Phelps, CCSF face tough obstacle again

After a three-week break from action, the City of College of San Francisco football team will resume play this weekend in the Hawaiian Punch Bowl, where the Rams will face Fresno City College to determine the Northern California champion.

Kickoff at Rams Stadium is 1 p.m. Saturday.

The two squads have already met before, on Sept. 16, in an epic game won 34-31 by the Rams in thrilling come-from-behind fashion.

Although it has been nearly three months since the two teams met, Rams defensive lineman Doni Phelps still remembers the meeting quite well.

“Fresno City’s offensive line was probably our toughest challenge of the year,” Phelps said. “They had good size and they played real physical all game. It was definitely a battle.”

Thanks to Phelps, the Rams were able to win that battle, plus many more this season.

Since transferring in from Pac-10 Conference power Oregon over the summer, Phelps has been a force on the field for coach George Rush. The freshman has piled up 23 tackles this season, including 1½ sacks and 5½ tackles for losses, helping CCSF to a 9-1 record and a share of the NorCal Conference championship.

After starring in the East Bay at Albany High School, Phelps walked on at Oregon, where he redshirted for the 2005 season. Believing he had a better opportunity to shine elsewhere, Phelps decided to transfer to CCSF, a move he believes has already paid dividends.

“When I transferred here, I knew I would have the opportunity to play, but I think I underestimated the passion of the coaching staff,” said Phelps, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive end. “They have helped take my game to a level I

wasn’t at before, so I’m very thankful and grateful for everything they’ve done.”

Phelps has been a bulwark on the defensive line all season, starting every game for the Rams this season.

“Doni gets better every week,” Rush said. “He loves to play football and he works so hard at everything he does, from academics to sports. He has got a great attitude and he is a great fit for our team.”

Rush will be expecting another big performance out of Phelps as the Rams look to capture their sixth NorCal championship since 1999. Phelps is confident that he and the Rams will deliver, despite the long layoff.

“We haven’t a lost a step,” Phelps said. “We’re still hungry. We just want to get out on the field and play some ball.”

HAWAIIAN PUNCH BOWL

CCSF (9-1) vs. FRESNO CITY (8-2)

WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.

WHERE: Rams Stadium

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