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December 5, 2006 > Farmers win big

Farmers win big

by Steve Warga

Hayward fans bundled head-to-toe against Dublin’s wintry mists, watched their Farmers football team put together the sort of near-perfect game every athlete hopes for at least once in his or her career. In a textbook case of high school football talent, teamwork and effort, the Farmers mauled Alhambra High’s Trojans, 52-21 to claim the North Coast Section 3A East Bay championship Saturday night, December 3.

Farmer defenders penetrated the Trojan backfield on the game’s first play from scrimmage, throwing star, Brandon Rutley, for a 2-yard loss. And that was more or less the story of the game for Alhambra thereafter. Rutley did score two of the Trojan’s three touchdowns, including a nifty leaping catch in the far corner of the end zone, near the end of the first half; but that was about it. Hayward cut Rutley’s gaudy play-off yards-per-carry average from 15.7 to a paltry 2.8. Lacking a running game, Alhambra couldn’t get the air game going either. Quarterback Matt Baesa found open receivers, but consistently over-threw them. Despite the frustrations, Trojans gave their best all game long, including a fourth quarter touchdown pass from reserve QB Drew NcNabb to receiver Joe Ga.

The Farmers held their focus too, not always and easy thing for a high school team doing everything right when it counts most. Farmer QB Robert Romero brought his A-game: precise passing, crisp execution and confident leadership throughout.

His favorite target for runs and passes, Troy Evans, turned in an all-star performance featuring 168 rushing yards on 13 carries. Evans didn’t score every time he touched the football, it only seemed that way as he racked up three of his four TDs in the first half alone. The Trojans could be forgiven for thinking Evans was actually a ghost able to merge with the mist and disappear whenever a tackler neared. He was quick of foot, shifty of hips and gone, gone, gone, all night long.

With their first championship trophy in 27 years safely tucked into the display cases, Farmers head out to Santa Rosa High School for the first-ever North Coast Section 3A title. They’ll face Santa Rosa’s own Cardinal Newman High, Friday, December 8 at 7 p.m.

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