Hartnell VS West Valley
Hartnell Panthers roll to victory over West Valley
Staff report • October 26, 2009
The Hartnell College football team rolled to its second straight win Saturday by defeating West Valley 41-14 at Saratoga High School.
The win gave Hartnell a 2-0 Coast Conference mark and sets up a showdown Saturday at Salinas High Stadium against 2-0 De Anza at 1 p.m.
West Valley fell to 0-2 in conference, 0-7 overall.
Matt Miranda rushed for 91 yards and one touchdown and caught seven passes for another 91 yards and one touchdown to spark Hartnell, 3-4 overall.
The Panthers overcame a shakey start when they lost a fumble on their opening drive. But after holding the Vikings on three downs, Hartnell came back to score on a 44-yard run by Miranda.
Mark Ramos from North Salinas High carried 13 times for 79 yards while quarterback Dwayne Gatlin threw for more than 200 yards for the third straight week.
Kiro Small led the Hartnell defense with eight tackls — three for losses — along with an interception.
Manny Martinez also had an interception.
Football: Hartnell visits West Valley College on Saturday
BY GEORGE WATKINS • email@example.com • October 23, 2009
One play might not make a season, but it can sure liven things up. Just when it appeared the Hartnell College football team was going down to another defeat last Saturday, it pulled off its biggest play in four years when quarterback Dwayne Gatlin hit Tim Smith on a 76-yard touchdown pass with 1:42 to play to rally the Panthers to an emotional 32-29 win over San Jose City.
"Instead of receiving the blow, we delivered the blow," Hartnell coach Matt Collins said.
The dramatic scoring play couldn't have come at a better time. It was the Coast Conference opener for the Panthers.
Hartnell will try to go to 2-0 Saturday when it visits winless West Valley College for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff at Saratoga High School.
A win over the West Valley Vikings would set up an enticing rematch with De Anza on Halloween afternoon at Salinas High Stadium.
"The team and the staff can get excited about the win, but we can't let it off on one game," Collins said. "It's a spark, and hopefully we can carry the momentum into our next conference game."
West Valley is in the midst of its worst season ever. The Vikings went 1-9 in 2007, but finished 5-5 last year. Once one of the better teams in the Coast Conference, they haven't had a winning record since 2003 at 6-4.
Of the 71 community college football teams in California, West Valley's offense ranks No. 68. It's averaging a lowly 183 yards per game, compared to Hartnell's 351 yards, which ranks No. 31.
Defensively, the Vikings are near the bottom, allowing an average of 412 yards per game.
All of which begs the question could the Panthers, who won a conference game for the first time in four years last Saturday, be a bit over-confident?
"We won on a fourth-and-desperation play," said Collins.
End of discussion.
West Valley's losses have been to Chabot (56-13), Yuba (35-6), Solano (41-10), San Mateo (72-10), Contra Costa (20-17) and MPC (23-13) last Saturday in its conference opener.
"We're playing somebody who thinks we're a candidate to beat," Collins said. "They're thinking, if they can beat anybody, we're one of those teams. We were struggling just as much as they were."
Hartnell should be strengthened by the return of running back Ricky Rodwell, who scored six touchdowns in Hartnell's first two games. Rodwell missed last week's game with an injured ankle.
"He's back at practice," Collins said.
In addition Mark Ramos, who rushed for a Tri-County Athletic League best 1,242 yards for North Salinas High last season, could see more action as a running back. Until last Saturday he was used exclusively as a defensive back.
"We like the way he carries the ball," Collins said. "We may see him used there a little more."
Ramos carried three times for 10 yards against San Jose City. Smith, meanwhile, ranks ninth in the state in receiving yards per game at 98.3.
Hartnell football stats