Football: Spartans remain perfect at 7-0

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Joseph Garcia, Fabian Alcantar and Alonso Acevedo rush for over 100 yards in dominant 42-0 win

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

HANFORD – The possibility of the Strathmore Spartans running the ball is almost as certain as the sun rising in the east. Out of the 262 offensive plays they have run so far this season, 80 percent were runs.

Yet, it is a rarity that even the Spartans produce the rushing yards that they did last Friday night against the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears. Three running backs broke the 100-yard barrier during Strathmore’s 42-0 win over Sierra Pacific.

“Three guys with over 100 yards, that is unheard of in Strathmore,” said Spartan head coach Jeromy Blackwell. “Usually it is one guy pounding the ball 30 times a game.”

So far, the Spartans (7-0; 2-0) offense has been run by a commit of running backs with different running styles. With Joseph Garcia leading the group of Fabian Alcantar and Alonso Acevedo.

The before mentioned running backs combined for 412 rushing yards and five of Strathmore’s six scores.

Garcia once again led the way for the Spartans with 22 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores came on their first two drives.

With very little time remaining in the first quarter Garcia scored on a 10-yard run, Strathmore’s first of the game. Then on the Spartans first drive of the second quarter he broke off a 32-yard run which made it 14-0.

The amount of rushing production from Garcia might seem normal, if it were 2016. In fact, this was only the second time this season that Garcia has had over 20 carries. Something that coach Blackwell saw coming even before the season started.

“[Garcia] is going to get fewer carries and more yards than he did last year just because of the talent around him,” said Coach Blackwell.

Already Garcia has rushed for 1,173 yards this season. Compared to where he was last season, he has rushed for 118 more yards.

Then there was Alcantar, who rushed for 150 yards on just four touches. More of a speed runner off the edge, Alcantar’s lone score came halfway through the second quarter on a 61-yard run, giving Strathmore a 21-0 lead at the half.

In the fourth quarter, Acevedo broke over the 100-yard mark and scored his lone touchdown of the night, Strathmore’s winning score.

While the Spartans’ offense have put up record setting numbers, they also proved that they can play in the second half.

Sierra Pacific had changed up their offense to throw more often, which is something the Spartans were unprepared for.

“They kind of juked us because we did not see that in any film,” said Blackwell.

While the Spartans made in-game adjustments during the first half, the Golden Bears were able to produce a couple of long drives, which had Blackwell worried about mistakes that could happen.

None happened. By the second half the Spartans were able to shut them down to get their first shutout of the season.

“I think it is pretty easy for teams to get up to play us because of the target on our back,” said Blackwell.

Next up for the Spartans is another team looking to ruin their perfect run, the Corcoran Panthers (1-6; 1-1). The Panthers are coming off a 23-21 win over the Woodlake Tigers.

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