Posted: Sep 25, 2019
The weather has been nice these days, so forgive Chabot football coach Eric Fanene if he feels a bit like a dark cloud is hovering above the team.
The Gladiators (1-2) are dealing with injuries galore as they forge through nonconference play. Chabot will host Siskiyous (0-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at Gladiator Stadium, when the team will look to remain unbeaten at home this season. The game will air live on NorCal Sports TV (https://www.norcalsportstv.com/).
Chabot is hobbled in a bunch of places -- running back, wideout, offensive line, and defensive line. A big blow came when sophomore defensive lineman Alex Lopeti was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Shorthanded Chabot basically ran one running back, Ponove Veimau, in a 29-22 loss to host San Joaquin Delta last week.
"We're hurt, man," Fanene says. "We've got a lot of injuries."
Even though Siskiyous has been outscored 129-23 this season, Fanene expects yet another tough test from the Eagles who always seem to play Chabot tough. Indeed, Siskiyous topped Chabot 23-20 last year after prevailing 16-14 in 2017. Fanene is looking for improvement on special teams, a unit that has allowed 23 points this season.
D-RAY OF LIGHT: Sophomore defensive back Darriell Wells ("D-Ray") has been a major bright spot with a state-leading five interceptions and 104 return yards, along with a bunch of pass breakups. So, it's no wonder he's already received an offer from San Jose State. "He's freaking killing it," Fanene said of Wells.
Wells tweeted on Sept. 22 that he was "Truly Blessed" to have received his first Division 1 offer from @SanJoseStateFB.
Fanene tweeted: "Well deserved!!! Great player; great kid."
CHAYCE-ING EXCELLENCE: Despite its aches, Chabot is still capable of getting the job done this week. Dual-threat quarterback Chayce Akaka is ranked No. 23 in the state in passing yards per game at 197.3, completing 43 of 82 passes (52.4%) with six touchdowns and two interceptions. He also leads the nicked-up Gladiators in rushing with 181 yards, including a long of 50, and a touchdown. Against Delta, Akaka was 16 of 28 passing for 218 yards and 2 TDs.