Daily Journal Sports File
Jordan Genato figures to be one of the main targets for Terra Nova quarterback Anthony Gordon. Genato is the team’s leading returning wide receiver.
On paper, the Terra Nova football team appears to be in rebuilding mode. Gone is nearly every starter from the 2013 squad that went 10-0 during the regular season and captured its fifth straight Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division title.
“We’re replacing 20 guys,” Adams said. “That’s pretty extensive rebuilding.”
The Tigers will also be replacing most of its coaching staff, including seven-year offensive coordinator Tim Adams taking over for longtime coach Bill Gray and four new assistants.
To an outsider, that may seem like dire news. To those in the know, it’s been a common occurrence for the Tigers year in and year out. Gray’s program was set up as senior-heavy every year, with a player’s junior season an apprenticeship of sorts under the player ahead of him.
While Adams expects to tweak that system, “I don’t care if you’re a sophomore or a senior, I’m going to put my best players on the field,” he’ll still benefit from Gray’s system. While there will be 20 new starters, many of them saw useful playing time last season.
“The caliber of juniors would have started on 90 percent of the teams played on our schedule (in 2013),” Adams said. “We have four or five really talented guys on each side of the ball coming in (for 2014).”
Adams and the Tigers benefit from having one of those returners be the starting quarterback — one of the best in the Bay Area. Senior Anthony Gordon is following a similar path as the rest of the prolific signal callers the Tigers have had over the last seven seasons under Adams — Julian Bernard, Carl Cox, Chris Forbes and K’ren Spain, who all put up spectacular numbers in Adams’ offensive system.
Gordon took the reins last season as a junior and had a record-tying year. Not only did he throw for over 3,400 yards, his 32 touchdown passes tied the school record for most touchdowns in a season, also held by former Terra Nova great Greg Reynolds — Gordon’s uncle.
“Anthony is so good. His maturity is … off the charts,” Adams said. “Last year as a junior, he was a little bit of a gunslinger. This year, his accuracy and his ability to fit balls into (catchable) windows, it’s amazing. His footwork has improved. He’s just grown up.”
Gordon suffered off-season injuries to his wrist and hip, but he is fully recovered and Adams is excited to see what Gordon can do this season.
“He’s been 100 percent (healthy all summer),” Adams said. “We had 27 games in summer passing league. The teams we played were among the best in the Bay Area … and we handled everybody.”
Adams said the Cal coaching staff have been hot on Gordon.
The Tigers graduated Gordon’s two favorite receivers from last season, but do have some talent returning. Jordan Genato appeared in all 11 games last season, finishing second on the team in catches with 39 and averaging 16 yards per reception. Eric Viana had 17 catches for 213 yards in 2013. Chase Edgington figures to see more passes come his way as well.
“We’re a four-wide team,” Adams said. “I don’t know if we’ve ever had a true No. 1 or No. 2.”
The offensive line will be big and agile — it has to be to keep up with the Tigers’ fast-paced, no-huddle offense. Brandon Barnes is a 6-3, 270-pound center, junior right guard Eric Fauvaula goes 5-11, 265.
“He brings a punch,” Adams said of Fauvaula. “He’s one of the most physical guys on the team.”
Jake Watts is a 6-1, 210-pound senior tight end.
Adams is excited to see what senior Gerald Colvin can do in a spotlight role. The coach is expecting big things from the player who backed up 1,200-yard rusher John Wallace last season.
“I think he’s even better (than Wallace),” Adams said. “He’s lightning fast. He’s a little bit like Barry Sanders.
“(And) he’s probably the best cover corner in CCS.”
Colvin is expected to anchor one of the most improved units for the Tigers — the defensive backfield. Joining Colvin will be senior safety Manny Sanchez and Nico Richards, in addition to any of the wide receivers who also play defensive back.
“In the seven years I’ve been here, our secondary has been our liability,” Adams said. “This year, we’re deep in the secondary.”
The most experienced unit on the defensive side will be the linebacking corps, featuring seniors Dante Campagna and Trevor Utler, who saw action in nearly every game last season. Randall and Reggie Aueloa — a senior and sophomore, respectively — will also rotate into linebacking roles, in addition to running the ball on offense.
“Our talent may not be as good as last year, but we play well as a team,” Adams said. “I’m excited to see how these guys come together.”
Coach: Tim Adams, 1st year
2013 record: 5-0 Bay Division, 10-1 overall
Key returners: Anthony Gordon (sr., QB); Jordan Genato (sr., WR); Eric Viana (sr., WR); Chase Edginton (sr., WR); Dante Campagna (sr., RB/LB); Trevor Utler (sr., LB);
Key newcomers: Gerald Colvin (sr., RB); Reggie Aueloa (so., RB/LB); Manny Sanchez (sr., DB).
2014 schedule (home games in CAPS): Sept. 5, BISHOP O’DOWD-OAKLAND, 7 p.m.; Sept. 12, ST. IGNATIUS, 7 p.m.; Sept. 19, @ Pioneer, 7 ;.m.; Sept. 26, SALINAS, 7 p.m.; Oct. 10, @ Sequoia, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17, SACRED HEART PREP, 7 p.m.; Oct. 24, @ Burlingame, 7 p.m.; Oct. 31, MENLO SCHOOL, 7 p.m.; Nov. 7, @ Menlo-Atherton, 7 p.m.; Nov. 14, @ Half Moon Bay, 7 p.m.