The past two weeks for Garces has been the polar opposite of their first two weeks of the season.
Suffering two straight shutouts, the return of star quarterback Joseph Campbell from injury has been the difference for the Rams, who pitched their second straight shutout in a 35-0 win over Santa Maria-Pioneer Valley on Friday.
Campbell, a three-year starter at QB for the Rams (2-3), delivered a record-setting performance on Friday as he broke a 33-year record by Mike Lewis for most completions in school history, collecting his 332nd career completion with a 10-yard pass to Jack Hatton in the third quarter.
Campbell finished 21 of 26 for 254 yards and two touchdowns, finishing the game with 16 straight completions and more importantly, in his mind, the win.
“Records are going to come and go, I’m just worried about getting wins this year,” said Campbell.
He also channeled his inner Lamar Jackson, scrambling for 83 yards and a score.
“The quick passing game and the way he’s able to manage it and how he learned it so quickly, he has a bright future and a tremendous football IQ,” said Garces head coach Paul Golla on Campbell’s performance. “Hats off to the offensive line and the receivers because one guy doesn’t do all that. He had a great night with a lot of components.”
Campbell’s favorite target for the evening was Philip Bradford, who hauled in 10 catches for 137 yards.
“He lit it up,” said Campbell of Bradford’s performance. “He ran good routes today.”
The big offensive performances from Campbell and Bradford helped the Rams overcome four turnovers and 11 penalties, including 4 personal foul calls and an ejection.
“We can not be distracted, that will cost us games,” said Golla.
While Campbell was effective offensively, it was the Rams' defense that once again did the damage. The Panthers (1-4) faced fourth-and-three from the Garces 7, down 14-0 in the second quarter. But a goal-line stand from the Rams kept Pioneer Valley out of the end zone in what became their best chance of the game.
Garces finished the game forcing four turnovers on downs.
Jaylen Smith, who led Garces offensively last week against Tehachapi, led the Rams defensively Friday with two sacks and a 23-yard scoop-and-score fumble recovery touchdown that put the Rams up 28 in the third quarter. He also added a 5-yard rushing and an 8-yard receiving score.
“Our mantra has been to finish and the last two weeks they finished,” Golla said.
With the roller coaster of a non-league slate wrapped up for Garces, the team will open SWYL play on Friday when they travel to Frontier.