On a night when 18 Garces seniors were honored during the final regular season game, it was a historic night for one.
Peter Delis converted two field goals, becoming the all-time record holder for career field goals in Garces history as the Rams beat Stockdale 27-13 at Sam Tobias Field on Friday.
Delis converted a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter to break the record, then added an 41-yarder for good measure with 13 seconds left in regulation.
“Definitely one of the best games of the season,” Delis said. “I didn’t know (I broke the record). That surprised me.”
But Delis wasn’t the only senior to get into the scoring action on Friday.
Joseph Campbell ran one in from the 1-yard line to make it 14-7 with four minutes left in the first half.
In the fourth quarter and Garces leading 17-13, Justin Eccleston intercepted a Jack Kaiser pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown with 9:25 left in the fourth quarter.
“It was great on senior night with all of those guys and the emotion before, this was good,” Golla said. “We hadn’t really (won) a close one before. This showed a lot of character for our guys to continue to battle.”
The playmaker for Garces (4-6, 2-3 SWYL) was junior Dom D’Amato.
D’Amato returned two punt returns for touchdowns and another for 60 yards that went into the Stockdale red zone, but only one of the counted because of penalities against the Rams.
“Hey, at least one of them counted,” D’Amato.
And that was the most electric of the three. D’Amato shifted his momentum at midfield, making a Stockdale defender miss, then D’Amato raced down the sideline 55 yards to tie the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter.
“We have to win the turnover ratio and we did that tonight,” Golla said.
Stockdale scored on two touchdown passes of 55 and 26 yards from Kaiser to Jeremiah Gradowitz, but the Mustangs (5-5, 2-3) was held in check by a relentless defense for Garces.
Logan Bowers had a team-high six tackles, including two sacks. Along with Zach Buckey, J.J. Uphold, Eli Garcia and Aaron Martinez, the Rams kept the Mustangs run game to less than 50 total yards. Buckey also blocked an extra-point attempt on the second Stockdale touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“Especially since our defense stepped up this week, I think we will have a big momentum boost going into next week,” D’Amato said.
Garces will await the Central Section Division II playoffs seedings that will come out on Saturday afternoon. The opening round will be Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.
Garces 27, Stockdale 13
At Sam Tobias Field
S – Gradowitz 55 pass from Kaiser (Kaiser kick)
G – D’Amato 55 punt return (Delis kick)
G – Campbell 1 run (Delis kick)
G – Delis 35 field goal
S – Gradowitz 26 pass from Kaiser (kick blocked)
G – Eccleston 45 interception return (Delis kick)
G – Delis 42 field goal
RUSHING: Smith 11-44, Campbell 6-(-8), Bell 1-6, Delis 1-7, Bowers 1-1, Wimberly 5-4.
PASSING: Campbell 17-24-0-130.
RECEIVING: Bradford 4-37, Marshall 7-60, Smith 3-10, Wimberly 1-(-5), Hatten 2-28.
W-L: GMHS 4-6, 2-3 SWYL; SHS 5-5, 2-3 SWYL
JV: SHS 38, GMHS 25. F/S: GMHS 27, SHS 6