Giants create early season momentum in 30-24 OT win
COS makes a late game come back, scores touchdown in overtime to win first opening game since 2016
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
VISALIA – After ending 2018 on a losing streak, practicing in the summer heat from June to September, it was exciting for the College of the Sequoias Giants to start their season off with a 30-24 overtime win.
According to head coach Joe D’Agostino, this was the first opening game win the Giant’s had since 2016. D’Agostino also noted that it was a strong overtime performance for the Giant’s who had gone just 1-5 in their last six overtime contests.
“The kids just kept going and the staff really stayed together and stayed positive and there wasn’t really any panic,” D’Agostino said.
All together the Giants put up 507 offensive yards on 80 plays. The offensive side of things was a well balanced approach with 42 rushes and 133 yards to 38 passes for 374 yards. The signal caller under center, Gus Villareal, completed 24 passes and three touchdowns. But the stats don’t tell the whole story.
COS went down early in the first quarter when the Feather River Golden Eagles scores 3 points in the first quarter on a field goal, and then went up by 10 after a one yard touchdown run by quarterback Jalen Dummett. The Giants responded with a field goal from kicker Dominic Hernandez, and then tied the score just a minute before half time on an 88-yard pass from Villareal to wide receiver Bryson Allen.
The Golden Eagles went back up by seven when Dummett scored on a 32-yard run early in the third quarter. COS didn’t respond with a score of their own until third first few second of the fourth quarter when Villareal passed to Sergio Pena, 21 yards for a touchdown. The point after try hit the upright, leaving the Giants trailing by one.
Midway through the fourth quarter they trailed by eight when Dummett scored his third touchdown of the afternoon on a two yard run. Dummett managed to end the game with 118 total rushing yards and 194 passing. Villareal took to the air to respond passing to Marc Jean-louis for a 20 yard touchdown and the converted their two-point try with a pass to Allen with 3:20 left.
COS’s score forced overtime when the Giant’s had their crack at the first possession and managed to get in the endzone. Feather River blocked the point after try and returned it the length of the field. Unfortunately for Feather River the score was negated by an unsportsman like conduct penalty.
And while the Giants’ defense let up 24 points in regulation, they smothered Feather River when it counted and kept them for punching the ball into he endzone to give COS the win.
D’Agostino says that gearing up for the first game takes so much time and effort that losing takes an even larger toll on the players and the staff. He added that a week one loss forces teams to generate some positivity instead of rolling with momentum.
“Sets a good feeling in motion, you can’t celebrate a win for too long…now it’s back to work. It gives you good energy heading into week two,” D’Agostino said.
Now COS will travel to Hayward to take on Chabot. D’Agostino said that the gladiators are stout team on both sides of the ball and will be a challenge. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14