BULLDOGS' NEMESIS STANDS BETWEEN IT AND STATE TITLE SHOT
By Terry Bernal, San Mateo Daily Journal
SAN MATEO, Calif. - If the College of San Mateo Bulldogs can identify one nemesis in the California Community College Athletic Association ranks in recent years, it has got to be American River College.
The two teams began playing annually in non-conference play in 2014, this after the 2013 postseason during which CSM blasted American River 75-9 in the non-consequential Bulldog Bowl. Since then, the Bulldogs have posted a 1-2 record against their nemesis from Sacramento, including CSM’s only loss this season.
Now, the Bulldogs charge into Beaver Stadium riding a six-game winning streak, during which they’ve outscored opponents 320-87. Prior to that, CSM had three games decided by 2 points or less — a 37-36 win over Sierra, a 21-19 win over Fresno City — culminating in 21-20 loss in a Sept. 30 dogfight with American River at College Heights Stadium.
Now, there is a trip to the state championship bowl on the line. And while American River enters with an identical 10-1 overall record as CSM, the Sept. 30 win in San Mateo was an anomaly for the Beavers in that it was the one-and-only standout game of backup quarterback Peyton Wilfley’s career.
Wilfley entered the game in the first quarter after starting QB Hunter Rodrigues departed with concussion-like symptoms. Wilfley went on to a 20-for-33 passing day with a career-high 295 yards and three touchdowns. Rodrigues returned two games later with his multi-dimensional attack — he has passed for 2,009 yards and rushed for another 373 this season — including last Saturday’s 41-35 win over Laney College.
CSM, though, will respond with its own multi-dimensional quarterback in freshman Miles Kendrick, who led the Bulldogs to a 52-3 win in the playoff opener against College of the Siskiyous in which he gained 325 total yards.
Kendrick had his busiest rushing game of the year in that loss to American River, totaling 23 carries for 77 yards. The most carries he’s had other than that is 10, a total he’s reached in five different games this season. His season-best came Sept. 23 in a 51-12 win over Butte College, totaling 84 rushing yards on 10 carries.
What Kendrick has done steadily in recent weeks, though, is establish a dangerous aerial attack. Pairing with freshman wide receiver Rajae Johnson, Kendrick has passed for over 200 yards in three consecutive weeks. In five previous seasons, which is as far back as such records are available at CCCAAsports.org, no other CSM quarterback has done so.
Johnson currently ranks first among Northern California receivers, averaging 108 yards per game. His 1,197 receiving yards is also tops in Nor Cal. Both figures ranks fourth in the state.
Saturday’s Northern California Football Championship Game is slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff. The winner will take on the winner of the Southern California Football Championship game between Riverside and Fullerton. The state championship game will be held Saturday, Dec. 9 at Hughes Stadium on the campus at Sacramento City College.
FULLERTON, RIVERSIDE CITY PROVIDE ENCORE TO LAST YEAR'S SCFA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
FULLERTON, Calif. - After beating #4 Saddleback College for the second time this season, the #1 Hornets will now host #2 Riverside City College for the SCFA Championship this Saturday, November 25th at Whittier College's Memorial Stadium. Kickoff will be at noon.
In a repeat match-up from last season, the Southern California Football Association title game will feature two of the nation's most exciting teams in Riverside City College and Fullerton College. According to JCGridwire.com's Dirty 30 Fullerton is ranked #1 in the country and Riverside is ranked #6. The Hornets and the Tigers have a long history of football battles together playing a total of 66 times since 1921. RCC leads the way in the all-time series at 36-28. Recently, the Hornets have gotten the best of the Tigers winning four out of the last six meetings. The last time the two teams met was a similar situation as Fullerton and Riverside battled it out in the SCFA Championship. FC won the right to play in the big state title game winning 45-29.
The Riverside City College Tigers (10-1 overall, 4-1 conference) went undefeated until their last game of the regular season, a 24-17 loss at the hands of conference-rival Mount San Antonio College (a team that the Hornets beat this season 49-23). The Tiger's last state title came back in 1982, and they are very hungry for another. RCC has been ranked #2 in the state for a majority of the season and are looking to knock the Hornets off of their pedestal.
The Tigers earned their way back into the SCFA title game by beating a high-powered Ventura College squad last Saturday 49-33. The Tigers were down 26-21 midway through the third quarter, but quarterback Vic Viramontes put the team on his back rushing for 126 yards with 5 touchdowns. He also threw for 332 yards and 2 TDs amassing a grand total of 458 yards and 7 TDs for the Tiger offense. At 6-2 230 pounds Miramontes is a very powerful athlete that is very hard to bring down. His is a skilled player that shatters defenses through the air and on the ground. Miramontes is currently tied for the state lead for rushing touchdowns with 21 and is 5th in the state in rushing averaging 121.5 yards a game. He has passed for a season total of 1,575 with 15 touchdowns, while running for a team-high 1,336 yards.
As a whole, the Tiger offense will be a challenge for Fullerton as they average 40 points a game. Their passing game averages 182.5 yards a game, and their ground attack is averaging 290.5 yards a game.
The Tigers have many talented weapons at Viramontes' disposal. Loaded with a stable of running backs, RCC's Clifford Simms (89 rush / 632 / 4 TDs), Travis Jonsen (38 carries, 431 yards, 3 TDs), Malik Walker (61 carries, 379 yards, 2 TDs), and Quincy Wimbish (33 carries, 198 yards) will keep the Hornet defense on their toes. Malik Holcomb (38 catches, 577 yards, 6 TDs) and Tanarious Achan (30 catches, 496 yards, 6 TDs) are two crafty wide outs that Viramontes leans on to stretch the field for big gains.
Defensively, the Tigers have allowed 20.5 points a game while allowing 362.2 yards a game. In the air, they have given up an average of 205.3 yards and 156.9 on the ground.
The Fullerton College Hornets (11-0 overall, 5-0 conference) have been nothing short of spectacular this season whipping though the competition while averaging 55.8 points a game. The passing game averages 294.2 yards a game while the ground game averages 264.4 yards. Overall, Fullerton can spread the ball out to many different weapons averaging 558.5 yards a game. The Hornet Defense held their opponents to a 56.7-yard rushing average and a passing average of 264.4.
The quarterback position is deep for the Hornets with Ladarius Skelton, Kane Wilson, and Johnny Feauto all steering the ship. These QBs are all more than capable of taking over a game with their arms and legs. The team's leading rusher, Skelton has juked his way to a total of 1,1074 yards with 16 touchdowns on 122 carries. Ladarius had passed for 926 yards, 9 TDs, and 3 interceptions (65 completions, 111 attempts, 58.6%). The team leader in passing, Wilson has totaled 1,570 yards, 15 TDs, and 4 interceptions (107 completions, 153 attempts, 69.9%). Feauto is as good as they come tossing the ball around for 652 yards, 6 TDs, and 1 interception (48 completions, 77 attempts, 62.3%). Running back Gerald Hulett is second on the team in rushing with 633 yards on 106 carries. He has 16 total touchdowns (2 receiving) and is third on the team in receptions with 25 for 251. Receivers Markus Grossman (32 catches, 421 yards, 5 TDs) and Robert Johnson (27 catches, 518 yards, 6 TDs) have been very reliable weapons, but there are many talented and speedy receivers that can burn a defense. Daurice Simpson (24 catches, 377 yards, 2 TDs), Justin Manyweather (24 catches, 377 yards, 2 TDs), Robert Downs (18 catches, 272 yards, 4 TDs), Kedryan Wilson (last week's MVP, 20 catches, 399 yards, 1 TD), Noah Hoffman (11 catches, 164 yards, 1 TD), and Davante Richardson (10 catches, 103 yards) will be needed to make key plays for another state title run.
The Hornet defense played very well last week shutting out the Gauchos in the second half for the win, a feat that had not been done to the Gauchos since 2012 against Santa Ana (33-20 Saddleback loss). They will need step up again this week against a strong Tiger offensive unit. FC's leading tackler is safety Jacob Jones with 54 tackles. Linebackers Roy Oto (42 tackles) and Cody Darrow (38 tackles) will play major roles in stopping RCC. The D-line is manned by Joey Noble (8 sacks), Montre Bonner (Last week's Defensive MVP / 9.5 sacks), and Jermychel Moore (5.5 sacks and an interception). They will all be needed to disrupt and break down the Riverside offense.
The 2017 Southern California Football Association champion will move on to the CCCAA State Championship game against the North's champion on December 9th at Sacramento City College's Hughes Stadium.
(Courtesy Fullerton College Athletics)