Both City College of San Francisco and Chabot College entered Saturday at 5-2. Both needed a win if they have any hopes of winning the Bay-6 Conference.
After getting down early, 7-0, on a Da’Juan Johnson 32-yard reverse, the Rams — led by freshman quarterback Jack Newman — reeled off 28 straight points.
Newman, who threw for 357 yards on the day, put on an aerial show with wide receiver Frank Hall. Hall, who missed last week’s game with a sprained thumb, caught all three touchdown passes Newman threw on the day, leading City College to a 38-13 win, moving them into a tie with San Mateo for the conference lead with two games left.
“We are in a must win situation if we want to win our conference championship,” said head coach Jimmy Collins. “We had a bunch of great individual efforts, and we made some plays when we needed them.”
One drive after falling behind by a score, Newman found sophomore running back DeShawn Collins open on a short throw, and Collins took it 65-yards to the Chabot 9-yard line. On the next play Collins would take it the rest of the way to tie things up at 7-7.
The Rams scored their second touchdown early in the second quarter. Newman capped off a six play, 72-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak on third and inches at the goal line.
Midway through the second quarter, Hall ran a go route out of the slot, and Newman found found Hall wide open for an easy 58-yard touchdown to put the Rams up 21-7.
“The way their defense lined up, in a soft zone, I was able to take advantage of it,” Hall said. “I went after a player who I knew would mess up. Took advantage of that and came out with the win.”
With less than three minutes in the first half, Newman and Hall would connect again, this time for even bigger play. Pinned at their own 8-yard line, Newman found Hall open again on a go route, this time for 92 yard to put the Rams up 28-7 heading into halftime.
“We had a play action roll-out to the right, and Frank really did a good job of setting a high angle on the corner,” Newman said. “Which makes it tough to cover and the reason why he ended up in the end zone.”
Chabot got the ball to start the second half, and for a moment it looked like they might be able to mount a comeback. The Gladiators scored in less than 20 seconds, when quarterback Chayce Akaka busted his way through the Rams defense for a 65-yard rushing touchdown. City College, though, blocked the extra point.
Newman and Hall went back to work, connecting twice on the ensuing drive, including for their final touchdown of the game. Again lining up in the slot, Hall ran another go route and Newman found him wide open for a 34-yard strike to put the Rams up 35-13.
Newman completed 16-of-23 passes and two interceptions, but found Hall nine times for 243 yards.
“There was a mismatch on the guy they were putting on Frank, and they couldn’t cover him,” Jimmy Collins said. “Our running back coach Larry Grant picked up early on that in the week and all week we said there is a guy on that defense we need to go after. Every big play was on that guy.”
DeShawn Collins ran for 140 yards on 30 carries with one touchdown, while catching one pass for 65 yards.
The Rams would score their final points of the game when freshman kicker Dominic Soos nailed a 21-yard field goal.
On defense, City College played an aggressive game, forcing three interceptions. Sophomore Jairus Woodson, son of NFL legend Rod Woodson, ended up with two of those, including one that stopped a threatening Chabot offensive drive at the start of the fourth quarter.
“I stepped in and made the plays I had to make,” Woodson said. “I waited on it and stepped in at the right moment.”
The Rams are now 6-2, and face 5-2 Santa Rosa at home on Nov. 3. The following Saturday, Nov. 10, they will face their biggest challenge of the season when they travel south to play San Mateo.