Guerin gets back at Chicago Christian
Updated: October 8, 2011 7:20PM
Guerin’s focus was all on avenging last year’s tumultuous last-second homecoming loss to Suburban Christian Conference rival Chicago Christian. This year, the Gators left nothing to doubt as they rode a dominating third quarter to a 35-0 win over the visiting Knights in the 2011 homecoming game.
“To start the week we played that (video from last year) for them,” said Guerin head coach Tony Pecoraro. “Before the game, the conversation was about that game. At halftime the conversation was about that game. We pounded it into their heads that we can’t let this team keep playing around and - with a touchdown and an onside kick - beat us.”
The Gators (4-3, 3-1) struggled moving the ball a bit in the first half with senior quarterback Tommy Kelly having some issues with accuracy and senior running back Justin Williams still carrying an ankle injury. Despite that, the Gators got on the board on their first drive thanks in large part to a 30-yard run by Williams. Senior Alex Sullivan punched the ball in from the one, and junior Kevin Kross converted the first of his five perfect extra points to make the game 7-0 with 7:59 left in the first quarter.
“Kelly struggled in the first half and wasn’t following through,” said Pecoraro. “He bounced back with that nice long pass to Sullivan on a corner route, and in the second half he was on target. Our special teams, especially our point after team, played really well. I challenged them at the half to win the third quarter, and we did. Going five-of-five makes a huge difference in this game, and I’m proud of them. Kross is a solid kicker and just a junior, and our snapper is John Dabe and Andrew Rangel is the holder and they’re both juniors so things look bright there.”
Guerin would double the lead with a methodical 83-yard drive after senior Nick Romano got them the ball with a great interception with 6:04 left in the second quarter. Senior Eric Giovenco had the big play leaping over a pile at the line of scrimmage and then busting a 30-yard run to the Knights’ 20. After Kelly connected with Sullivan for 18 yards, Giovenco finished it off with a two-yard run to make it 14-0 at the half.
“Eric was our player of the game,” Pecoraro said. “He’s a hard-nosed runner and broke that long one that got us to the two-yard line. He’s just a good athlete.”
Chicago Christian (0-7, 0-5) couldn’t get much going all night long as the Gators kept them at bay all afternoon long. Guerin forced the Knights to punt on the opening possession of the second half. On third-and-19, Kelly got the ball to Giovinco, and 47 yards later, the Gators were up 21-0.
Senior Connor Dec and Sullivan combined to get a big sack of Chicago Christian quarterback Calvin Visser on third-and-18 on the next Knights’ possession. The Gators made them pay and Kelly snuck in from the one to put the Gators up 28-0 with 29 ticks left in the third quarter.
Sullivan forced a fumble by Visser that senior Matt Deleon scooped up on the next Chicago Christian possession. One play later, sophomore Traven Guerrero busted a 68-yard run to the end zone that capped the day’s scoring. “Our defense has prepared all year like they never have before,” said Pecoraro. “We were calling out their plays all game.”