Braves roll to second straight dominating win
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013 at 7:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 16, 2013 at 7:09 p.m.
Ivan Gomez bolted 65 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff and Tomales went on to dominate Marshall of San Francisco, 42-0, at Andy Azevedo Field on Saturday night.
Gomez fielded the short kick and quickly maneuvered to the center of the field where he picked up some crunching blocks and bounced past the arm-tackling efforts of the Phoenix to set the tone for the rest of the contest.
In an effort to go for the jugular, the Braves immediately opted for an onside kick, but it rolled out of bounds.
Marshall matched the Braves in size up front, but the visitors could not compete with the execution of their opponents as the night moved forward. On isolated occasions, a very skilled Phoenix quarterback Milzel Parker lofted passes right on target, but his receivers either broke off their routes or dropped the ball.
Trailing 22-0 in the second quarter, the Phoenix did manage one sparkling completion from Parker to Dean Pageit for 31 yards which moved the ball inside the Brave 40-yard line, but the drive eventually fizzled under Tomales defensive pressure.
Tomales took all the energy out of Marshall in the first half by moving the ball in big chunks with productive runs by Gomez, David Guerrero, Willy Lepori, and Micah Smith. The blocking up front knocked the Phoenix forwards back on their heels, and they never recovered.
The Braves rushed for 107 yards and two more touchdowns in the first half to decide things. Guerrero broke off a touchdown run of six yards to increase the Tomales lead to 16-0 in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Tomales again took advantage of excellent field position after a poor Marshall punt of only 19 yards failed to get past midfield.
The Braves used short gainers by alternating running backs to move down field, and Gomez dove over from the 2-yard line. The 42-yard drive took only seven plays.
Tomales converted all three PAT attempts in the first half with successful running plays divided between Gomez and Smith.
Marshall finally stopped a Brave offensive march near the end of the first half, but the effort led to another score in the form of a safety when Parker was ruled down under terrific pressure in the end zone on an ill-advised attempted pass.
Tomales, despite the absence of top running back Anthony Feliciano, held a commanding 26-0 lead at intermission, Feliciano was held out of action for the second consecutive week.
“Anthony has a nagging groin injury and we decided that he was only 50 per cent this week,” coach Leon Feliciano said afterward. “If it had been an important league game he might have played. We expect him back in two weeks against Castlemont.”
The Braves got some good work in a shortened second half as quarterback Joel Gutierrez threw a couple of touchdown passes to junior Jacob Sampietro and Lapore. The pass of 32 yards to Lapore came in the final stanza during a running clock as directed by the officials.
“Joel is our X-factor, and when he is on it gives us an extra weapon that our team does not usually have. He is emotional, but gets better each outing,” said Feliciano.
To the credit of the Phoenix they filled the air with passes down the stretch in an effort to reach the end zone. Parker threw deep in the game’s final three plays, but Marshall (0-3) was turned away without a score.
“That kid has a strong arm and good touch,” noted Feliciano.
William Nunes, Lepori and Dante Feliciano had solid defensive efforts for Tomales (2-1).
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