Cruise Adams had the best seat in the house.
All Garces' senior quarterback had to do was hit one of his lightning-bolt receivers with a short pass and then watch the show begin.
By the time it was over, the Rams owned a dominating 41-6 victory over Stockdale on Friday night at Sam Tobias Field.
“I just get them the ball and watch them run,” Adams said. “It’s easy, that's for sure. It’s awesome.”
Adams finished 10-of-14 passing for 242 yards and three long touchdowns. First, it was Dominic Frasch, taking a swing pass in the second quarter and using his 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash to outrace the entire defense up the sideline 68 yards to the end zone.
Later in the second quarter, a similar pass to Angus Bellue went 63 yards to paydirt, with Bellue cutting back up the middle of the field to beat the last two defenders.
“Our speed, you could see the difference there,” Garces coach Jim Maples said. “Those are kids who can really stretch a defense. Then with Cruise being so efficient, and we can pound it (running) with Sheldon Croney. We have a lot of weapons.”
They were all on display on this night.
The two long swing passes sandwiched Stockdale’s only scoring drive of the night and made it 21-6 Garces at halftime.
After the half, Adams put on a show of his own, lofting a perfect deep ball to Jake Sweaney, who was streaking into the end zone 42 yards away.
Chris Sakowski, who was all over the field on defense, officially made the game a rout a couple of minutes later when he blocked Dean McBride’s punt, scooped up the ball at the Stockdale 4-yard line and trotted into the end zone for a 35-6 lead.
“I just lined up a little outside,” Sakowski said. “We didn’t really have a call from the coaches on that one, so I just went for it. Then it’s just scoop and score. It’s pretty sweet.”
Fullback Cameron Pacheco got in on the act, scoring the Rams’ first and final touchdowns, and Croney finished with 76 rushing and 30 receiving yards.
“We knew we had a good team,” Adams said, “but we knew we had to play our best. And we absolutely did. If we play this type of game, we can compete with anybody, even a Division I team like Stockdale.”
That’s becoming increasingly apparent. Two weeks ago, the Rams hung with defending Central Section Division I champion and consensus No. 1 Bakersfield before falling 34-24 on the Drillers’ home field.
Now they’ve trampled over another D-I contender.
“I think we’re one of the best teams in the Valley,” Sakowski said. “The statistics and the rankings don’t really matter. It doesn’t matter if they rank us third or 30th or 50th. We know we’re one of the best.”
Count Stockdale coach Mike Snow as a believer.
His Mustangs managed just 154 yards of offense, including 37 rushing yards on 15 carries from star running back D.J. Martin, who did manage Stockdale’s only touchdown.
“I told Jim (Maples) after the game that he’s got a heck of a squad,” Snow said. “They’re bigger and better up front than Clovis (a Division I team that beat Stockdale last week). They’re going to run the table.”