By GERARDO RECINOS
Alan Hern had a checklist of things he wanted his team to get done at Friday night’s game, and the Bulldogs delivered – and then some.
First, he wanted to win. That was taken care of by the first unit in the first half. In their 31-6 win on senior night over the Las Lomas Knights, the Bulldogs put up all 31 points in the first half, and allowed Coach Hern to check off the second item on his list: get in the second team seniors.
“We got on top of them early, which is what we wanted to do,” Hern said. “All in all, we got exactly what we wanted.”
He was allowed the flexibility to play the second team mostly due to the quick scores his first team offense put up. The offense rumbled to four first downs on the opening drive, traversing 73 yards in 2:59.
The drive was capped off by a nine-yard touchdown run by Alhambra senior Jonathan McCart. The Bulldog running back posted 69 yards on only 10 carries in the first half before being spelled by the back ups.
McCart’s touchdown merely opened the floodgates on Friday night. A Las Lomas turnover led to a quick touchdown on the first play of the drive. Quarterback Zach Elliott hit Damon Leonard for a 51-yard touchdown pass, but Alhambra was flagged for holding.
So after losing 10 yards, Elliott went deep again on the next play, this time connecting with fellow senior Matt Beck on a cross-body throw that the receiver hauled down near the sidelines and took to the house.
The Knights had little to play for, and took some chances in situations they may not have if they weren’t sitting on a 1-8 record and no wins in league play in the last season of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League with these seven teams.
Elliott connected with his back up Damon Blalock for his second touchdown of the season from 15 yards out following a Knights turnover on a fake punt.
McCart’s second touchdown of the game put the Bulldogs up 28-0, and the Bulldogs got a 25-yard field goal from junior Nicki Rucki to end the half in style at 31-0.
The Bulldogs allowed a late consolation touchdown but did what they needed to do to put the decision into the hands of the North Coast Section committee, who decided that the Bulldogs would get a seed.
Now the Bulldogs will adjust their usual preparation rituals for the week, with new bylaws not requiring teams to trade film. The Bulldogs may have to “wing it,” as Hern called it.
The Bulldogs will match up with the De Anza Dons on Friday, Nov. 13, at Knowles Field in Martinez.
The Dons share an identical record with the Bulldogs at 6-4, with a 3-3 record in their respective leagues.
The Dons and Bulldogs don’t have any common opponents, however, of their four losses this season, three came against opponents who play in Division IV.
Should the Bulldogs win their opening game, they would not host a second playoff game unless Piner-Santa Rosa were to upset Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland.
An O’Dowd win would mean an Alhambra win would take them to Oakland on Nov. 21 – a Saturday day game due to O’Dowd’s lack of field lights.