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By Phil Jensen
Special to Chabot Athletics
Things were pretty even for the Chabot football team in Saturday's home game against Shasta – except for a 10 minute, 15 second stretch of the third quarter.
But it was that stretch that turned out to be the deciding factor in a 30-17 loss to the Knights in warm conditions.
Shasta outscored Chabot 17-0 in that time frame. Although the Gladiators rallied, they were unable to fully recover.
"I'm proud of the way the guys came back. I'm just proud of them in general, coming back from those two losses in the beginning of the year," said Chabot coach Eric Fanene, whose team is 2-3 overall. "We just made mistakes, the same mistakes that haunted us in the first two games, the penalties on offense and the big plays on defense that hurt us in the third quarter."
Chabot entered the second half with a 14-7 lead, thanks to touchdown passes from LT Beck to Jamal Lavallier of 47 and 51 yards. But Shasta (2-1 overall) opened the half with a 60-yard drive which included a 24-yard pass from Toren Tuttle to Jayden Gordon and ended with a six-yard TD run from Tyler Boston.
After a Chabot three-and-out, Shasta scored immediately on a 59-yard run by Gordon. A Chabot fumble set up a 31-yard field goal by the Knights' Dennis Perez and a 24-14 Shasta lead.
Chabot then showed a unique running plan that set up a 40-yard field goal by Andrew McGinty. The Gladiators switched running backs every carry (and play) of the 11-play drive, which consisted of all runs. Amari Tidwell, Joseph Broussard and Tariq Jabbaar combined for 43 yards in the 6 minute, 36 second drive.
"That's just one of our ways to call plays," Fanene said. "All three are capable of running the ball."
But Shasta responded with a 75-yard drive that produced the final touchdown of the game, a 12-yard run by Gordon with 7:10 left in the fourth quarter. Chabot's next drive ended on the Shasta 16, and the Gladiators didn't get closer than that the rest of the fourth quarter.
Lavallier, a sophomore who played at Clayton Valley Charter High in Concord, showed outstanding separation ability. He caught five passes for 121 yards and the two touchdowns.
"He's an elite athlete," Fanene said. "He's one of the fastest guys in the state. He's very special."
Beck completed 12 of his 24 pass attempts for 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Defensively, Chabot's Nyles Pokipala-Waiohu grabbed a first-quarter interception on the Chabot five-yard line and returned it 28 yards to get his team out of trouble. Kingston Sapoi nabbed an interception in the second quarter for the Gladiators, and on Shasta's next possession, Chabot's Hugo Gomez recovered a fumble.
The Gladiators' Kaimiloa Padrones produced a sack on the final play of the first half. Teammate Anthony James also had a sack in the third quarter.
Chabot will open conference play on Oct. 16 when it hosts perennial power City College of San Francisco at 6 p.m. San Francisco is 5-0 after a 42-7 victory over Santa Rosa on Saturday.