Ugly Ea­gles back in cham­pi­onship form

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTS - By Chace Bryson Sport­sS­tars mag­a­zine editor Chace Bryson cov­ers high school sports for The San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle.

It took a lit­tle longer than ex­pected, but the Clay­ton Val­ley-Con­cord foot­ball pro­gram looked back in cham­pi­onship form on Fri­day night.

Two weeks ago, the Ugly Ea­gles were cir­cling the wag­ons af­ter the pro­gram’s first 0-2 start in 10 sea­sons. That seemed like an­cient his­tory Fri­day when the visi­tors built a 49-0 lead af­ter just 2½ quar­ters against pre­vi­ously un­de­feated An­ti­och and rolled to a 55-22 run­ning-clock vic­tory.

“I maybe ex­pected this per­for­mance a lit­tle ear­lier (than tonight),” Clay­ton Val­ley coach Tim Mur­phy said af­ter the non­league win that pushed his team’s record to 2-2. “I knew sooner or later the team that I felt we had in spring ball was go­ing to show up. Be­cause even though they’re young, this is a re­ally, re­ally tal­ented group.”

The tal­ent was on dis­play early and of­ten against An­ti­och, and on both sides of the ball.

The Ugly Ea­gles took the game’s open­ing drive 80 yards on eight plays, tak­ing a 7-0 lead on the first of three touch­down runs by sopho­more Makhi Ger­vais. Ger­vais rushed in from 18 yards out af­ter ju­nior Thomas Ala­tini had runs of 17 and 24 on the drive.

Clay­ton Val­ley then forced the first of four turnovers when safety Gar­ret Ganguet in­ter­cepted Willem Karn­thong’s pass on the Pan­thers’ third play from scrimmage. Ganguet would notch a se­cond in­ter­cep­tion on the third play of the se­cond half. Both picks led to scor­ing drives capped by James Te­ofilo.

“It was good,” Mur­phy said. “We kind of went back to pound­ing the ball a lit­tle bit and they re­sponded real well — that’s kind of what our kids do best.”

An­ti­och (3-1) en­tered the game ranked No. 14 in the Chron­i­cle Top 25, but man­aged only 52 to­tal yards of first-half of­fense. The Pan­thers fi­nally found some of­fense late in the third quar­ter, get­ting on the board with a 1-yard run by Omari Har­ris. They then cut the lead to 49-16 on an 18-yard score by Jaysn Wade with 10:58 left.

Ger­vais’ third touch­down run was a 21-yard bolt with 4:20 left in the game. His other touch­down run was also for 21 yards and he fin­ished with 103 yards on nine car­ries.

“He’s a tough run­ner,” Mur­phy said of Ger­vais. “The first carry of the sea­son, he fum­bled in the end zone against the team up in Reno and I haven’t given him the ball much since. He made up for that tonight.”

Ala­tini fin­ished with 15 car­ries for 182 yards and one touch­down. Quar­ter­back KJ Gard­ner com­pleted 3 of 5 passes for 87 yards and two touch­downs.

D. Ross Cameron / Spe­cial to The Chron­i­cle

Clay­ton Val­ley’s Makhi Ger­vais (21) vaults over An­ti­och’s De­juan But­ler for a touch­down dur­ing the first quar­ter. The Ugly Ea­gles beat the pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Pan­thers.

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