Posted: Oct 17, 2018
Fast starts have been a trademark of the Chabot College football team this season.
Saturday evening was no different as the Gladiators opened the game with four straight scoring drives en route to a 35-7 win over East Bay-rival Diablo Valley in the teams' Bay 6 Conference openers at Gladiator Stadium.
Running back Ponove Veimau reached the 100-yard mark for the second straight game and found the end zone three times.
Freshman quarterback Chayce Akaka didn't have his 'A' game but still managed to run for 108 yards with a touchdown.
"(Chayce) has been such a surprise how quickly he's responded by taking over the offense," Chabot offensive coordinator Danny Calcagno said. "He's really shown his great athleticism and leadership out there."
The Chabot defense turned in another gem, forcing punts on the Vikings' first five possessions as the Gladiators took a 28-0 halftime lead. Chabot allowed just 245 total yards while holding its opponent to seven points or less for the third time this season.
Things started out brilliantly for Chabot. It took just two plays and 43 seconds for Chabot to find the end zone.
After forcing a three-and-out to open the game, Akaka, on a read, kept the ball and found his way down the left sideline for a 52-yard scamper to the end zone and a 7-0 Gladiators lead.
On their next possession, Veimau capped a 79-yard drive by plowing his way to the end zone from three yards out with 7:26 left in the first.
Veimau made it 21-0 three minutes later, going up the gut of the DVC defense for a 50-yard touchdown.
The Gladiators (5-1, 1-0 Bay 6) got their big men involved in the scoring in the second quarter.
Facing a second-and-goal from the Vikings 2, defensive linemen Demetri Munoz came in as an extra fullback.
Akaka rolled to his left, couldn't find anyone open, then rolled to his right where he found a wide-open Munoz in the flat of the end zone to give the Gladiators a commanding 28-0 advantage.
DVC had a golden opportunity to break through late in the half, taking over at the Chabot 45 after a bad snap on a punt.
The Vikings (2-4, 0-1) got three first downs and reached the Gladiators 6. A penalty pushed them back to the 11 and after an incomplete pass, their 28-yard field goal attempt was wide-left.
DVC finally broke through in the third quarter when Rai-Shyan Alexander took a screen pass from Jarrod Hoyer on a 34-yard TD completion. But that was all for the Vikings.
Veimau capped off the scoring with a 26-yard run with 9:14 left in the contest.
"We've had some injuries in the backfield so (Ponove) has done a tremendous job stepping up for us," Calcagno added.
DJ Johnson led the Gladiators with three catches for 46 yards and added another 28 rushing yards on two carries.
The Gladiators return to action on Saturday against Santa Rosa at Santa Rosa High at 5 p.m. Chabot travels to CCSF on Oct. 27, and then will host College of San Mateo on Nov. 3.
By Tony Gonsalez
Special to Chabot athletics