Mitch Chortkoff, Mirror Sports Writer
The football season began with Brentwood failing to establish a running game and depending heavily on the pass.
Coach Patrick Brown spread the field with receivers in games but worked to improve the running in practice.
It all came together Saturday night when Brentwood gained 340 yards on the ground in a 35-0 win over Calvary Chapel. It was the Alpha League opener for both teams.
Tailback Manny Benton benefited from superb blocking to gain 229 yards in 10 carries. He scored four touchdowns.
Brentwood has lost to Paraclete and Pasadena Poly in its two previous games and has a 3-3 overall record.
“The offensive linemen stayed with their blocks until the whistle blew,” said Brown. “They were tenacious. As a result the running backs could see where the holes were.”
The offensive linemen who drew Brown’s praise were tackles Eric Kloppholz and Rudy De la Cruz, guards Alejandro Rodriguez, Niki Pezeski, Michael Becker and Raul Hernandez, center Preston Maddock and tight end Charlie James. Brown also praised the blocking of fullback Chase Bennett.
Brown rotated quarterbacks Mason Moss and Josh Amster on every play. He said the strategy, while unusual, was successful and he’ll do it again Friday afternoon in a home game against Marshall of Pasadena.
“It gives us an opportunity to talk to the quarterback before every play and tell him what to look for,” said Brown. “With that knowledge, sometimes the quarterback changed the play at the line of scrimmage.”
The quarterbacks threw only 10 passes but completed six.
Brentwood senior linebacker Jose Valladolid, who was starting for the first time, suffered a broken arm in the second quarter.
“In coaching, that’s something you absolutely hate to see,” said Brown.
Valladolid underwent surgery Sunday.