Gonzalez, Cardinals run over Cabrillo, 35-7

 

It’s a play Abel Gonzalez has been running since the day he put on a Bishop Diego football uniform: take a quick pitch, run through the line, follow his blockers and break into the open field for a long touchdown run.

Gonzalez turned the bread-and-butter play into a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and the Cardinals tallied three more touchdowns after turnovers en route to a 35-7 non-league win over Cabrillo on Friday night at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.

The pitch play to Gonzalez has been a staple of the Bishop Diego attack.

“Abel and Danny Molina, too, demonstrate a lot of patience when they get inside there,” Bishop Diego coach Tom Crawford said. “They kind of feel their way. Abel in his career has a seen a lot of those, and suddenly you see him break after eight yards. He seems to find the seam and gets going.”

Gonzalez could probably run the play in his sleep.

“I’ve been running that since I was a freshman, so I feel like I know where the holes are and where the cutbacks are,” said the senior. “It’s a bread and butter for sure.”

Alexis Herrera returns an interception that sets up a Bishop Diego touchdown. (Janice Graham photo)

Alexis Herrera returns an interception that sets up a Bishop Diego touchdown. (Janice Graham photo)

Gonzalez rushed for 126 yards on 12 carries and scored a second touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Freshman running back John Harris gained 103 yards on the ground and busted through the Cabrillo defense for a 50-yard touchdown run.

AV Bennett returned a fumble 50 yards for score after big hit by Jacob Brosnan.

“It was a screen pass and the (Cabrillo) guy turned around and Jacob took him out,” Bennett said of the play. “The ball came right in front of me so I grabbed it. I saw the quarterback and the other wide receiver trying to beat me there but I got it. I just picked it up and went.”

The big defensive play gave the Cardinals a 21-0 lead. It came soon after Alexis Herrera intercepted a pass at midfield and returned it to the Cabrillo 3. Two plays later, Molina scored on a 1-yard run.

Herrera’s interception lifted his spirits. On Bishop’s previous possession, he dropped a long Spencer Stovesand pass in the end zone.

“I needed to redeem myself,” he said. “I just had to make it up to the team. I knew it was all up to me to make a play.”

Herrera played a solid defensive game. He made a terrific tackle on a scrambling Cabrillo quarterback Brett Gregory, preventing him from turning up field on a fourth-and-6 play. He also jumped up to knock down a Gregory pass.

“Alexis is probably the shortest guy on the field and he knocked down the pass. Well, at least he can jump,” said Thomas with a laugh.

Sam Grimm (62) records one of his three sacks on Cabrillo quarterback Brett Gregory. (Janice Gram photo)

Sam Grimm (62) records one of his three sacks on Cabrillo quarterback Brett Gregory. (Janice Gram photo)

Tackle Sam Grimm was a standout in the trenches. He recorded three sacks on the mobile Gregory.

Harris pushed the Bishop lead to 28-0 on it first possession of the second half. The big running back plowed through tacklers at the line and never stopped until he reached the end zone.

“John is a physical kid and when he breaks a tackle he’s got a chance to go a long way,” said Crawford.

Cabrillo (2-2) capitalized on a Bishop Diego fumble to score its lone touchdown in the third quarter. On a fourth-and-8, Gregory lofted a beautiful 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steven French for the score.

Isaac Salcedo of the Cardinals picked off a Gregory pass to set up their final touchdown of the night, a 1-yard run by Gonzalez.

While the Cardinals improved to 4-0, Crawford said the team won ugly.

“It looked like in many easy a first game of the season, with the number of mistakes we made,” he said. “That was disappointing in the fourth game of the season. We obviously got to get better. Our bye week is coming at a good time for us to get refocused.”

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