their games.
The Chargers’ O-Line: junior Ryan Castillo, senior Angelo De Los Santos, junior Michael Gonzalez, senior Justin Hylkema and junior Jacob Smith cleared wide running lanes for the Chargers’ renowned veer-formation rushing attack.
Senior Elijah Walker led the Chargers’ production on offense and special teams, amassing 226 yards rushing and five TDs (four rushing, one return) in the triumph over the Lancers. Senior QB Tyson Bonilla added 188 yards on the ground.
On the season, the Chargers have compiled 3,411 rushing yards, averaging 328.3 yards per game on the ground, with 41 rushing TDs. Bonilla has 14 rushing TDs (as well as five passing TDs), Walker has 12 rushing TDs, while junior Jamontay Amataga has eight rushing TDs. Bonilla is averaging 122.3 rush yards per game, Walker 112.6 per game and Amataga 50.5 per game.
The mighty offense has been bolstered by a strong defensive effort.
In the win over St. Francis, the defense was clutch, forcing several fumbles, punts and turnovers on downs. On the season, the Chargers have recorded 16 sacks, seven INTs, eight fumble recoveries and a blocked Field Goal.
Senior Jeremiah Lewis leads the Defense with 10.5 tackles per game, with one forced fumble. Junior Brayden Rosa is averaging 9.4 tackles per game, having added four sacks, one INT and three forced fumbles. Seniors Lotrail Riggs and Romeo Castillo have each recorded three sacks. Senior Maulidi Saleh has two INTs with senior Ri-yon Cooper adding two picks and two forced fumbles. Junior Jasean Amataga has three fumble recoveries.
Senior kicker Isaiah Lopez is 42-for-48 on PATs and 1-for-2 on Field Goals.
The Chargers battle the Padres at 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, November 17 at San Jose City College.