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Pacifica Islanders Victorious in 2008 Winter Bowl
Ryan Buchan, Islanders Staff Writer
Dec. 6, 2008

The Pacifica Islanders finished the year with a perfect 14-0 season after defeating the River City Gators in the Northern California Football League 2008 Winter Bowl 24-14 last Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

Despite the final score this turned out to be the most challenging game of the year for Pacifica.

The River City Gators traveled from the Sacramento area and are made up of two former power house minor league football teams, the Sacramento Wolverines and Northern Valley Lions. Both these teams have long histories and were undefeated in regular season play in 2008 in their respective leagues

The Islanders found out early the Gators were serious about winning. On the Gators first drive it appeared Pacifica had them stopped but then River City converted a fake punt on fourth down giving them an opportunity to keep their drive alive. This new set of downs proved successful when River City threw a 30-yard touchdown pass for the opening score.

In the second quarter the Gators drove the ball deep into Islander territory but fumbled the ball on the six-yard line, and Junior Saga recovered for the Islanders.

Pacifica's offense seemed to be out of sync after the long layoff. Quarterback Jason Piccolotti was being hurried quite often and the running game was struggling. After both teams made consecutive defensive stands the Gators ended up intercepting a Piccolotti pass and returning it for a touchdown, making the score 14-0. This remained the score until half time as the two teams defenses battled it out.

The Islanders came out for the third quarter ready for redemption. The Gators received the second half kick and went three and out. The Islanders defense had been up to the task all night, not letting up the pressure on the Gators quarterback or line.

The momentum then turned. The Islanders were able to score 24 unanswered points in the third quarter. The first being a 40-yard field goal by Colby Cason, former University of New Mexico kicker, and then a on 50-yard touchdown run by Jarmar Julien (San Jose State and K.C. Chiefs). After the defense forced another turn over for the Islanders, Jason Piccolotti led the team on a long drive inside the Gators 20 but was injured while making the first down on a quarterback keeper.

Backup QB and starting safety Scott Burke came in and pitched the ball to running back Jason Harrison who then made the halfback pass to a waiting Donyell Crain in the back of the end zone, making it 17-14 Pacifica. The fans went wild stomping their feet on the metal bleachers.

The Islanders were led by a strong defense that only allowed one touchdown, which occurred on the Gators first drive of the game. The defense had seven takeaways off of one interception and six fumble recoveries. Paki Gordon recovered a fumble, as well as running back an interception 48 yards for a touchdown.

The Gators quarterback felt relentless pressure throughout the game and was sacked seven times. Kenuto Lorenzetti, Chauncey Ako, Saga, Tommy Pratt and Cisco Lutu recorded sacks.

The final score to seal the win came from the Islanders secondary when Paki Gordon, a 2008 All American, intercepted a Gator pass and returned it for a touchdown. The fourth quarter was scoreless as both teams defenses played excellent football.

"The guys showed courage, poise and real dedication to get this done," said Pacifica head coach Jack Burgett. The Islanders now head into the off-season, awaiting a game in March against the Bay Area Buccaneers. That will be their first game as part of the brand new Northern California Football League.



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