With first place in the CCCAA NorCal Division on the line, both City College of San Francisco and College of San Mateo brought their A games but it was the Rams who stormed back in the fourth quarter to take the win 17-14.
“I like the intensity we brought and when the chips were on the table, we made the plays we needed to win,” San Francisco coach George Rush said.
Top-ranked San Francisco (8-0, 3-0 NorCal) retook the lead with 8:13 left in the fourth quarter on a quarterback sneak by Turner Baty. The freshman quarterback orchestrated a 12-play, 67-yard drive to put the Rams on top.
The victory was sealed with an interception by safety Rufus Wolokolie off a tipped pass with less than a minute remaining.
The win puts San Francisco in position to claim its third consecutive league title Saturday against Foothill College.
San Francisco jumped out of the gate and scored on its first drive as Baty accounted for 75 yards through the air and connected with Ramon Runner on a 23-yard touchdown strike, making the score 7-0.
The Rams dominated the first quarter with eight first downs and limited No. 8 San Mateo (6-2, 2-1 NorCal) to 5 total yards of offense.
San Francisco tacked on a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter, pushing the lead to 10-0.
But the Bulldogs quickly turned it around in the second quarter.
San Mateo’s defense forced four straight three-and-outs and did not allow a first down in the second quarter.
“San Mateo played better defensively than I thought they were going to be,” Rush said. “We had opportunities in the first half to blow the game open and it didn’t happen.”
The Bulldogs let a couple of scoring opportunities slip away as they fumbled twice on pitch exchanges in consecutive drives.
San Mateo quarterback Miles Freeman turned the ball over on a pitch attempt that was knocked away two plays after a 53-yard run by freshman Aaron Criswell that placed the Bulldogs on the Rams 15-yard line.
Freeman quickly made up for it by breaking for a 90-yard run, which led to San Mateo’s first score on a Jarrell Brown 4-yard run.
San Mateo took its first lead on the opening drive of the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Freeman, making the score 14-10.
San Francisco had not trailed since the second quarter of its game against San Joaquin Delta on Oct. 8. The Rams won that game 16-14.