by Tom McCallister
TD Machine: Dominic Martinez scored two touchdowns and intercepted a pass. David Spitz photo
The Chargers Pee Wee team played the Vallejo Jaguars, a Division 1 team from the East Section, who entered the game with a 1-5 record. The Chargers played their best game of the season and the head referee went out of his way to compliment the team on how disciplined they were throughout the game.
The Chargers got the ball first and the Martinez-McCallister offensive tandem immediately went to work. Dominic Martinez took the first carry 15 yards to the 50. Brady McCallister took the next run 20 yards to the Jaguars 30. Then, McCallister hit Martinez on a 20-yard pass to the 10. McCallister got them to the 5 and then Martinez capped the 5-play, 65-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run.
On defense, Ethan LeValley and William Huggins played well at the defensive ends, containing their outside threats throughout the game.
On the Jaguars offensive first series, McCallister recorded a 7-yard tackle for a loss and then intercepted the ball on the next play and returned it 20 yards to the Jaguars 10 yard line. On the next play from the offensive side of the ball, McCallister scored on a tough run up the middle. The score was 12-0 Chargers after just 5 1/2 minutes of play.
The defense continued to corral and dominate the Jaguars, who did not get a first down the entire game. Jason Gabianelli was instrumental at outside linebacker, with solid tackling and great pass protection.
Common sight: Ethan LeValley (22) got plenty of kickoff practice against Vallejo. LeValley and William Huggins (24) anchored the Charger defense from their defensive end positions. That's Charles Feldman (77) on the right. David Spitz photo
The Jaguars went 4-and-out on their next series, again due to great contain play by the Chargers defensive ends. The Chargers took over on the Jaguars 30 yard line, and Martinez scored on the next offensive play for the Chargers, a 30-yard inside reverse, which was well-blocked by TE Charlie Williams and guard, La’Ron Cook. Martinez went untouched for the first 25 yards and then put a nifty cut-back move on their top defender at the 5 yard line to score. McCallister converted the 2-point, kicking PAT to put the Chargers up 20-0 with 9 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
On the Jaguars next series, they ran two unsuccessful plays and then cornerback Charlie Williams intercepted a 3rd down pass at the Jaguars 45 yard line. However, the Chargers immediately fumbled the ball back to the Jaguars. However, the Jaguars offensive was victimized by excellent solo tackles for no gain on consecutive plays by McCallister and Cook. McCallister recorded an 8-yard sack for a loss on 3rd down. The Jaguars let their frustration get the best of them by compounding their woes with a personal foul at the end of the play, which pushed them back to their own 30 yard line. Their 4th-and-20 pass attempt fell incomplete in front of two Charger defenders who blanketed the play.
The Chargers sputtered a bit and shot themselves in the foot with a very untimely penalty on the next drive and were not able to get the ball in end zone before the half expired.
Versatile: Charlie Williams (42) had an intercepted pass and was an effective blocker from his tight end position. Coming in from the left to run interference are Jesse Alonso (5) and Benjamin Reese (95). That's Ethan LeValley (22) on the right. David Spitz photo
The Jaguars started with the ball in the 2nd half, but Martinez intercepted their 3rd down pass. On the Chargers first offensive play, Martinez ran it 20 yards to the Jags 35 yard line behind some key blocks by McCallister, LeValley, and Gabianelli. Huggins took the next carry down to the Jaguars 10 yard line. However, the Jaguars were down to 11 players and by rule one of their players had to leave for a play due to injury. The Chargers spiked the ball to allow the Jaguars to return their defense to full capacity. Unfortunately, the good deed was not rewarded and the Chargers were unable to punch it in from the 10.
However, two plays later, nose guard, Jesse Alonso stripped the ball in the end zone and McCallister recovered it for the touchdown. Samuel Spitz carried the ball on the extra point run to put the Chargers up 27-0.
The Jaguars again fumbled on their next possession, which William Huggins recovered at midfield. Thereafter, the Chargers allowed other players some time in spotlight running the ball and maintained possession with a methodical 50-yard drive that ended at the Jaguar 2 yard line as time expired.
TD Machine Part 2: Brady McCallister also scored two TDs, forming the other half of the dynamic duo with Dominic Martinez. In addition, he intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. David Spitz photo
This was not a walk-over victory that the score might indicate. The Jaguars had good, tough athletes who competed well to the end. However, the Chargers defense simply dominated the day forcing the Jaguars to commit 5 turnovers on their 6 possessions, which stymied the Jaguars throughout the day.
Chargers-Broncos rivalry renews on Sunday
Traditional rivals Central Marin and Southern Marin square off Sunday. The Peewees (5-2) face their Broncos counterparts (4-3) in a game that will determine top seed in the West Section playoffs. The Cadet game also has playoff seeding implications. The Broncos (5-2) top the standings and the Chargers (4-3) are in a three-way tie for second. Winner of the Jr. Peewee game will have top seed in the playoffs. The Broncos are 4-3 and the Chargers are 3-4. The Chargers Jr. Midgets (2-5) are in tie for fourth, behind the Broncos (3-4), who are in a three-way tie for first.
In other games last Sunday, the Chargers Cadets defeated the San Jose Saints (1-6) 26-6. The Chargers Jr. Peewees fell to Division 1 Oak Grove South (4-3) 26-2. The Chargers Jr. Midgets were not scheduled.
[Tom McCallister is the coach of the Central Marin Chargers Peewee team, father of quarterback Brady, and owner of a pair of shorts worthy of a place of honor in the Ugly Shorts Hall of Fame.]