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Gauchos Lose Football Title Match in Final Minute 28-31

The El Cerrito High varsity football team ended an extraordinary season in the pouring rain tonight, Saturday, with a late fourth-quarter loss to Marin Catholic for the Division III championship of the North Coast Section.

A spectacular season for the El Cerrito High football team came to an end tonight, Saturday, with a hard-fought loss to Marin Catholic High for the North Coast Section Division III title.

Played in pouring rain from a Pacific storm, the game was close until the final minute when Marin Catholic broke a 28-28 tie with a field goal to finish the match with a 31-28 victory.

The Contra Costa Times called it "an epic battle in awful weather." The close contest was decided by a 27-yard field goal by Chris Hill with 22.2 seconds left on the clock, the paper said.

In a final scoring attempt by El Cerrito, Marcellus Pippins caught a 40-yard pass from quarterback Keilan Benjamin but was dragged down before reaching the goal line as the clock ran out, according to the Times.

Both quarterbacks turned in impressive peformances with Marin Catholic's Jared Goff running for 77 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown, and passing for 124 yards, while Benjamin scored twice, including a 60-yard run, and threw a TD in the fourth quarter to Jalen Harvey to tie the game at 28-28, the Times reported.

"They played through some crazy adversity in terms of weather," said Gauchos head coach Kenny Kahn in a comment quoted by the Times. "We were playing an excellent team in Marin Catholic. Win or lose, my guys gave everything they had."

The top-seeded Gauchos had been undefeated all season going into the game, while Marin Catholic had a 12-1 record. In the semi-final game last weekend, El Cerrito beat Analy High of Sebastopol 40-20.

The heavy rain underscored a key reason for El Cerrito's decision to move its playoff games to DeAnza High School in Richmond – to be able to play on a turf field during the rainy season instead of El Cerrito's earth and grass field.

Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly reported the final score as 28-34. It has been corrected.

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samuel buman December 03, 2012 at 04:41 AM
I stand by my statement above and I'm sorry for my screwed up grammar. We all make mistakes.
janet enos December 03, 2012 at 08:36 AM
Congratulations to the Gauchos, especially the coaches! and ALL of El Cerrito. Had you all have been at the Analy game you would not just jump on a bandwagon to support a team that was beat(en?) fairly and squairly. I haven't heard the Gauchos crying about being mis-treated by Marin Catholic, simply to save face. We again have Charles Burress (EC Patch) to thank for responsible journalism. Everyone in El Cerrito should read the letter to the editor Buress ran earlier this week, "An Analy View on the Gauchos-Analy Footballl Game" written by the father of the Analy quarterback.
Susan December 03, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I am very proud of the Gauchos. They had a spectacular season. Our coaches are great and our team worked hard. Everyone played so well! Thank you all for your great spirit and resilience.
Marty December 04, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I hate to dignify your comments with a reply. You must be a sad, pathetic person to wish ill on those dedicated student-athletes. Despite the hyperbolic rhetoric, I was troubled by the allegations in Mr. Padecky's article of the Gauchos behavior at the Analy game, which I did not attend. However, after reading the comments of those who know the team the best and attending the Marin Catholic game, I have no doubt this is an exemplary group of young men. Hold then to a high standard and they will measure up on and off the field, but don't slander and malign them. They deserve better. Let's get that home field built for the Gauchos 2013 championship season!
Marty December 04, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I hate to dignify your comments with a reply. You must be a sad, pathetic person to wish ill on those dedicated student-athletes. Despite the hyperbolic rhetoric, I was troubled by the allegations in Mr. Padecky's article of the Gauchos behavior at the Analy game, which I did not attend. However, after reading the comments of those who know the team the best and attending the Marin Catholic game, I have no doubt this is an exemplary group of young men. Hold then to a high standard and they will measure up on and off the field, but don't slander and malign them. They deserve better. Let's get that home field built for the Gauchos 2013 championship season!

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