The Gauchos opened play in the Tri-County Athletic League-Rock division in dominating style, turning five turnovers into 26 points in a shutout over the Vikings at Chabot College.

Running back Austin Harper led a Gauchos balanced attack with 77 yards on the ground on just four carries. He scored two touchdowns, including a 49-yard burst on the third play of the game. Gauchos quarterback Keilan Benjamin found brother Keith Benjamin for a 43-yard touchdown and Jalen Harvey broke several tackles on a 72-yard punt return with 14 seconds left in the half as El Cerrito (5-0, 1-0 TCAL-Rock) took a 34-0 halftime lead.

The Vikings (4-1, 0-1) reached the red zone twice in the first half, but were turned away both times by the stingy Gauchos defense. Valley Christian went from its own 28 to the Gauchos 2 in the first quarter and faced a fourth-and goal, but Howard Wikle was stopped short of the goal line. The Vikings reached the Gauchos 13 on their next possession, but backup quarterback Vince Volpatti was picked off by Harvey, who also had a fumble recovery.

Wikle bruised his way for 27 rushes for 119 yards as the Vikings finished with 211 total yards, all on the ground.



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