Damien will start sophomore QB Gage Pucci on Thursday night when the Spartans visit Chaffey.
Pucci played the entire second half last week after senior starter Enrique Zaldivar was benched at halftime for being ineffective. Pucci wasn’t much better, but technically threw what proved to be the clinching touchdown on a 54-yard swing pass to Jalen Castille.
I say technically because it was pretty much a dump off to Castille, who did all the dirty work down the Diamond Ranch sideline before getting in the paint. It was Pucci’s only completion in five attempts. He was also intercepted (on his second throw).
Zaldivar was 3 of 10 for 30 yards and two interceptions in the first half.
Aram’s take: Neither QB got it done vs. D-Ranch, but a lot of that could be that D-Ranch is pretty darn talented and has a nice, athletic defense. But here’s the thing, if the Spartans can’t throw it better, they’re in deep trouble. Coach Gano is no dummy; he’s got Pucci for three more years and Zaldivar for three more months. We all know that coaches will often take their lumps with a young QB by playing them as sophs so that the experience pays off for the next two years. That could be what’s going on here. Pucci is Damien’s QB of the future and the future could be now if Zaldivar doesn’t step it up. At any rate, I would expect another quick hook by Gano on Thursday if Pucci isn’t cutting it against Chaffey.