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Aptos defense has tough task against Willow Glen playmakers

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 27th, 2013






APTOS ó Nobody has been able to stop Willow Glen running back Hakeem Mays.

Nobody has been able to run on Aptosí defense.

Unstoppable force, meet immoveable object.

The Willow Glen Rams will make the trip from San Jose to Aptos High School to meet with the Mariners in a Central Coast Section Division-III playoff semifinal Friday at 7 p.m.

The winner will have secured a spot in the championship game.

Ramís 5-foot-11-inch, 170-pound running back Mays has racked up 1985 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, and is coming off a 282 yard, four-touchdown performance in their first round 42-14 win over Leigh.

The Aptos (9-2, 5-0) defense held the Aragon Dons offense to under 100 yards rushing and zero points before their offense put up 34 points and they subbed in their sophomore and freshman players they brought up for the playoffs.

The Rams (6-5, 3-4) also have their fair share of big linemen.

On their Maxpreps.com roster they have 13 of their linemen listed at 200 pounds or more.

But last week they faced an Aragon team with similar numbers and size, and they were able to stop their power-running attack.

Willow Glen comes from the Mount Hamilton League, which had six of its eight teams qualify for CCS playoffs.

They also have a good target to get the ball to.

Justin Perea hauled in 53 catches for 686 yards and three scores this season.

The 5-foot-11-inch receiver will have a tough time ahead of him against a defense, which has picked off 16 passes this year.

They allowed just 84 yards through the air to Aragon quarterback Nathaniel Blood.

Offensively the Mariners have been the meaning of efficient.

Last week they played without their lead ball carriers C.J. Pistorino and Miles Beaudoin, and they were still able to rush for 346 yards.

They had a big performance from junior Michael Chavez (97 yards, two touchdowns) and senior quarterback Alex Joh (3-4, 98 yards, 1 touchdown).

Still, Willow Glen is a much bigger test for the Mariners than Aragon.

In the Rams four league losses, three of them were of three points or less. All but one of their losses came to CCS playoff teams.

Their only blowout loss of the season was to Pioneer (38-3).

But the Mariners, Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League champions three years running, have a sense of determination to make it back to the CCS D-III finals.

They beat the Monterey Toreadors 34-31 in a wild come from behind win to make it to the CCS finals last season.

Aptos was down 20-7 at the half, but scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

The Mariners last won the section in 2003 when they beat Hollister 26-22.

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