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Volume 144, Issue #7


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The Guardsman Online
Sports

MEN'S SOCCER EARNS NO. 2 SEED AND BYE IN PLAYOFFS
BY PAUL WERTHEIM
EDITOR

Forward Shea Whelan works his way down the field looking for an opportunity steal.

MICHAEL P. SMITH / GUARDSMAN

In a physical match, the Rams men’s soccer team defeated the Cañada Colts 2-1 in the finalgame of a remarkable season.

The Rams (16-1-5) are ranked first in their division and 15th in the nation, and their victory on Friday assured them a No. 2 seed and a first round bye for the upcoming playoffs. The season has been outstanding for coach Adam Lucarelli’s squad, losing only their first game. The defense allowed the fewest goals against, and forward Stephen Cordova leads the Coast Conference in scoring with 19 goals.

“Today’s game means the world to us,” Lucarelli said. “We might get a better seed in the playoffs if we win.”

The win came after a 0-0 draw against the Hartnell College Cougars, their conference rivals, on Nov. 6.

Led by the quickness of Cordova and the experienced attack of midfielder Alejandro Uribe, the Rams dominated the Colts defenders with speedy penetration and pinpoint passing. The first goal came in the 39th minute, when Uribe punched a penalty kick to the front right of the goal box where Cordova redirected the ball into the opposite corner of the net. In the 57th minute, Uribe scored after he headed a deep crossing corner assist from Cordova past a diving goalkeeper.

The Rams recorded a season-high five yellow card penalties and played sloppily in the second half.

On Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. in Balboa Park, the Rams play the winner of the first round playoff match between Hartnell College and De Anza.

E-mail: sports@theguardsman.com


RAMS FINISH 9-1 ON THE SEASON AFTER THRASHING BUTTE COLLEGE 34-10
BY PAUL WERTHEIM
EDITOR

The Rams finished another winning season by beating the Butte College Roadrunners 34-10 on Nov. 10 at the John Cowan Sports Complex in Oroville, Calif.

“We had a great year,” said head coach George Rush.

The Rams (9-1, 5-0) had a dominant outing. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed 25 of 49 passes for 361 yards, throwing four touchdowns and rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown, even though the rain made for wet and soggy conditions. Wide receiver Derec Davis caught nine passes for a 137 yards and had a touchdown on the day as well.
Linebacker Gerald Williams led the defense to seven sacks on the afternoon, shutting down the Roadrunners (6-4, 2,3).

The victory was a big boost for Rush’s team who now heads to the Hawaiian Punch Bowl at Rams Stadium Dec. 1 to face the Sierra College Wolverines (9-1, 5-0) for the Northern California Football Association championship and for a chance to play in the State Championship Dec. 8.

“Sierra has an outstanding, strong running back, admirable qurterback and they have a lot of weapons on offense,” Rush said. “Their defense does a great job containing people.”

The Rams will have three weeks to prepare for the championship. The team will practice four days a week, but Rush will rest them through the holiday weekend.“There’s a lot of bumps and bruises, so they can rest a few days and regroup,” Rush said.

The Rams only loss this season came against Fresno City College 19-16 on Sept. 15. The Wolverines beat Fresno City by the same margin 20-17 on Oct. 27. Masoli threw three interceptions in the loss, but he would not throw another interception all year, completeing 66 percent of his passes the rest of the season.

“After our loss to Fresno City,” said Rush, “we tried to emphasize that disappointment was good and that all the good stuff was ahead of us. We turned out to be a great team.”

E-mail: sports@theguardsman.com

 


THE RAMS CHARGE BACK TO BEAT SANTA ROSA IN SECOND HALF
BY PAUL WERTHEIM
EDITOR

Devin Mays blocks Santa Rosa players catch during game.

MICHAEL P. SMITH / GUARDSMAN

The Rams came back in the second half from an 11-point deficit to defeat the Santa Rosa Bear Cubs 28-17 at Bailey Field Oct. 27 before a sold-out crowd of 3,000 fans in Santa Rosa, Calif.


Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed 21 of 30 passes for 204 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Running back Austin Curran carried the ball 25 times for 112 yards with two touchdowns and had five catches for 51 yards.


The offense of the Rams was ineffective in the first half, and the secondary had trouble foiling the Bear Cubs’ pass attack. After the Bear Cubs kicked a 27-yard field goal and scored two touchdowns, the Rams trailed 17-6 at the end of the first half.


“We came out sluggish in the first half,” Jarrell Harrison said, “so coach told us stick to offensive and defensive keys and to play hard.”


The Rams (8-1, 4-0) relied on tough defense in the second half to hold the Bear Cubs (7-2, 2-2) to 315 total yards, sacking quarterback Greg Alexander four times and intercepting him twice. With 12:05 left in the fourth quarter and the Rams trailing 14-17, Rams linebacker Jake Heun sacked Alexander on second and 10 and then on the following third and 15, putting a brusque end to a potential game-winning Bear Cubs’ drive.


On the next possession, the Rams offense drove the ball down to the Bear Cubs’ 3-yard line. Curran scored his second touchdown to take 21-17 Rams lead with 8:55 left in the second half. The Rams defense stopped a tired and faltering offense on the following Bear Cubs’ possession.


“Coach wasn’t happy that we got behind early and came out slow in the first half,” Heun said. “The defense had blown coverage in the secondary. The defensive line played great in the second half.”


Masoli pulled a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line with 2:42 left in the game to cap off an impressive second-half comeback. The Rams will play the Butte College Roadrunners (6-3, 2-2) on Nov. 10.

E-mail: sports@theguardsman.com

 


WILLIAMS GOES ALL THE WAY
BY DOMINIK MOSUR
EDITOR

Gerald Williams, Rams linebacker

Despite being highly touted and scouted since the age of 11 while playing Pop Warner football, Gerald Williams is a soft spoken guy who prides himself most on being just another part of the Rams.

When asked to describe the defining moment of his 2007 season, Williams didn’t mention the game against Foothill College where he made 10 tackles.

“Warming up with the team, getting hyped before every game...win, lose or draw, always sticking together,” Williams said, would be the defining moment of his time with the Rams.
Williams grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was one of nine siblings. He started playing football when he was four and admitted that he was no different in sharing “every kid’s dream to play in the NFL.”

After being signed by perennial football power Tennessee out of high school, some of Williams classes did not clear the
academic clearing-house and he was forced to sit out the year. To try and get back on the Tennessee squad, Williams chose City College as the place to earn the credits to get himself eligible again.

“I did the research. City College has a tradition, and it’s a great place to play ball,” Williams said.

Williams is adjusting to life in California well. “It’s cool, except when the weather changes up on you.”

Despite having the combined attributes of size and speed which are needed to succeed at the next level, Williams realizes the need for a back-up plan.

He is majoring in business administration with a minor in sports management and hopes one day to own a business, whether or not he makes it to the NFL.

Asked about his plans beyond the gridiron, Williams spoke about giving back to his community in Florida.

“I dream about going back and starting up athletic teams and study programs to keep kids off the streets,” said Williams.

E-mail: sports@theguardsman.com