LOS GATOS -- Los Gatos High football coach Butch Cattolico was worried about Archbishop Mitty's speed. Before the game he said his team's key was limiting big plays.
That concern proved to be well-founded, as Mitty used long-gainers to come out on top with a 28-20 road win Friday in a season-opening game between two of the top teams in the South Bay.
"Our speed helped," Mitty coach Matt Haniger said.
Mitty quarterback Wyatt Hansen hit sophomore Dakari Monroe on a crossing route on a third-and-10 play in the second quarter, and Monroe turned it into a 64-yard gain down to the Los Gatos 5. Daniel Mosko scored on the next play to break a 7-7 tie and give the Monarchs a lead they would not relinquish.
Then there was a 27-yard run by Kyle Evans in the third quarter that really got the momentum going Mitty's way. Evans' run came on the first play after a Los Gatos punt and set up the score that gave Mitty a two-touchdown lead. Fullback Chandler Ramirez had a 17-yard run on that drive for a first down at the 11. Then Mitty came out in a four wide-receiver set, and Hansen connected with Jordan Gojenola for an 11-yard TD on the next play.
And finally, after Los Gatos had cut Mitty's lead to 21-13, Hansen broke loose for a 76-yard touchdown run. The extra point made it 28-13 with 4:56 left.
It looked as if the Monarchs had it wrapped up, but Los Gatos made it interesting, scoring a touchdown and recovering an onside kick. But Sean Stanelle came up with an interception to ensure the Mitty victory.
"We played well," Cattolico said. "I just wish we hadn't made those mistakes and given up those big plays."
The Los Gatos offense featured the power running of 212-pound Max Herman, who did his best to step in for departed star Garret Zeiter. The Wildcats hoped to play ball control and keep the ball away from Mitty's playmakers. They had some success, particularly in the first half, but weren't able to turn time of possession and yardage gained into as many points as they would have liked.
Kyle Kevorkian had six catches for 102 receiving yards for Los Gatos.
Los Gatos ran 14 plays on its first possession but had the drive end on a missed field goal.
Herman carried seven times on 78-yard Los Gatos scoring drive, taking it in on a 2-yard run with 4:32 left in the second quarter to bring the Wildcats even at 7-7. He finished with all three Los Gatos touchdowns.
"They're a very good team," Haniger said. "They ran the ball well at us in the beginning, controlled the ball."
Mitty planned to feature the run more this year with Hansen replacing Andrew Barna at quarterback. But Hansen's ability to connect on down-the-field passes led to both his team's first-half touchdowns. His 30-yard pass to Andrew Scott on third-and-12 set up the first score of the game, an 8-yard pass from Hansen to Mosko with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
Monroe, one of a group of sophomores for whom Haniger has high hopes, also had a reception for 10 yards, an interception and tipped the desperation pass at the end of the game that was intercepted by Stanelle.
Hansen's completed 5 of 6 passes for 90 yards in the second half and was 8 of 11 on the game for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
ARCHBISHOP MITTY 28, LOS GATOS 20
Archbishop Mitty 0 "14 "7 "7--28
Los Gatos 0 "7 "0 "13--20
AM -- Mosko 8 pass from Hansen (Rice kick)
LG -- Herman 2 run (Chapman kick)
AM -- Mosko 5 run (Rice kick)
AM -- Gojenola 11 pass from Hansen (Rice kick)
LG -- Herman 1 run (kick failed)
AM -- Hansen 76 run (Rice kick)
LG -- Herman 1 run (Chapman kick)
Records -- Archbishop Mitty 1-0; Los Gatos 0-1.