The Delhi varsity football team already made school history last week by starting off the year with four consecutive wins and they continued their win streak this Friday after topping Gustine, 18-6, in a physical defensive battle.
“It's one historical moment after another with this particular group of kids especially,” said Delhi head coach Rod McCombs. “I just hope we can get past this five-win hump that we've been stuck on for the past three years.”
Over the past three years, Delhi has only amassed five wins total.
Delhi's defense managed to hold Gustine to just 110 yards of total offense in the first half.
“First of all, we kept our composure but all along we taught the guys that we bend but don't break and it only happened once and we did good tonight,” said Delhi defensive coordinator Don Blankenship. “The boys did a great job of keeping it together.”
Behind the quarterback play from Alecxis Miranda, who is normally the team's running back, the Hawks looked electric on offense with the help of Jesse Flores, Alvin Prasaad and Fabian Garcia.
The Hawks managed to accumulate 166 total yards of offense over the first two quarters and took the lead and never gave it up.
“Offensively, they came out and punched us in the mouth but our guys never backed down,” said Delhi offensive coordinator Erik Martinez. “We made a lot of mistakes but when we needed the plays, our guys were there. The line had tough moments but when we needed the plays, our guys came together.”
Delhi's defense held Gustine scoreless in the first quarter and the Redskins' only touchdown came with 59 seconds left in the first half. By then, the Hawks were already up 12-6.
Flores scored on a 49-yard reception from Miranda for the first score of the game with 6:07 in the second.
They followed up the first score with a touchdown on their ensuing drive after recovering a fumble from Gustine and marched down the field for 40 yards, ending in a 10-yard rush from Miranda to give the Hawks a 12-0 lead after two missed extra points.
At the half, the Hawks were up by half a dozen and shut down the Redskins offense for the remainder of the game, while running the ball down Gustine's throat.
“My hat goes off to my defense, they did a great job,” said Blankenship. “We take it one game at a time, we don't worry about down the road. We focus on being champions ever Friday night...we might be 5-0 but it doesn't matter because as far as I am concerned we are 0-0 every week.”
Delhi's offense scored once again to open the second half on the opening drive after Garcia busted loose for a five-yard run which made the score 18-6 with 9:01 left in the third and the scored stayed that way until the final seconds winded down and the Hawks bench erupted.
“We learned from this game, to be honest, this is the hardest hitting team we faced all year and we learned from this and definitely got better and now we need to prepare for Waterford,” said Martinez. “It's a great feeling, especially for these kids since Delhi has never started off 5-0 before.”
Delhi's next game will be their homecoming contest at home against Waterford at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“This is a resilient bunch and we got in tough situations that we could have easily folded but they have a better IQ this year and we understand what it gets to reach the end,” McCombs added. “Ultimately the journey we are on is one step at a time, just trying to reach the end have things go in our favor.”