City College saw a 19-point halftime lead rapidly dwindle against the College of Siskiyous, until they led by just three points in the final minutes.
The Eagles scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, and were driving down the field again with under a minute to go. Before Siskiyous kicker Kyle Sentowski set up for a potentially-game-tying 45-yard field goal, an official sustained a serious head injury that halted play for 30 minutes.
With 33 seconds left, Siskiyous kicker Kyle Sentkowski — who had hit a 45-yard field goal at the start of the second half for the Eagles’ first points — missed his second 45-yard try. The Rams escaped with a 19-16 win, avoiding overtime and moving to 4-1 heading into conference play in two weeks against Laney College.
“It was a very odd game,” head coach Jimmy Collins said. “Playing at Siskiyous is always tough. It is a long drive, their stadium is at high elevation so we have to deal with that, and is surrounded by redwoods with their fans right behind our sidelines and they do a good job of heckling. They have a sloppy grass field and a scrappy team and for us to battle to win shows we are maturing.”
On offense, City College was able to hit on three big plays for touchdowns. To start the game, sophomore running back DeShawn Collins burst for a 43-yard touchdown just minutes into the first quarter. A missed extra point left the score at 6-0. DeShawn Collins would finish the game with 163 rushing yards on 31 attempts with one touchdown and had one reception for a 35-yard gain.
Next, freshman quarterback Jack Newman completed a 73-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Tyrese Mack, but the Rams missed the extra point again.
“We struggled with extra points and field goals,” Jimmy Collins said. “We left too many points out on the field and made too many little mistakes that kept Siskiyous in the game.”
Mack caught six passes for 154 yards with one touchdown, while his twin brother, Tyriq Mack, pitched in six solo tackles with two assists on defense.
The Rams would score their final points of the game in second quarter, when Newman hit on a 90-yard touchdown pass to freshman Kenden Robinson Jr. After kicker Dominic Soos finally made an extra point, City College led 19-0.
The speedy 6-foot-3 Robinson — who had an offer from Hawaii out of Alameda High School — had a break out performance, catching two passes for 101 yards with one touchdown.
Newman, too continued his development. Despite being sacked five times, he went 13-for-24 passing for 352 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He struggled with rookie mistakes, fumbling the ball three times, but Siskiyous only recovered one.
After the half, Eagles quarterback Thairen Sivongsa completed 17-of-32 passes for 218 yards with two touchdowns, both in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles were effective on the ground too, piling up 187 rushing yards on 43 attempts, compared to 124 yards on 40 attempts for the Rams.
“It was similar to our week two game,” Jimmy Collins said. “We faced adversity late, but we survived. It is a good learning experience.”
Linebacker Anthony Porter continued his monster season, and terrorized the Siskiyous offense all afternoon. The star sophomore had one sack, 3 1/2 tackles for loss, five total stops and punted the ball four times for 142 net yards. Porter had one punt that went 50 yards and another that pinned Siskiyous inside the 20.
The Rams defense made plays in the backfield all game, and ended up with 11 tackles for loss. Sophomore safety Daniel Gunnarsson had three TFLs, on top of his team-leading 13 tackles, including nine solo. Freshman linebacker Folasa’aitu Tofi had one TFL, with four tackles, a forced fumble and a broken up pass.
The Rams will get a bye before playing cross-Bay rival Laney on Oct. 13 at home at 1 p.m. to kick off Bay-6 Conference play.
“The north is for the taking,” Jimmy Collins said. “Nobody is undefeated. I told the guy if you don’t believe we can win the Bay-6 then don’t come here on Monday. We are really young but a special group.”