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Gauchos Beat Analy 40-20 – Advance to Finals for Championship

Two undefeated teams clashed on the gridiron Friday night, and at the end only one remained unbeaten. El Cerrito High advanced to the finals of the North Coast Section Division III championship after a 40-20 victory over Analy High of Sebastopol.

The temperature may have been cold Friday night, but the El Cerrito High Gauchos were hot as they extended their unbeaten record to 13-0 this year by beating previously undefeated Analy High in the semifinals of the North Coast Section Division III tournament.

Top-seeded El Cerrito’s 40-20 victory over the fifth-seed team from Sebastopol puts the Gauchos in the championship final game. Their opponent will be whoever wins the other semifinal match tonight, Saturday, between second-seed Marin Catholic (11-1) and third-seed Cardinal Newman (11-1).

The game against Analy, played at DeAnza High in Richmond, echoed a familiar pattern that has seen repeated lopsided victories for El Cerrito this year.

The Gauchos moved the ball, and whether they went left or right, Analy seemed unable to stop them.

El Cerrito was first on the board with a touchdown about halfway though the first quarter. The next score came only a minute into the second quarter when junior Adarius Pickett scored the Gauchos’ second touchdown, putting the team ahead 13-0.

Analy fought back and drove into what would normally be easy field goal range, but the kick missed.

A third El Cerrito touchdown brought the half-time score to 19-0.

The second half saw a more evenly matched game, with Analy scoring 20 points to El Cerrito’s 21, but the Gaucho’s first-half cushion gave them a comfortable margin of victory.

The Contra Costa Times credited junior quarterback Keilan Benjamin for leading the Gauchos to victory.

“Benjamin completed 23 of 28 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two third-quarter scores,” the paper said.

The El Cerrtio defense also turned in an impressive performance. The Analy team had never scored fewer than 35 points in any of its previous 12 games this season, the Times noted.

The halftime featured a poignant honor for El Cerrito High grad Tyson Quink, who played football at ECHS and West Point and whose story was featured in national media after he lost both legs in the Afghan war. (For more details, see the Patch story, "Honor Tonight for ECHS Grad Who Lost Legs in Afghan War.")

This year's record for El Cerrito, under head Kenny Kahn, has so far been one of the most impressive in school history.

In a rain-soaked game last week, the Gauchos rolled over Bishop O'Dowd 19-7.

George F. Austin November 27, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Milton, I've been with the football team since the last May. I find your accounts of what has been happening with the El Cerrito Football team to be grossly incorrect and bordering on being libelous. Steve Werren and I coached together for over 20 years and he left to deal with some pressing personal issues. On two occaisions both Principal Luongo and myself have spoken to the coaches and team unnecessary scoring in the final seconds of a game. I have known Coach Kahn since he was in the 7th grade, he does not encourage trash talking. Anyone that knows Kenny, Knows that he does not give firey speeches, his tend to be more on the cerebral side, while mine are firey. I guess we should Know our place and just shuffle off into oblivion and not even try to beat "good teams." like Campolindo and Analy because they are entitled. If you don't like us that's fine, just don't make up stuff and trot it out like its fact. In the venacular of the game we call that piling on.
Marty November 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I wasn't there Friday either, so I can't speak from first-hand knowledge, but the issues raised by PD writer Padecky and NCS Commisioner Lemmon are serious, and discussing them is not "talkin' trash." No one has said the problem of inappropriate athlete and fan behavior is unique to ECHS, just that we expect a high standard of sportsmanship from all involved with the Gauchos and ECHS. To make it to the championship game undefeated is a remarkable accomplishment by the players and coaches. I hope the behavior of all who attend or participate in the game will honor that achievement. Go Gauchos!
janet enos December 01, 2012 at 03:14 AM
What the hell? Kenny Kahn fired? Challenging George Austin's integrity? Have you people lost your minds? Is is so long ago that EC placed high in North Coast section that we place value on the small town sore losers pale attempts to save face? Going after Kenny Kahn for having a baseball bat on the sidelines? Seriously? Not only is a fine teacher with an incredible class management quality, he has grown to a winning coach and brought ECHS up to a place they should have always been. ON TOP!!! The greater Richmond area is known for their athletes historically. I was at the game at De Anza last week. This "unrest" was news to me until I read about it on the Patch. The stands were full of old Gaucho's and Eagles. Emphasis on the Eagles. We have a a great team this year. Let's realize that with greatness comes sour grape opponents. Don't allow these folks to tarnish the reputations of our fantastic athletes and their coaches. Both have earned our respect
Giorgio C. December 01, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Michael, Do you have any thoughts about the current make-up of the CBOC? In my opinion, the deck is stacked. It is hardly a "citizen's" committee. Only the 7 true citizens required by Ed Code law should have a vote. Roster http://wccusd-bond-oversight.com/members.htm
Michael O'Connor December 01, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Giorgio, The memberships structure of the current CBOC, with its expanded membership, is entirely within the purview of the Board, and I believe, appropriate for this district. The only official duty of the CBOC is to certify that the bond money is spent in accordance with the pertinent legislation. That the Board actually is willing to listen to the various related concerns of the CBOC members is good. Their meetings are open to all.

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