You can call it a revenge game, but City College of San Francisco coach George Rush isn’t going that route.
The Rams bring their 11-0 record up against Mt. San Antonio College, which has captured the California Community College Athletic Association state championship two years in a row, including last season’s 34-7 win against CCSF.
Rush is not worried about getting payback against the Mounties. He’s simply happy with the opportunity to be hosting Saturday’s championship, and credited his players’ dedication throughout the season.
“Our team worked real hard this year and was real determined after we lost the championship last season,” Rush said. “It’s a real tribute to our players and it’s not easy to get back to this game. It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s a tribute to our players for their hard work.”
CCSF got to this point by thrashing Fresno City College 57-13 in the San Francisco Hawaiian Punch Bowl on Nov. 26, clinching their berth in the state championship, and their second concecutive Northern California championship.
Rams quarterback Turner Baty was magnificent on that day, throwing for 364 yards and seven touchdowns. Caleb Holley was on the receiving end of four of those touchdowns, and finished with 129 yards receiving.
“Turner has really progressed,” Rush said. “His ability to read defenses, react quickly and get rid of the football, and make good decisions.”
Baty and the rest of the offensive unit will have their hands full against a Mounties team that won their fifth consecutive Southern California championship with a 17-14 win over Cerritos College.
Sophomore linebacker Richard Thorpe leads a Mt. SAC (10-1) defense that has thrived on opponents’ mistakes.
The Mounties have forced 22 turnovers on the season, an area that could sway the championship back to Southern California.
Offensively, Mt. SAC has averaged 30 points a game behind a rushing attack that has produced four rushers with more than 400 yards.
“I think their running game is a little stronger this year; they spread the ball around, they have a strong kicking game and, defensively, they always give you problems,” Rush said.
The Rams’ defense, which was overshadowed by the great performance of its offense in the Hawaiian Punch Bowl, gave up only 13 points to a Fresno team that was averaging 38 points a game.
With another championship in sight, Rush remained firm in his stance that he didn’t clamor for a rematch with Mt. SAC, but rather the chance to play for a state crown.
“My energy goes into my team, and whoever it is we play, then that’s who it is,” Rush said.
CCSF vs. Mt. SAC
WHEN: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: City College of San Francisco
NOTES: CCSF enters with a perfect 11-0 record, while Mt. San Antonio is 10-1. ... Mt. San Antonio has won the past two state championships, defeating CCSF 34-7 in 2010. ... CCSF enters the game as the No. 1-ranked team in the country, according to JCfootball.com.