After facing a series of high-flying aerial teams, including Montgomery last week in the first round of the North Coast Section Division 2 playoffs, Casa Grande’s Gauchos will run into a different looking opponent Friday night when they play in Livermore against Granada’s Matadors in the second round.
“They run the ball hard downhill and they’re very physical,” observed Casa Grande coach Denis Brunk.
“They run a Wing-T with a lot of off-tackle and dive plays, and they do it well,” the coach added.
The No. 2-seeded Matadors from the East Bay League are 7-4 on the season and coming off a 42-0 thumping of Redwood from the Marin County Athletic League in the first round of the playoffs.
Brunk said he welcomes a battle in the trenches.
“Our strong point is our offensive line,” he said. “They’ve done a good job week after week. We can run the football and we’re getting much closer to being a well-balanced team.”
Last week during a 46-28 win over Montgomery, the Gauchos rushed for 245 yards, even without veteran running back Jack Leonetti. Kenneth Fitzgerald gained 167 yards and scored three touchdowns, but the Gauchos also passed for 131 yards, with quarterback Jadon Bosarge hitting 10 of 16 passes for two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Casa coach is confident the Gauchos have the up-front strength, led by Braeden Chadwick, and the linebacker toughness, led by Adam Lopez, to battle the Matadors head on.
“We need to play a full four quarters of football, but I like the way we match up,” Brunk said. “It all begins and ends in the trenches.”