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Silverado flattens Spartans

October 06, 2001|By TOM RONCO, Special to this newspaper

Showcasing a strong offensive line and a slashing running back, the Silverado High Hawks ran for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns in downing Central Union 35-7 at Cal Jones Field on Friday.

The story of the game was Hawk running back Glenn McCary, who rushed for more than 200 yards and four of Silverado's touchdowns, literally accounting for the Hawks first-half offense when he ran the ball on 18 of 22 plays.

"They had a good line with good-size kids and they came off the ball well and had a good running back," said Central coach Joe Apodaca. "We made some adjustments but we missed a lot of tackles, something we worked on all week."

The game started with Central going three and out on its first possession.

Silverado then capitalized on McCary's speed and scored on its third offensive play, with the senior running back going 36 yards to score.

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Down 7-0, the Spartans mounted an impressive drive to tie the game.

The drive featured some hard running by Victor Cesena and four pass completions by quarterback Erik Castro to Arturo Platero, Mario Luna and Jordan Morita before finding Ricky Paleo in the end zone from seven yards.

"I took what they gave me," said Castro. "They tried to take away my outside receivers and I saw the middle open, so I took it."

"Eric can throw and we need to give him time," said Apodaca. "He's maturing and getting his confidence, since he hadn't played in two years."

Castro played quarterback on the Spartan junior varsity as a freshman but sat out his sophomore year and attended school in Santa Barbara last year and only played baseball.

Yet he wanted to play his senior year of football at Central.

"I wanted to be reunited with my teammates and classmates," Castro said. "I have wanted to win for Central since I was young. I followed the Central teams and I wanted my chance."

Castro kept the Spartan offense moving with nine completions for 80 yards, mostly over the middle.

"My receivers made the catches," said Castro. "I was under pressure so I was looking for them on the run all night."

As important as the touchdown was the PAT attempt that went sailing through the uprights off the foot of Francisco Espinoza, the first successful kick this season.

"He's a sophomore and a tough kid who can play other positions," said Apodaca of Espinoza, who stars on Jim Graham's Spartan soccer team. "He was going to kick for the JV and we were impressed with him in practice and moved him up."

The first quarter ended in a 7-7 tie and the Spartans had a chance to take the lead in the second quarter with a field goal.

Central was forced to punt midway through the quarter but Marcos Navarro batted the ball away from the Silverado return man and then recovered the fumble at the Hawk's 15 yard-line.

A holding penalty stalled the drive and on fourth down from the 11, Espinoza attempted a 28-yard field goal that was just inches wide to the right.

Silverado then went on a 12-play drive that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown run by McCary to put the Hawks up 14-7 at half.

"I thought that they'd be bigger and I thought that they'd be much better," said Spartan cornerback and running back Anthony Hellum. "When Allen (Adame) and Felix (Guieb) went down to injuries, we lost some of our confidence."

The second half belonged to Silverado as McCary scored on runs of 24 and four yards and retired from running the ball in the fourth quarter.

"We made some halftime adjustments but they had a great back and he adjusted," said Apodaca. "We played football tonight but we didn't get it done."

Despite the winless start, Apodaca remains positive.

"Our team morale is good," said Apodaca, "and tonight the community stayed through the entire game and we are fortunate to have that kind of support."

While the Hawks (4-1) move onto the Mojave River Valley League to play Barstow at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Central (0-5) finishes its non-league season schedule at home when it celebrates homecoming against Holtville.

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