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October 27, 2012In a De Anza League battle, Milpitas defeated Los Gatos 17-15 to remain in first place.
Milpitas dominated the first half, and took a 10-0 advantage into the locker room. The Trojan defense forced three three-and-outs and never allowed Los Gatos to sustain a long drive. Milpitas only allowed two first downs in the first half, and the longest Wildcat drive consisted of five plays. Los Gatos only had 38 yards of offense, until the second half.
In the second half, Los Gatos started to mount a comeback. It began with a field goal in the third quarter, and a 49 yard touchdown run by Joey Wood had the Wildcats in striking distance early in the fourth; however, a missed extra point maintained a 10-9 Milpitas lead.
On the following drive, the Trojans answered with a 48 yard touchdown run by Squally Canada. Canada, who finished with 190 yards rushing and two touchdowns, is a strong junior running back for Milpitas.
Los Gatos came within striking distance again on the following drive when quarterback Nick Bawden found Kyle Kevorkian for a 40 yard touchdown. The Wildcats were forced to go for two, but could not convert.
With 5:29 left in the game, Milpitas took over on their own 20 yard line. The Trojans picked up five first downs which included two crucial third downs conversions on their final drive to run out the clock.
"Our defense really stepped up," said Milpitas linebacker Vita Vea.
"We did good, we had little mistakes on offense, but we can work on it."
Vea, the 5th ranked prospect in NCP's 2013 rankings, had a strip sack and tackle for a loss in the game. Although he plays middle linebacker for the Trojans, he projects as a defensive lineman at the next level.
He has a quick burst and used an efficient swim move to rush the passer.
The other NCP top 50 prospect, Los Gatos defensive end Nico Aimonetti, was efficient in rushing the quarterback out of the pocket, although his stats may not have shown it. The San Jose State commit was a solid piece for the Wildcat defense.
With the loss, Los Gatos fell to 4-4 overall with a 3-2 mark in league play. The Wildcats still technically have a chance to win the league title, but it now seems very unlikely.
As for Milpitas, they improve to 6-2 overall and a 4-1 mark in league play. The Trojans are currently tied with Palo Alto for the De Anza League lead, but hold the tiebreaker over the Vikings after a 24-19 win previously this season. Milpitas is in the driver's seat to take the league title, and two more wins will give them the crown.
"It's a team effort," Vea finished. "As long as we stay together we got this."
Milpitas - 3:55 Canada 5 yard run (PAT Good) 7-0
Milpitas - 10:24 Jesus Gonzalez 26 yard field goal 10-0
Los Gatos - 4:57 Logan Chapman 28 yard field goal 3-10
Los Gatos - 7:06 Wood 49 yard run (PAT Failed) 9-10
Milpitas - 6:39 Canada 48 yard run (PAT Good) 17-9
Los Gatos - 5:29 Kevorkian 40 yard pass from Bawden (2-point conversion failed) 15-17