Eric Sun/S.F. Examiner file photoSophomore running back Davion Ballard and CCSF are 7-3 entering Saturday’s finale.

Despite no state title hopes, CCSF eager for bowl game

A state championship isn’t in the cards this year, but the City College of San Francisco football team is still hungry for a December win.

After compiling a 7-3 regular-season record, the Rams landed a spot in the San Francisco Community College Bowl and coach George Rush said his team is determined to end the season with a bang.

“This isn’t a booby prize,” Rush said. “This is an opportunity.”

The Rams are used to playing for national and state titles at this time of year. In 37 years at the helm, Rush has won seven national titles and 20 NorCal Conference championships. But injuries, inexperience and turnovers hampered his team this season, relegating the team to the less-than-ideal San Francisco Community College Bowl against Sierra (6-4) at CCSF on Saturday.

Rush said that while his guys could treat the contest as just an 11th game, he expects them to take the field with a purpose.

“The thing I like about this team is that they come to play,” he said. “They don’t throw in the towel, they don’t give up. They’re determined to show everybody how good they really are.”

The Rams kicked off the season with 21 new starters and then injuries took their toll when the team lost wide receivers Zach Schuller and Rodney Lawson.

“We missed having that big-play ability,” Rush said. “It all adds up.”

In October, the Rams lost their first non-conference game since 2008 to American River, they fell to rival College of San Mateo three weeks later before closing out the season with a 47-18 defeat at the hands of Butte.

The losses share a common theme: turnovers. The Rams turned the ball over nine times in their three losses.

“You can’t turn the ball over six or seven times against good teams and think that everything will be fine,” Rush said.

Despite the team’s woes, Rush said he’s pleased with the effort he’s seen this season.

“There’s never been a second, ahead or behind, that the team didn’t play as hard as they could play,” Rush said. “But it’s not always about how hard you play.”

The Rams will need to protect the ball against a stout Sierra defense on Saturday. The Wolverines lead the Valley Conference in takeaways (29), rushing defense (106.1 yards per game) and they’re second in scoring defense (26.8 points per game).

“We just need to make the plays we should make,” Rush said. “We don’t have to make all of the great plays, just the ones we should make — it’s simple.”

NEXT GAME

CCSF vs. Sierra

WHAT: San Francisco Community College Bowl

WHEN: Saturday, noon

WHERE: Rams Stadium, City College of San Francisco

RECORDS: CCSF 7-3; Sierra 6-4

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