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December 5, 2006 > Milpitas captures first CCS football title

Milpitas captures first CCS football title

by Biff Jones

The Milpitas Trojans won their very first football championship with a victory in the final of the Central Coast Section’s Large School Division last Saturday night at San Jose City College. It was a convincing win over number eight seed Piedmont Hills Pirates of San Jose. The Trojans entered the playoffs as seventh seed in the eight team tournament after finishing fourth in the De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League during the regular season. The win gave Milpitas a final record of 9-4 for the season.

After holding the Pirates to three and out on the opening possession of the game, Milpitas methodically marched down the field and scored. Quarterback Brandon Carswell capped the drive when he hit wide receiver, Anthony Royall, with a touchdown pass at the 7:55 mark of the first quarter. The drive included a 16-yard ramble by running back, Havelock Pomele. The extra point was tacked on by kicker Greg Villasenor to put the Trojans up 7-0.

After three successive punts by the two teams, Carswell was intercepted by the Pirates Jimmy Waters who ran the ball back 63 yards to the Milpitas 13-yard line. The interception would have been for a TD if Waters had not been caught from behind by the speedy Carswell. From the 13, Piedmont Hills was able get a first down at the 2-yard line. On the next play Pirates QB Danny Cruz was tackled for a loss at the 7 as the first quarter ended.

The second quarter began with the Pirates moving the ball to the Milpitas 1-yard line bringing up third down and goal. This was followed by a turning point in the game as Milpitas kept Piedmont Hills out of the end zone on two consecutive tries. Taking over at the 4-yard line, Carswell hit WR Tyler Dimich with an 82-yard pass and run to the Pirates 14. Two plays later Carswell scampered 10 yards for the score. This 96-yard march took all of four plays and 1 minute and 10 seconds off the clock, leaving 9:20 yet to go in the second quarter.

Piedmont Hills finally got on the board midway through the 2nd when Cruz connected on a 13-yard TD pass to WR Alex Diaz. The PAT by Ryan Meceli cut the margin to 14-7. The remainder of the first half saw several turnovers as Carswell fumbled the ball away on Piedmont Hills’ 3-yard line, then later threw an interception from the Pirates 38 on a ball that was tipped. The half ended at 14-7 after Piedmont Hills attempted a field goal only to have the holder drop the snap from center.

After receiving the second half kick-off, the Cal Berkeley-bound Carswell scored from 52 yards out to improve the Trojans lead to 20-7 as the PAT was no good. Later in the quarter, the two teams traded interceptions before Carswell pulled out another Houdini act, as he has done all year long. Trapped behind the line of scrimmage after running to his right, he reversed his field, eluded several tacklers and raced down the left side for 80 yards to score. After a two-point conversion failed, it was Trojans 26, Pirates 7.

With just under two minutes to go in the third, Pirates scored on a 16-yard pass from Cruz to WR Joe Follen. The PAT cut the lead to 26-14 ending the third quarter.

Milpitas scored midway through the fourth when Carswell connected again with Royall, effectively putting the game out of reach for Piedmont Hills. The successful PAT increased the lead to 33-14. Later in the fourth quarter, the Pirates, facing fourth and 19 in Milpitas territory, were able to make a first down on the Trojans 9-yard line as Milpitas was called for a pass interference penalty followed by a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. From there, Pirates scored on another Cruz pass, closing the gap to 33-21.

The final TD came with just under a minute to play when Pomele punched the ball in from the 2-yard line. The PAT attempt was blocked by Piedmont Hills. By this time in the game Pomele became the main man carrying the ball as Carswell had developed leg cramps and could only pass from a shotgun formation and maneuver just enough to avoid the Pirates pass rush. It proved to be enough to give Milpitas a 39-21 championship victory.

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