San Mateo Downs Mendocino

The Mendocino College Eagles fell to twelfth-ranked College of San Mateo
Saturday afternoon, 20-37.

Coach Gary Garabato knew, as well as the players, that this was a big
opportunity for the team, but were just unable to make it go their way.
"We had our opportunities," Garabato said, but said that they were
unable to take advantage of them.

The Eagles were the first to get on the board, when sophomore running
back Rhone Cruz was able to carry the ball into the end zone, scoring in
the first quarter. The Bulldogs answered back, and minutes into the
second quarter, they took the lead, 20-13, and stayed there the
remainder of the game.

Garabato said that the exact turning point of the game, was "when we
lost our composure."

"The whole situation when they roughed our punter, and then we got
double personal fouls after he retaliated," he said, changed the game.

"Had we kept our cool we would have had a first down and the entire game
could have been different."

Garabato said it was a breakdown of the entire team, from the coaching
staff to the players at that point.

"After that whole sequence of events, we were trying to make them work
for us," he said. "After they roughed our punter on the first down and
the double-foul got called, we had to repunt and our composure was

The two big touch down passes thrown by quarterback Jesse Kozak, kept
hope alive for the Eagles.

Mendocino QB Jesse Kozak

"We had a couple of pretty good defensive series too," Garabato said.

"We just made a lot of mistakes."

The game was a learning experience for everyone. This being the first
time that Mendocino has faced San Mateo has shown them what needs to be
worked on.

"We gave up way too many plays offensively, and made a lot of mistakes."
Garabato said. "Defensively we gave up a lot of plays, and we just
didn't cover well."

James Johnson                     Derek Willis

James Johnson (Right) and Derek Willis were both on the receiving end of touchdown passes for the College of San Mateo (Photos by Linda Herman).

"When we watch the films tomorrow, then we will see what can be improved
on," he said

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