Sports

Gunn comes up an inch short in stellar football season

 
Saia Faasisila (99) leads the way for Eitan Smolyar, who rushed for 121 yards and scored twice. Photo by Butch Garcia.

Gunn played well enough this season to position itself for a chance to win its first football title in seven years. The Titans didn't quite make it after losing to host Homestead 42-21 in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division contest Friday night.

"That's all a coach can ask for, being in position to win a title on the final day of the season," Gunn coach Jason Miller said. "The JVs were playing for a title too (they also lost). We played a quality team that is going to the playoffs. It gives our guys a taste of what we need to do to get to the next level."


Richard Jackson/BG
The Titans (8-2, 4-2) mingled on the field, junior varsity players included, long after the game was over and the Mustangs were headed off to their locker room. It was as though they didn't want to consider their season over.

It might not be over if the Central Coast Section committee, which meets Sunday, somehow finds Gunn worthy of one of the top 40 spots. It's a long shot though. The Titans finished third in a league considered a notch below the De Anza Division. If desire and commitment were part of the criteria, Gunn would be one of the first teams selected.

"We just aren't there yet," Miller said. "We had a great season, an improved season. We'll go to the meeting and see if we're invited. If we're not, we'll turn in our uniforms and get ready for next year."

Ken Erlan, who Miller considers the best lineman in the league, wasn't able to play and there were critical plays, twice failing to convert on fourth and short plays, once coming up less than an inch short.

"We struggled on fourth downs but that's the way things go sometimes," Miller said. "It's about the next man up."

The good news is that Erlan is a junior and will return next season. Running back Richard Jackson is also a junior and he's playing his best football. After gaining 95 yards last week, he took the ball 21 times and willed his way to 133 yards. He also scored the Titans first touchdown.

While Jackson gained 113 of his yards in the first half, senior fullback Eitan Smolyar raced for 94 yards (of 121 total) in the second half, scoring on consecutive offensive plays of 25 yards and 53 yards.

Junior lineman Sione Fisiiahi saved the first scoring drive by recovering a loose ball. The Titans also lost a fumble that led to a Homestead touchdown.

Homestead's Harold Rucker III, whose father was a CCS champion triple jumper, needed just eight carries to gain 136 yards and score three touchdowns. He also caught the only pass the Mustangs attempted. He's so sure-handed that he's also the holder on PATs. He scored on a 91-yard kickoff return, a 92-yard run and a 12-yard run.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by Shawn
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2019 at 8:01 am

I hope the 2 head coach’s can come together and make the Paly - Gunn game happen next year , it would help spark some interest in football in this community , make it happen


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 9, 2019 at 11:47 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

In a related story, former Gunn football star Gordon Dyal ‘79 made $100m on Wall Street this year; run to daylight, boys!

Web Link


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

From Tokyo to Cupertino: Afuri Ramen's first California location debuts tonight
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 3,082 views

Disposing of Disposables
By Sherry Listgarten | 13 comments | 1,327 views

Couples Counseling, Al Pacino Style
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,185 views