PITTSBURG -- Sophomore Shawn Vasquez ran for 177 yards and two touchdowns and the Mustangs (1-1) pounded out a nonconference victory over the visiting Seahawks (0-1) on Saturday.
Los Medanos, which dropped its season opener 42-7 against Hartnell in Salinas, broke the game open on a 59-yard touchdown run by Vasquez, of Liberty High, late in the third quarter to make the score 20-3. The big play came after the stingy Mustangs defense held Cabrillo on downs for the second straight time.
"Shawn's a game-breaker for us," Los Medanos coach Chris Shipe said. "He just kept pounding and pounding and finally broke that one that we needed coming out in the second half. But he's going to make those plays throughout the season, and we're just going to keep giving him the ball."
The run-oriented Mustangs amassed 402 yards rushing. Freshman quarterback Adam Nesheim, of Alhambra High, ran for 70 yards, including scoring on a 50-yard scamper off a play-action fake on the Mustangs' first possession. Jamal Lockett (Pittsburg High), Nick Neutall and Robert Ortiz combined for 153 yards rushing.
Freshman linebacker Markie Betram of Antioch all but sealed the victory by picking off Cabrillo quarterback Brandon Layne at the Los Medanos' 11-yard line with 10:48 left in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs then marched 89 yards on 14 plays, helped by a 15-yard personal-foul penalty, and capped the scoring on a 7-yard Ortiz run.
Late in the first quarter, Cabrillo starting quarterback Lucas Romanski, of Valley Christian-Dublin, left the game with an injury after taking a hard hit from linebacker Marcus Fenderson.
Vasquez scored on a 5-yard run with 14 seconds left in the first half on a fourth-and-5 play, increasing the lead to 10 points. He started the 40-yard scoring drive with a 26-yard run. One play later, the Seahawks were called for pass interference in the end zone, but the Cabrillo defense stiffened before Vasquez's gutsy touchdown run.
"We came into this week kind of blind because Cabrillo had a first-week bye," Shipe said. "We went off film from last year and we tried to prepare them for every situation, and they stepped up and played well."
Los Medanos 26, Cabrillo 3
Cabrillo 0 3 0 0-- 3
Los Medanos 7 6 7 6-- 26
LM -- Nesheim 50 run (Jackson kick)
C -- Vacha 30 FG
LM -- Vasquez 5 run (kick blocked)
LM -- Vasquez 59 run (Jackson kick)
LM -- Ortiz 7 run (kick blocked)
Rushing: C -- Serrano 9-37, Clark 3-25, Bonner 2-11, Slaughter 4-11, Romanski 1-2, Wilcox 4-(-2), Tullis 1-(-9), Layne 10-(-16). Totals 34-59. LM -- Vasquez 19-177, Nesheim 9-70, Lockett 8-61, Ortiz 13-46, Neutall 4-46, Hampton 1-2. Totals 54-402. Passing: C -- Romanski 5-6-89-0, Layne 7-18-63-1. Totals 11-24-152-1. LM -- Nesheim 8-17-63-0. Receiving: C -- Heskett 5-58, Hasegawa 2-42, Bonner 1-16, Moore 1-15, Padilla 1-8, Clark 1-7, McSwain Jr. 1-6. Totals 12-152. LM -- Bossett 1-29, Lockett 4-16, Vasquez 1-9, Pruitt 1-5, Walker 1-4. Totals 8-63. Fumbles/lost: Cabrillo -- 2/1, Los M:edanos -- 0/0. Records: Los Medanos 1-1, Cabrillo 0-1.