Gilroy High football team perseveres with last win – Gilroy Dispatch

Winning ugly. During a football season, teams will endure matches where their performance is far from impressive. But in the end, they persevere to register a victory.

That was exactly the situation for Gilroy High as he edged Soledad High 21-20 on October 8 in a Pacific Coast Athletic League mission division contest. The Mustangs (3-3 overall, 2-1 in the league) remained in contention for a divisional championship and just as improved to 0.500 after mid-season.

The last time this happened was in 2017, when Gilroy won his first Central Coast section title.

“Gilroy hasn’t won three games in a very long time, so the guys have a lot to be proud of,” said Mustangs coach Tim Pierleoni. “I’m happy with how difficult the guys played because we could easily have given up in the end and dropped that two-point conversion and lost the game.”

Indeed, having taken a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter and seemingly poised to win via a blowout, Gilroy found himself in a precarious position at the end when the Aztecs scored a touchdown with 57, 4 seconds to play to reduce their deficit to 21. -20. Instead of taking the kick after the fact, Soledad decided to aim for the win and the two-point conversion.

However, a pass into a crowded end zone failed as a few Gilroy defensemen helped make the save. Tysaiah Holmdahl broke the pass, Chimezie Elias was there for the shot and Gilroy survived.

“A win is a win is a win,” said Pierleoni. “A lot of guys are still learning how to win after so many years of loss. They haven’t won at any level in the past four years. So we’re happy to go away tonight winning.

Gilroy showed his big-game ability in the game’s opener when Jadon Perkins connected with Tyrone Quarles for an electrifying 77-yard touchdown. Perkins hit Quarles on an onscreen pass, and an excellent block down the field sent the sneaky Quarles gushing over the straight touchline en route to the end zone.

In their next series, the Mustangs amassed 50 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a 9-yard pass from Perkins to Elias, bringing the score to 14-0 with 3:38 left in the first quarter. Gilroy didn’t score in his third series but hit Soledad’s 21-yard line. Holmdahl had a huge game, producing two interceptions, the first of which saw Gilroy score the third score of the game.

Perkins threw a perfect pass down the left sideline that hit Elias in stride, increasing the lead to 21-0 with 9:31 remaining until halftime. At that point, it looked like the Mustangs were about to roll for victory. It didn’t happen. Instead, Soledad scored the last 20 points of the game to put himself in position to win at the end.

Gilroy won despite being passed in total offensive distance, 350-282. The Mustangs had no response once Aztecs quarterback Dominic Chavez moved from wide receiver to quarterback early in the second quarter. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 299 yards, including touchdowns of 47 and 49 yards.

Time and time again, Chavez escaped the pass rush and threw up shots to open receivers who passed their Gilroy counterparts. Gilroy’s secondary broke down several times once Soledad’s receivers caught the ball.

“We made a few mistakes and it’s a hard way to learn lessons, but we ended up doing it,” said Pierleoni.

Quarles ran for 92 yards on 19 carries and Perkins scored 6 of 13 for 146 yards.

Elijah Williams was instrumental in Soledad’s penultimate possession. The Aztecs were driving and hit Gilroy’s 19-yard line when Williams hit Chavez just as he was releasing the ball, resulting in a knocked down ball that Holmdahl intercepted. Lineman Dylan Chirco was solid as usual and Marcques Anthony also put pressure on the blitz.

Tyler Hodges was a force at linebacker. Pierleoni credited GHS director Greg Kapaku for changing the culture of GHS sports teams.

“There’s a lot of good stuff going on here, and it’s thanks to Greg,” he said.

Tysaiah Holmdahl made one of his two interceptions in the Mustangs’ victory over Soledad. Photo by Jonathan Natividad.

About William G.

Check Also

12/30/2021 | Nearly Completed Beach Pumping Project in OC

Nearly Completed Beach Pumping Project in OC OCEAN CITY – The latest Ocean City beach …