Hartnell VS College of the Sequoias
Hartnell 14, COS 47
Giants spoil Hartnell Panthers' home-opener with 47-14 victory
BY GEORGE WATKINS • email@example.com • October 5, 2009
They don't call them the Giants for nothing.
Among the College of Sequoias Giants' nearly 70-player football roster are 14 linemen who are listed at 300 pounds or more.
The Hartnell College football team has one 300-pounder.
So maybe it wasn't such a bad thing that the glare of the sun Saturday made it almost impossible to read the scoreboard at Salinas High Stadium.
The towering Giants (3-2) scored on a 90-yard pass just four plays into the game and went on to spoil Hartnell's home-opener, dealing the Panthers a 47-14 loss before a modest-sized and chilly crowd.
The Panthers (1-3) trailed 47-0 before scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
This was one of those strange non-conference matchups that force small college teams, such as Hartnell, to play at least one large-school team, such as COS.
"I'm not going to say just because they're bigger we're going to lose," Hartnell coach Matt Collins said. "Playing a team like Sequoias [Visalia], it can be adversity all day long. I didn't think we handled it as good as we have in the past."
Hartnell will be back in its element this week when it faces a school its own size. De Anza College of Cupertino visits Salinas High Stadium on Saturday for a 1 p.m. non-conference contest.
Hartnell never had much of a chance to show the crowd that it hopes to have an improved team from the past three years.
The Panthers trailed 27-0 at halftime, and COS opened the second half by returning the kickoff for a touchdown on what was probably the low point of day for the Panthers.
"We talked at halftime about not giving up the big play," Collins said. "We wanted to come out in the second half and show the community we're going to battle, and the first thing we do is give up the big play."
As the wind picked up
and the temperature went down, those in the crowd who stuck it out were rewarded with a couple of Hartnell touchdowns in the final eight minutes.
Third-string quarterback Dwayne Gatlin, who replaced injured starter Yan Cyr — preliminary diagnoses was separated shoulder — early in the third quarter threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Tate and a nine-yarder to Tim Smith. Hartnell intercepted three passes, two by Michael Del Real, a sophomore from North Salinas High.
College of the sequoias 47, Hartnell 14
COS 6 21 13 7- 47
Hartnell football finally plays at home
BY GEORGE WATKINS • firstname.lastname@example.org • October 2, 2009
Welcome home, Hartnell Panthers.
A month into the season, the Hartnell College football team will finally play its first home game of the season, Saturday at 3 p.m. against College of the Sequoias (Visalia) at Salinas High Stadium.
But for some Panthers, even Saturday's home game may feel like a road game. The first home game will also be the first time many Panthers will set sight or foot inside Salinas High Stadium this season.
"I enjoy being there [Salinas High Stadium], but it's not the same if you can't practice on it," Hartnell coach Matt Collins said. "It's sort of like playing an away game. Some of the guys have never been there in their life."
They don't know what they've missed.
Chances are some of the Hartnell freshmen probably have never played in a stadium that has all the charm, history, atmosphere and distractions as the place fondly called "The Pit."
For sure a few probably haven't played in a stadium where the fans are so close to the sidelines they can be mistaken for a receiver.
"We'll do our best to describe the atmosphere," Collins said. "You have to block out all the distractions. The fans are right on top of you. There's not a lot of room. There's nothing worse than running off the field excited that you scored a touchdown, but forgetting you're part of the PAT [point after touchdown] team while your celebrating by the water bucket or talking to a fan by the chain link fence." College of the Sequoias, meanwhile, will always have a special place in Hartnell history. Four years ago COS and Hartnell played in one of the wildest games in the history of Salinas High Stadium. The four-hour epic ended with Hartnell staging a dramatic rally, coupled with a goal-line stand, to pull out an exhausting 66-60 win.
This year COS, 2-2, has beaten Feather River (14-7) and Solano (31-7) and lost to San Mateo (55-14) and Foothill (21-14).
Hartnell was involved in two high-scoring affairs to start the season, scoring 46 and 34 points, respectively, but was held to three points last week by Cabrillo.
"It was frustrating for us," Collins said. "We had 240 yards to their 99. We had 14 first downs to their seven. We had the ball for 38 minutes, they had it for 24."
But Hartnell lost three fumbles and was penalized 13 times for 100 yards in the 13-3 loss.
"Yet we were still in it," Collins noted. "We dropped three balls, and one was on their two-yard-line. We're five to seven snaps away from being a 3-0 team."
The biggest improvement came from the defense. The 13 points Hartnell allowed was the second lowest total since Collins became head coach three years ago.
"Pete [coach Pete Noble] did a great job," Collins said. He put together a great game-plan and the kids played hard."
Hartnell's defense, which was near the bottom in the state rankings after the first two weeks, has moved into the upper half since.
COS has scored 113 points in its last two games against Hartnell.
Hartnell's leading receiver, Tim Smith, may not play due to a hip injury and quarterback Brad Smet is questionable with a lower back strain.