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Wildcats power to key win over Pioneer
Photograph by Dllve Stephenson
Big defensive lineman Jordan Dombrowsky nails one of his two
quarterback sacks in last week's "'in over Pioneer. Los Gatos will now
play for the CCS Medium School Division championship.
Photogmph by Dave Stephenson
Los Gatos running bock Chris Lallouff(44) powers through the
Pioneer defense to score a touchdown in last Frida)' night's 24-20 win
over the Mustangs. LaBouff scored two TOs in the Gatos win.
over.That's what we try to do."
And that's just what they did.
Tailback Chris LaBouffhit lhe
line hard on six of lhe 10 plays of
the winning drive, but it was ulti-
mately junior quarterback Nick
Hirschman sneaking in for the
final yard behind junior center
Erik Eastland. for the winning
The drive started at midfield
after hristian Cusella returned
the Pioneerkickoff32yards.near-
Iy breaking it. before officials indi-
cated he slepped out of bounds al
the 50.
Hirschman tossed to junior
Andrew Berg for 23 yards 10 cal
[n the end, though, it was the
Wildcats' vaunted power running
game that proved thedi(ference in
I'We figured they were going to
lry to grind it out;'said Krail orthe
That was exactly what Cattoli-
co's plan was in the final minutes.
"'1tese kids are blood and gUIS,"
said Cattolico of his \Vildcats.
""nlere's nothing prct1y aboul
them, but there's no quit in them
either:rney did illast week against
Seaside. and they did it again
tonighl against a very good Pio-
neer Lcam."
"We wanted 10 keep their
offense off the field;' he added.
<'We just let our power game take .. Page 50
Butch Cattolico after the game.
But in the end,it wasn't trickery
that determined the outcome-it
was good old-fashioned smash-
mouth football.
Los Gatos powered its way
down the field on a I O-play drive 10
score a game·winning touchdown
withjust22.9seconds remaining to
pull out a hard-earned24-20 victo-
ry in the e\'enly played game at
WeSlmont High School.
With the win. Los Gatos (9-3)
advances to the CCS Medium
School Division championship
game against a familiar rival, Palo
Alto (9-3) ,on Oec.6, 7 p.m.,at San
Jose City College. The clubs meL
jusl three weeks ago and Paly
pulled out a late 17-14 win.
., If we can play the way we did
on Friday night. we have a good
shot." said Canolieo. "But they're
a very good fOOL ba II leam. They
throw the ball really well."
The win over Pioneer lasl week
certainly didn't come easy for the
\Vi\dcats,who led most of the night
before Pioneer scored on the
swinging gate in the final minutes.
"They're an awfully good foot-
ballleam,"said Cauolico,praising
the Mustangs for their effort.
Gatos advances
to title game
t happened so quickly, many
may have missed it. Pioneer's
Brandon Henry lined up out-
;ide the tackle on the left comer of
Ihe line of scrimmage, apparently
'eady to block [or a field goal. But
list as quickly as the Mustangs sel
[or the play, they surprised
one in the house-including Lhe 11
members of the Los Gatos defen-
live unit-bysnapping lhe fOOL ball
Jirectly 10 Henry, who raced nine
{or a touchdown on the sel-
om·used swinginggale play.
'Oft \Vasa direct snap 110 HenryJ."
said Pioneer coach Mark Krail.
"We've practiced lhal play all
II worked on Friday nighl,and it
enough 10give Pioneer a20-.17
ead over Los Gatos with 4:52 left
p play in (he Central Coast Sec-
ion Medium School Division
"Theyhad some Irick plays..and
10 did we," said Los Gatos coach
· :. ,f I . t • 1~ ~
PholOgrnph by DaveStcphcnson
Standout wide receiver, defensive back ~ m d kick returner Andrew
Berg s ( ~ J r r e d in all three areas in Friday's win over Pioneer. Berg's
pass interception ended a Pioneer threat and started the Wildcats on
the TOad to a score.
COlltilluedfrom page 45
up half the distance. After a 2-yard
fun by LaBouf[, Hirschman went
to Cusella for eight yards and a
first down at the Pioneer 17.
"Nick threw the ball really well
t6nighl," said Cattolico of
Hirschman, who hit on 9 of 1\
passes-including his first seven
straight-ror 89 yards.
LaBouff ran twice for eight
yards and Cole Cuselln picked up
one to leave Gatos facingn fOUTth-
and-one at the 9-yard line. Catloli-
co called a timeout to talk things
over wil h his offense, but there was
never any indication that place-
kicker Pat Impey might come on
to attempt a game-tyingfieldgoul.
Cattolico called on LaBouCf,
and he powered his way over the
left side behind tackle Spencer
Havens and guard Jordan Dom-
browsky for a key first down at the
A couple of runs by LaBouff
'took the Cats to the j -yard line,
and Hirschman took it from lhere
for the touchdown,
Pioneer had one lasl chance
(rom its own 41 following the kick-
off.Jake Hackman-Salazar broke
up a first-down pass,but a rough-
'ing the passer penally gave the
ML4slangs a first at the Galos 44.
After an errant pass, Pioneer had
one last chnnce w\th 3.9 seconds But linebacker Hamil-
ton Fairburn, who doubles as key
blocking back in the Los Gatos
offense, pressured"Pioneer quar
terback RJ. Silvey into throwing a
pass to an offensive lineman and
"Our quarterback played well,
our running backs ran hard and the
defense played well,"said Caltoli-
AleC'Gletzer led the inspired
defensive effort with 14 tackles
and senior linebacker Kyle 8au-
mann gol inan nine,including two
for losses. Craig Zeiter finished
with eight tackles, a few of them
solo stops in the open field, and
Dombrowsky had a couple of
quarterback sacks among hiseighl
Fairburn ended upwithsix tack-
les,as did senior Brian Comstock.
But it wasn't a tackle that was
the key play of the game for Com-
stock. Early in the second hair, he
blocked a Pioneer punt and cov-
ered the loose ball at the Pioneer 4-
yard line. LaBouff ran for three
yards, then went the final yard over
the left side 3:07 into the third
quarter. Tmpey kicked one of his
three extra points,and the Cats led
The defense stopped Pioneer
cold on its next possession. Gletzer
andDombrowsky met RobArtery
at the line of scrimmage on first
down at thel
ioneer 20-yard line
before Fairburn dropped star fun-
ning back Justin S9uza [or a yard
loss. Dombrowsky sacked Silvey at
the 16 to force the Mustangs to
Berg returned the kiclc to the
Pioneer43,and the Wildcats look
advantage of a couple of penalties
to move inlo position for a 24-yard
Impey field goal.
The Mustangs scored on their
next two possessions [Q lead 20-14,
... page 5]
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Continuedfrom page50
but that just set the stage for the
final Los OatosTD.
The Wildcats had broken up a
scoreless lie with an impressive
14-play, 7S-yard touchdown
march in the second quarter.Berg
picked off a pass to gel things
started,and LaBouff capped the
drive with a 4-yard TO run over
lhe m.iddle.
LaBouff was the Los Gatos
workhorse with 22 carries for 60
yards,and Co. <;:uselhl supported
with 39 yards on 'line tries.ll1c two
were running bett{nd an offensive
front that included Havens. Dorn-
browsky, Eastland, Westin Bol-
liger,Patrick Kellyand Chris Kile-
ly. tight end Comstock and block-
ing backs Fairburn and Dylan
Hirschman connected with 01.
Cusella (our times for 28 yards,
Berg three times for 44, Hackman-
Salazar once for 11 and Comstock
once for six.
Junior noseguard Suhkrnj Sohal
had a sack among his four lackles',
Burton Ferguson got in on four
stops;Hackman-Salazar had two
tackles and batted down lwo pass-
es and Shane Samuel,Vicror Zap-
ala and Mike Sporck were also in