By Ben Ross
Special to S.F. Examiner
OAKLAND — KC Onwuemeka kicked a 24-yard field goal with 8:42 left in the fourth quarter to break a 10-10 tie and Laney College held on for a 13-10 upset of rival City College of San Francisco on a chilly Friday night in Oakland.
Onwuemeka’s field goal followed a blocked punt by Laney’s Tayvian Williams on a night littered with turnovers and special teams miscues. CCSF committed three turnovers — all by sophomore quarterback Ethan Bullock — and botched three punts. The Rams also shot themselves in the foot with 14 penalties for 143 yards.
Laney — the subject of this season’s Last Chance U on Netflix — wasn’t much better at protecting the football. The Eagles lost four fumbles, but were able to earn their fifth consecutive win over CCSF in both teams’ Bay 6 Conference opener.
“We’re from Oakland,” Laney head coach John Beam said proudly. “This is what we do. No one believes in Oakland. The kids in Oakland are throwaways. (CCSF) got all the glamor. That’s the fifth time in a row we’ve beaten them, but they got the glamor. … We made errors and they made errors. It was really going to come down to the end. Time ran out, lucky for us.”
After a scoreless first half, Laney and City bookended the third quarter with field goals, as the Eagles’ Onwuemeka hit a 25-yarder with 11:42 to go in the period, and Dominik Soos nailed a 40-yarder with 6:06 to go.
CCSF (4-2, 0-1) then scored the first touchdown of the night when freshman running back Demonte Aleem powered into the end zone from five yards out with 2:10 to go in the third, giving the Rams a 10-3 lead.
Laney (3-3, 1-0) answered on its very next drive with a 4-yard TD run by freshman Alex Gonsalves. That was preceded by a 66-yard pass from sophomore Ryan Mackey to freshman Merle Bass, by far the longest play of the night for either side.
Gonsalves rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries, while fellow freshman Keyshawn Ashford had a game-high 55 yards rushing on 19 attempts. But it was Laney’s defense that stole the show, shutting down a high-powered CCSF offense that erupted for 73 points in their last game against Siskiyous. Jamar Jullen Jr. rushed for just 49 yards on 18 carries, and Sacred Heart Cathedral alum Anthony Heard was held to just 32 yards on 11 carries. The Rams’ 10 points Friday night marked a season-low.
Bullock suffered an uncharacteristically poor outing, going 16-of-29 for just 175 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, as well as a lost fumble. The Rams totaled just 249 yards of offense, going 3-for-14 on third downs.
Laney’s offense wasn’t any better, amassing 223 yards of total offense. The Eagles did win the time of possession battle, owning the football for 33:53 to CCSF’s 26:07.
After starting the season 0-2, Laney has won three of its last four games to level its record with four games remaining.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for CCSF, which hasn’t beaten Laney since 2014. The Rams return home next Saturday to face Diablo Valley College, while Laney will head on the road to take on College of San Mateo.