By Nick DeCicco, Special to the Daily Republic
FAIRFIELD — Rodriguez High exploded for four touchdowns in the second quarter Friday at Coach Ed Hopkins Memorial Stadium en route to a 45-0 drumming of visiting Bear Creek High of Stockton in their 2021 season opener, Friday.
It was Rodriguez’s first shutout win in a season opener since defeating Burton of San Francisco 40-0 in the first game in school history in 2002 and the first shutout overall since a 45-0 blanking of Fairfield in 2017.
Friday’s win tied the 2017 vanquishing of the Falcons for the second-biggest shutout and second-biggest margin of victory, topped only by a 49-0 crushing of Armijo in 2010.
For Myles King, the 45-point margin of victory was the most by a Mustangs coach in his first game, topping the 44 by Stevie Johnson in a 56-12 win over Armijo in the spring opener in March.
In the triumphant second quarter, Gerald Certeza struck twice, first bursting up the middle through the defense and into the end zone on a 6-yard dash to give the Mustangs a 13-0 edge.
Two and a half minutes later, it was Certeza again, recovering the fumble of a botched snap on a punt and bolting 39 yards to put Rodriguez up 19-0.
The Mustangs scored twice in a two-minute period later in the second. First, quarterback Miles Meadows hit Jamoryon Johnson with a pass over the middle before Johnson spun around and bolted for the left side of the goal line.
After Rodriguez’s Jeffrey Missouri picked off a David Sagapolu pass two plays into the following Bruins drive, it was Bentley Williams blasting through the line and dancing through the secondary to pay dirt to give the Mustangs a 31-0 halftime edge.
Rodriguez led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter after Keith Gallon ran around the left side of the line for a 9-yard TD tote. Gallon was the game’s only rusher to break the century mark, with eight carries totaling 103 yards.
The Mustangs added one additional touchdown in the final two quarters, with Leroy Bryant blasting down his own sideline for a 65-yard punt return for a score in the third and Kenan Jones ran a QB keeper 3 yards around the right side of the line and inside the pylon for a TD in the fourth.
While the Mustangs had plenty to celebrate on offense, King praised the defense as well for holding the Bruins to zero points while holding them to 40 total yards on offense. The Mustangs’ D sacked Sagapolu five times for losses in addition to Certeza and Missouri’s interceptions and a fumble recovery by Malik Dawson.
“Our defense had a really good day,” King said, highlighting Certeza’s performance.
Rodriguez drew a plethora of yellow flags throughout the game, racking up 14 penalties that totaled more than 160 yards.
“(We’ve) got to clean up some of the penalties,” King said. “I felt like we came out with good intensity.”
The Mustangs head down Interstate 80 to play at American Canyon on Friday.
JV: Rodriguez 12, Bear Creek 7: A 39-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown from Jayden Lewis Chandler proved to be the difference in the Mustangs’ win over the Bruins.
Zach Carvalho caught a 15-yard pass from Dylan Burke in the second quarter.
The win was the first for Jason Schwab as head coach of Rodriguez’s JV squad.
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