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This was a tough one from the onset.

On Friday night, Garces lost to Liberty 31-0 at Sam Tobias Field as the Patriots scored four first half rushing touchdowns and had a 28-0 halftime lead in Southwest Yosemite League action. 

“Up front, they just dominated the game,” Garces coach Paul Golla said. “That’s that Liberty does year in and year out. They don’t enough credit. They run the ball as good as anybody around.”

Despite having a major college recruit at wide receiver in Ramon Henderson, the Patriots (8-1, 4-0), the Patriots ran the ball 30 of the 37 offensive plays in the first half and outgained Garces (3-6, 1-3) 248-28 in total offensive yardage.

“The pound the ball and eat up the clock,” Golla said. 

Liberty scored on the opening drive of the game that went 70 yards on 11 plays and lasted four minutes, 16 seconds. 

The Garces was forced into a three-and-out series and Liberty marched back down the field, ending in a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Haden Mann, giving Liberty a 14-0 lead with 2:05 left in the first quarter.

“It’s tough. For 60 plays, we were on defense,” Golla said. “Again, they do a great job of running the ball. A great run team and we struggled with that (Friday). We have to look at video and get it fixed for next week.”

Justin Eccelston and Dom D’Amato both had fumble recoveries for Garces, but the Rams were unable to capitalize on either Liberty turnover.

Despite the four-score deficit at the half, the Rams did not allow Liberty to reach the endzone in the second half, limiting the Patriots to a 22-yard field goal on their opening drive of the second half.

“That was the speech at halftime,” Golla said. “Win or lose, we have to keep our heads up high and battle, and they did. They battled. Very proud, especially in the third quarter when both teams had their starters in.”

Logan Bowers led Garces with 10 tackles and Jalen Smith recorded eight while Eli Garcia and J.J. Uphold both had six tackles. 

Joseph Campbell threw for 90 yards on 12 of 24 passing, but was picked off twice. 

D’Amato led Garces with three catches for 33 yards. 

The Rams are at home in the regular season finale at home against Stockdale. The senior football players will be honored directly following the JV game that begin at 4:30 p.m. on Nov 1. Then the senior cheerleaders and members of the band will be honored at halftime.

Liberty 31, Garces 0

First quarter

L – Boone 1 run (Blevins kick)

L – Mann 1 run (Blevins kick)

Second quarter

L – Mann 17 run (Blevins kick)

L – Nunez 39 run (Blevins kick)

Third quarter

L – Blevins 33 field goal

Fourth quarter 

No scoring

Statistics

Garces

RUSHING: Smith 6-14, Campbell 12-4, Wimberly 5-17.

PASSING: Campbell 12-24-2-90.

RECEIVING: Bradford 1-13, Marshall 3-18, Wimberly 2-(-3), D’Amato 3-33, Hatten 2-29, Bell 1-13.

W-L: GMHS 3-6, 1-3 SWYL; LHS 8-1, 4-0 SWYL 

JV: LHS 50, GMHS 31. F/S: LHS 56, GMHS 9

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