2013 Road to the California Championship

State top-ranked Butte College (11-0) and No.2 Fullerton (12-0) advanced to the Dec. 14 California Community College Athletic Association state championship game with victories Saturday (Nov. 30) in their respective regional association title games.

NorCal Conference champion Butte, which will host the state finals, defeated visiting Valley Conference champion and 11th-ranked Fresno City College, 41-21, for the Northern California Football Association title.

National Southern Conference champion Fullerton defeated visiting National Central champ and third ranked Riverside, 23-14, for the Southern California Football Association championship.

Butte grabbed the advantage at the outset with a pair of first quarter touchdown passes by quarterback Thomas Stuart, who had five scoring throws. Fresno stayed in contention with a 2-yard TD run by Marcus Montero five minutes into the second period. Two more TD passes by Stuart and a 95-yard return of the second half kickoff for a score by Wes McCoy made it 35-7.

Fresno scored twice in the third quarter, on a 6-yard run by Alek Mechikoff and an 18-yard pass from Montero to Brayden Sanchez, to get back into contention at 21-35. Butte then extended the margin to 20 points with a 12-yard pass from Stuart to Jon Parks with 1:47 left in the third quarter. Stuart completed nine of 14 passes for 181 yards and no picks. Montero was 27 of 50 for 352 yards. But he was intercepted three times. Sanchez had nine receptions for 164 yards. Fresno controlled the ball most of the game, running off 93 plays for 430 yards to just 49 (for 327) for Butte, and held the Roadrunners’ strong rushing game to just 146 yards.

Fullerton trailed, 14-10, in the third quarter when Hornets QB Jose Escobar connected with offensive player of the game Ryan Longoria on a 71-yard TD pass play with 2:54 left in the period. Ryan Byrd scored on a 9-yard run with 1:55 left to make it 23-14 and cap a 12-play, 84-yard drive. Escobar was the game MVP, completing 19 of 27 passes for 328 yards. Fullerton totaled 563 yards, including 103 on the ground by Byrd.

Riverside took the initial lead just 1:15 into the game on a 9-yard pass from Skyler Howard to Mikey Stallone. Central Conference offensive player of the year Howard completed 22 of 36 passes for 225 yards and ran for 66 yards, including the Tigers’ last score for a 14-10 lead with 3:51 left in the third quarter.

Semifinal game scores:

Northern California Football Association Championship, North Division (Gridiron Classic Bowl at Oroville):

Butte College (11-0) 41, Fresno City College (7-4) 21

Southern California Football Association Championship, National Division (at Yorba Linda H.S.):

Fullerton College (12-0) 23, Riverside City College (10-2) 14


Saturday, Dec. 14:

California Community College Athletic Association Championship:

Fullerton College (12-0) at Butte College (11-0), Oroville, 12 noon (time tentative)

Remaining CCCAA Bowl Game, Dec. 7:

San Francisco Community College Bowl:

Sierra College (6-4) at City College of San Francisco (7-3), 12 noon.

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