Football: Undefeated Willow Glen, Branham headed for showdown

Willow Glen and Branham both have 5-0 records heading into their clash on Friday night. But there’s more to this story.

While Branham has not been 5-0 since 2014, it has been a bit longer for the Rams – at least 25 years, according to Willow Glen athletic director Eric Ostrowski.

There will only be one team advancing to 6-0 after Friday night’s game at Willow Glen. The kickoff for this homecoming game is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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“These are two evenly-matched teams,” said Branham coach Stephen Johnson about the squads, who are both 2-0 in the Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa Division along with Overfelt. “They had our number last year. They are strong up front.”

The Bruins are strong up front as well. Led by Nevada-bound left tackle Frank Poso, Branham’s offensive line is paving the way for its ballcarriers to the tune of 245 yards per game. Cameron Rynhard leads the Bruins with 606 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. Branham has won each of its games by double digits, including by more than 35 points in each of its last three wins. The Bruins have scored 46 points or more in their last three games.

“On film, they look really good,” said Willow Glen coach Oscar Caballero about Branham. “They are running the ball well. Their special teams are really good.”

Defensively, Branham has also been solid, not allowing more than 13 points in a game.

“It’s a multitude of things,” said Johnson about what has made his team so successful this season. “More than anything, we have 18 returning starters.”

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While Willow Glen can put up points (it is averaging 24.6 per game this season), its calling card is its defense. The Rams have two shutouts, including last week’s 14-0 win over Westmont, and have allowed only 27 total points this season.

The Rams also have found a knack for clutch scoring.

Against Lincoln, Willow Glen scored two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes, 50 seconds of the game in a 20-6 victory. Dylan Pruitt, on his only rush of the game, scored from 11 yards out. Then Nicholas Morris produced the final touchdown on a 54-yard interception return. Earlier in the quarter, Pruitt blocked a Lincoln point-after-touchdown kick attempt. In a 17-7 win over Leigh, Willow Glen scored 14 of those points in the second half.

“We found a really good chemistry with the players we have and the positions they’re in,” said Caballero about his team. As far as clutch …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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