The Gauchos blitzed the visiting Bruins Saturday night at De Anza High School with an explosive opening half and now have set their sights on the North Coast Section Division III playoffs.
The Gauchos (8-2, 6-0 Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division) won a second consecutive TCAL-Rock Division title with the victory.
The senior trio of quarterback Keilan Benjamin, running back Adarius Pickett and receiver Jalen Harvey handled most of the offensive production against St. Patrick/St. Vincent (5-4, 3-3).
Benjamin completed eight of 13 passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns. Pickett added 100 yards on 11 carries and scored three times. Harvey had three receptions, including two for scores, as the Gauchos manhandled the Bruins in the first half.
El Cerrito went into the intermission with a 42-13 lead after Keith Benjamin returned a kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown at the end of the second quarter. A nine-yard touchdown bolt by Pickett in the closing seconds of the third quarter was the only second-half touchdown.
Keith Benjamin also hauled in a 17-yard touchdown strike from his twin brother to open the scoring for El Cerrito.
If the Gauchos are to advance in the postseason, they will need to take better care of the football. El Cerrito lost five fumbles against St. Patrick Saturday.
In other TCAL-Rock games, Valley Christian defeated Salesian 21-12 and St. Mary's beat Pinole Valley 55-14.
TCAL El Cerrito 49, St. Patrick-St. Vincent 13
SPSV 0 13 0 0-- 0
El Cerrito 28 14 7 0-- 49
EC -- Keith Benjamin 17 pass from Keilan Benjamin (kick failed)
EC -- Picket 26 run (Harvey pass from Keilan Benjamin)
EC -- Safety, Marion tackled in end zone
EC -- Harvey 23 pass from Keilan Benjamin (kick blocked)
EC -- Pickett 1 run (kick failed)
SPSV -- Oducado 16 pass from Williams (Perrilliat kick)
EC -- Harvey 24 pass from Keilan Benjamin (Gavaria kick)
SPSV -- Flores 62 fumble return (kick blocked)
EC -- Keith Benjamin 65 punt return
EC -- Pickett 9 run (Gavaria kick)
Rushing: SPSV -- Marion 6-9, Villalobos 5-0, Williams 16-(-39). Totals 27-(-30). EC - Pickett 11-100, Keilan Benjamin 10-46, Houston 5-43, Calhoun 1-5, Adams 2-1, Jones 1-(-2), Harvey 3-(-3). Totals 23-190. Passing: SPSV -- Williams 6-22-2-75. EC -- Keilan Benjamin 8-13-0-131. Receiving: SPSV - Marion 2-20, Oducado 2-20, Canty 1-23, Perrilliat 1-14. Totals 6-75. EC -- Harvey 3-71, Keith Benjamin 3-34, Pippins 1-20, Picket 1-6. Totals 8-131. Fumbles/lost: St. Patrick-St. Vincent 5/2, El Cerrito 7/5. Records: El Cerrito 8-2, 6-0 TCAL-Rock; St. Patrick-St. Vincent 5-5, 3-3.