HUGE GAME ON TAP IN SAN FRANCISCO–
Not to be forgotten is SAN FRANCISCO's amazing success story over the past 5 years. First George Rush's troops put together a 42-game winning streak, longest of all time among the JC ranks, and now the Rams have won 54 of their past 56 contests. A pair of setbacks last season, 20-13 to Foothill and 35-10 to Butte, were the only defeats on the CCSF ledger these past five years. The Rams avenged the Foothill loss 17-7 and face the BUTTE Roadrunners on Saturday on the CCSF turf. That should be a good one since Craig Rigsbee's lads are 9-1, the only loss a 14-5 decision to Fresno the second week of the season. Sacramento was the most recent team to fall at the hands of CCSF, 40-0, as the high-scoring Panthers were able to manage just 1 yard rushing and but 95 thru the air. The Rams have out-rushed their opponents 2350 yards to 264 and passing it is 2217 to 897. It should be fun watching the battle as Albert Toeaina, 6-7, 340, blocks against the charge of Butte's Brett Bischofberger, 6-5, 285, or OT Chris Miller, 6-5, 330, of BC fights off Lloyard Talakai, 6-1, 300. Antwon Guidry, 6-0, 205, has played RB,WR, RET, and this week added CB to the list. He had an interception in his effort at the spot. Then there is the rushing battle between BUTTE's Jason Peters and CCSF's Tim Brown. Peters has 1,396 yards rushing on 221 efforts, while Brown is 140-1,156 with 16 TDs, playing about half of each game. Can't pick against CCSF, but it should be close, like 28-17.
AND HOW ABOUT THE FRESNO REEDLEY FRACAS?
Tony Caviglia's FCC Rams were sailing along in great shape last year until they ran into REEDLEY the final two games. The result, a 28-21 loss at Fresno and a 39-28 setback at Reedley. The Tigers with a student-body of 3,000, are right back at it going 8-1, but so are the Rams (19,000 students) and this game is at Reedley. One Fresno fan said "Reedley's Robert Johnson is the best QB in this league since Doug Gaynor was FCC's QB back in 1981-82." He might be right. Johnson is the JC version of Michael Vick. On the other hand, Caviglia has found a sensational freshman RB in Nate Wright, who has pounded out 1,305 yards, and 15 TDs to date. Lanky DE Dek Bake, 6-6, 275, who is being recruited by the "world," but will probably go to Texas Tech, and LB Roosevelt Cooks, 5-11, 200, are the mainstays of the FCC defense. LB Sylvester Brinkley, 6-4, 225 is a solid defender for the Tigers. We look for FRESNO to avenge those two bitter defeats of '02 by a 20-18 score. And give Caviglia his first bowl victory with the Rams. In essence these two games are semi-final playoff contests played during the season. The two victors will eventually meet for the NoCal title and that winner will be in Bakersfield on Dec. 13 to play the survivor of the SoCal playoffs.
N.E. OKLAHOMA 33, BLINN 13 in Southwest JC semi-finals.
Charles Elix, 6-0, 195, scored on runs of 5, 29, 15 and 2 yards while packing the pigskin 34 times for 265 yards. The defense, led by DB Brandon Bruner's (5-11, 185) 100-yard return with an interception held the high-rolling Bucs to just 14 points, although Derrick Ross managed 128 yards on 27 carries. Word has it that Dane King, the nation's leading JC passer, stayed at home in Texas.
TYLER 21, KILGORE 7 –
These two had split during the season, T 20, Kilgore 10, and then the Rangers handing the Apaches their lone loss 22-7. An aerial battle ensued with Tony Eckert tossing to Ashlan Davis 5-9, 180, for 225 yards on 7 catches and a pair of scores. Davis led conference receivers with an avg. of 23.6 per catch.
NE OKLAHOMA travels to TYLER's Rose Stadium for a 6pm game Thursday night. The winner will be the host in the TEXAS HEART BOWL in Copperas Cove, Dec. 7, against maybe the Mississippi winner, SNOW, BUTLER COUNTY, if they don't go to the Rotary Bowl, maybe GEORGIA MILITARY, with HUTCHINSON, 7-3 another possibility. We'll take NEO in this one to avenge a 31-30 OT defeat. Make it very close like 28-27.
BUTLER COUNTY 45, COFFEYVILLE 38
KANSAS TITLE GOES TO BUTLER COUNTY…One wonders how BUTLER could keep coming from behind to escape with victories, but it almost seems planned. The Red Ravens led by a huge 31-3 tally at halftime and seemed set to avenge a previous meeting when they let a 28-3 lead get away, but Grizzly QB Chad Wilmott, the MVP on offense in the Kansas Juco, sparked another amazing comeback, throwing to WR Chad Hammons for a 31-yard TD with :31 left in the game. Wilmott was 17 of 30 for 265 in the 2nd half and 27 of 55 for 384 overall. Joseph Harris gained 117 yards on 17 carries and tallied twice. Butler had 539 total offense. Arkee Whitlock paced the Ravens with 234 yards on 26 carries and 2 TDs. BUTLER coach Troy Morrell must have told his troops at halftime, "well we got ‘em right where we want ‘em."
IN OTHER PLAYOFF BATTLES –
PEARL RIVER traveled to N.W. Mississippi and came away with a 31-7 triumph, the 2nd time the Wildcats had downed NW this season. In the other contest HINDS followed normal routines of keeping it close, but finally got the drop on Mississippi Delta 33-30. Hinds, under new coach Mike Smith, won by 6-3, 9-7, 31-27, 17-10 twice and 33-30 during the season. The 31-27 tally was over PRC, but we will go with the PEARLS this time, 35-28.
In Minnesota MESABI RANGE cooked Minnesota West 61-7 and ROCHESTER squeaked by Hibbing 21-19. The winners play Sat. at St. Cloud State Unversity, 1 pm. Jeff Sims; MESABI crew has piled up 432 points while allowing just 60, none in double figures while going 11-0. They are starting to look like ROCHESTER of recent years and NORMANDALE before them. MESABI won an earlier matchup 13-11, so we will make it 24-20 this time. If MESABI wins hopefully they will get an invite to a major bowl game. It's the only way to see how they would fare against a Kansas or WSFL team.
NOTES WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF A VISA RECEIPT –
Are the Zeebs calling too many penalties? Some games are almost ruined by the whistles. There were 20 called, 10 against each team in the MODESTO-SEQUOIAS game. Thirty-five flags were thrown in the COFFEYVILLE-DODGE CITY match, most of them for holding. Like most experts say, holding could be called on every play. Guess the striped shirts are trying to do it…FIRST BOWL MATCHUP pits HARPER 9-1 against IOWA CENTRAL 10-0 in the GRAPHIC EDGE PRINTING BOWL in Cedar Falls, Ia. on Sunday, Nov. 16. Both teams had fine seasons and are dead even against mutual foes. Hunch says go with IC by a 15-14 count…PALOMAR K Ryan Lux is just 7 points away from breaking the national single-season kick-scoring record of 95, set by SNOW's Leonard Chitty in 1995 and Robert Nycz of BAKERSFIELD in 1994. He is 25 of 26 on PATs and 21 of 27 on field goals. Chitty holds the record for FGs in a season with 23. Teammate Josh Hargis needs just one more interception to break the Mission Conf. mark. He has 11.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PLAYOFFS.
So many things depend on the PALOMAR-CERRITOS results, but this is the way I would like to see the first round shake out. FULLERTON vs. CITRUS; GROSSMONT vs. PALOMAR/CERRITOS; CANYONS vs. SADDLEBACK and SANTA MONICA vs. MT. SAN ANTONIO.