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November 18, 2009 > Special teams propel Trojans over Cats

Special teams propel Trojans over Cats

By Biff Jones
Photos By Mike Heightchew

Two blocked extra points and two field goals by senior Alex Tran gave Milpitas High School a 20-19 victory over Los Gatos High School and put Milpitas into a second-place tie with Los Gatos in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League's (SCVAL) De Anza Division.

With the win, the Trojans earned the number-three seed (out of eight) in Division I of the Central Coast Section (CCS) High School Football Tournament.

First quarter saw both teams bend but not break with the Wildcats controlling most of the time of possession because of the passing of quarterback Nick Hirschman to wide receivers Andrew Berg and Jake Hackman-Salazar.

Los Gatos got on the board first with 10:10 to go in the second quarter when Hirschman found Berg with a 28-yard touchdown pass after a Wildcat interception gave Los Gatos the ball in Trojan territory. Jon Impey's point after gave LG a 7-0 lead.

Milpitas would answer less than two minutes later. After senior running back Ben Pomele ran 22 yards from the Trojan 36 to the Wildcats' 42 yard line, senior quarterback Cameron Hernandez hit senior running back Jon Fullbright with a screen pass that was converted into a 42 yard TD pass and run. Tran's kick tied the game at 7-7.

On Milpitas' next possession, senior Junior London would complete a 45-yard pass to senior wide receiver Antonio Douglas put the ball on the Los Gatos 12 yard line. Two running plays by Pomele, one out of the "wildcat" formation, gave the Trojans their first lead, 14-7, which they took into the half time break.

After a Tran field goal, the Wildcats marched 90 yards on the ensuing possession, culminating in a 10-yard pass from Hirschman to Hackman-Salazar (PAT was blocked), cutting the Trojans lead to 17-13.

In Los Gatos' first possession of the final quarter, Hirschman would find Berg for a 72-yard pass and run, and the Cats regained the lead, 19-17, as the PAT was blocked.

Los Gatos followed with an onside kick attempt despite over 10 minutes to play. Milpitas recovered on its own 40 yard line and after a couple of pass completions from Hernandez to London moved the ball down to the Wildcats' 22, Tran converted on a 39-yard field goal and the Trojans regained the lead 20-19, which would stand-up until the final gun.

"We had a rough eight days (losses to Palo Alto on October 23 and to Wilcox of Santa Clara on October 30), so we had to take a step backward in order to move forward," said Milpitas Coach Kelly King. "Now we are playing like we should have the entire year."

Next game for the Trojans will be at home on Saturday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m. against number-6 Gilroy High School in the first round of the CCS Division I Playoffs. Log onto TCV SportsWeb site, www.tricityvoice.com/sports, for the results and next round pairings.

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