By RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
It took one play and 20 seconds to end any suspense as to which team would prevail in Friday night’s nonleague match-up between visiting Tomales and Elsie Allen.
The Braves’ Cody Titus returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and the rout was on. Small school Division 5 powerhouse Tomales (1-0) dominated every aspect of the game — offense, defense and special teams — in a 68-14 victory.
“This was a good win for us,” Tomales coach Leon Feliciano said. “We are a small school with only 180 kids, but we are a good football team. A lot of people don’t realize how good some of the small schools are.”
The game was between two teams on completely different levels as far as program development. Tomales (only 21 players) lived up to its billing as the well-oiled machine with a small roster of experienced players versus inexperienced Elsie Allen (0-2), a team that is a work in progress with virtually its entire roster of players with little or no game-day experience.
“You can see we are young. The lack of experience really showed,” Elsie Allen coach Larry Mahre said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
Tomales’ “toss offense,” which utilizes a double-wing misdirection scheme worked to perfection against the Lobos’ defense. “We have a lot of weapons,” Feliciano said. “We have some speed guys and a power guy (at running back) and our line is pretty strong on both sides of the ball.”
The ground game is what it is all about offensively for the Braves.
Tomales running backs Titus (5 carries, 98 yards, 1 TD) and Anthony Feliciano (15 carries, 118 yards and 3 TDs) did the damage. Titus had a 16-yard scoring run and Feliciano had touchdown runs of 1, 2, and 4 yards.
“Tomales is excellent at running that offense,” Mahre said. “They are a good team; you have to give them credit.”
Leading 16-0 at the end of the first quarter and 40-6 at halftime, the Braves cruised to the victory. They even scored two defensive touchdowns, both on interception returns by linebacker Brennan Potts (25- and 32-yard scores).
“Potts has great athletic skills and anticipation,” Feliciano said. “Our defense was strong.”
Tomales’ defense limited Elsie Allen quarterbacks to a combined 6-for-20 passing for 108 yards with three interceptions and one score.
The only big play surrendered by the Braves was a 65-yard touchdown pass by Elsie Allen in the second quarter from Aldo Corrales to tight end Julian Galvan. The Lobos added a second score on the final play of the game.