San Francisco Wins A Thriller

A 9-yard pass from freshman Joseph Ayoob to Ruben Jackson in the corner of the end zone with 33 ticks remaining gave CC of San Francisco (12-0) a 38-35 win over Grossmont (13-1) and their 4th Calif. State Championship in the last 5 years. CCSF drove 95 yards for the winning TD in the final 6:03 after Grossmont had rallied behind backup freshman QB Jordan Adams from deficits of 21-0 and 31-14 to take a 4-point lead in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.

It was a marvelous game between two champion teams, neither of which deserved to lose.  The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of offense on the day.  Both Adams and Ayoob threw for more than 300 yards on the afternoon, and four receivers caught passes for more than 100 yards.  And there were just two turnovers, one by each team, the second of which was an interception by CCSF's Marcus Harper that secured the win for the Rams with 7 seconds left in the game.

Tim Brown, who rushed for 55 of his game-high 158 yards on the final drive, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. And just prior to the contest the Calif. Community College Football Coaches Association voted him the state's Offensive MVP of the Year.  Ayoob, who completed 23 of 37 passes for 306 yards and 4 TDs, including the winning score, was named the Outstanding Offensive Player.  Grossmont LB Bobby Kelly, who was a force in the middle of the field all afternoon in his first start, was named the game's Outstanding Defensive Player.

Early on, however, it looked like this would not be a close game.  Grossmont took the opening kickoff and quickly got deep into CCSF territory on a 49-yard pass from freshman Jarrod Jackson to Todd Watkins, bringing the ball to the Ram 16.  On 3rd and 9 from the 15, Jackson overthrew a wide-open Watkins in the corner of the end zone, forcing a field goal attempt.  And Watkins' 32-yard kick was wide right, keeping the game scoreless.

CCSF RB Tim Brown (#7)
Game MVP Trophy


And then CCSF's offense answered quickly.  First, a 47-yard pass from Ayoob to Antwon Guidry on CCSF's first offensive play from scrimmage got the ball to the Grossmont 33.  Then, following a 3-yard run by Brown, Ayoob threw a 35-yard TD pass to Jackson to give CCSF a 7-0 lead less than 4 minutes into the game.

When Grossmont got the ball back, they got one first down before having to punt.  Clay Perkins' punt was fielded by Guidry at his own 8, and he was quickly tackled at his own 7.  But CCSF drove the 93 yards on 14 plays to extend the lead to 14-0.  A 6-yard toss from Ayoob to Marcel Love got the ball into the end zone, giving the Rams a two-touchdown lead with 2:39 left in the first quarter.

And the Grossmont offense continued to sputter.  A 15-yard sack of Jackson by Justin Johnson put the ball at the Griffin 1 for 4th and 33, and Perkins' punt was downed at the 37.  Three plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, Ayoob connected with Guidry on a 25-yard TD pass to push CCSF's lead to 21-0.  It looked like the rout was on.

But Grossmont had other ideas.  First, they made a change at QB, bringing in Jordan Adams.  And the Griffins rallied behind their new leader.  Though that possession ended after just two first downs, the drive got to the CCSf 43.  Then Perkins' punt was downed at the 11.  And then a pair of CCSF penalties moved the ball back to the 3.  Though a 29-yard pass play to Guidry got the ball out to the Ram 32, the CCSF drive ended there, and punter Richard Brillhart came on for the first time.

And when Grossmont got the ball back this time, the offense really began to roll.  A 5-yard pass from Adams to Chris Mazzi got things started, and then a 15-yard pass to Watkins moved the ball to the Grossmont 48.  More importantly, the Griffin offense found a rhythm and Adams was getting time to throw the ball.  A 17-yard pass to Mazzi helped the drive continue, and RB Rainbow Mauga powered in for last yard on a 12-play, 71-yard drive that closed the gap to 21-7 and got Grossmont back into the game.

CCSF got excellent field position after the ensuing kickoff when Jackson took the ball at his own 2 and returned it 63 yards to the Grossmont 35.  But the only first down CCSF would pick up on this drive would be on a 15-yard personal foul, and the Rams had to settle for Darius Ghoddoussi's 32-yard field goal, which extended the lead to 24-7.

And now the Grossmont offense was in high gear.  After a penalty stuck the Griffins back at their own 12, Adams got things moving with a 15-yard pass to Mazzi and a 17-yard pass to Gary Franklin.  Then a 14-yard completion to Eric Rabara got Grossmont into Ram territory.  On the next play, CCSF LB Desmond Bishop broke through and sacked Adams for a 10-yard loss, and also shook up the Grossmont QB, forcing him to leave the game.  But in stepped 3rd-stringer Anthony LoPiccolo, and after handing the ball to Kashun McClay for a 4-yard gain, LoPiccolo threw a 38-yard pass to Joe Griffin on his second play of the game for a first and goal at the CCSF 10.  A 7-yard run by Franklin got the ball to the 3, and on the next play Franklin took it the final 3 yards for the score.  The 8-play, 88-yard drive made it 24-14 with 0:48 left in the half.

CCSF had one last chance to score after Jihad Mahasin returned the ensuing kickoff to the Grossmont 48.  But a sack by Grossmont's Dan Widders pushed CCSF back into its own territory.  On the last play of the half, Ayoob threw the ball into a crowd, and Grossmont's Chanti Bloomer made the interception on the final play of the half.

To begin the second half, CCSF got the ball and drove right down the field for a score.  A 44-yard screen pass from Ayoob to Brown moved the ball to the Grossmont 11, and two plays later Brown scored on an 8-yard run to make it 31-14 CCSF just 3:29 into the second half.  Once more, it looked like the Rams were on the verge of breaking the game wide open.

But once again, Grossmont refused to let it happen.  A 10-yard  pass to Griffin got Grossmont a first down at their own 36, and a 12-yard pass to Watkins got the ball into Rams territory.  Then Adams combined with Mazzi on a 45-yard TD pass that cut the margin to 10 at 31-21.

And now the Grossmont defense dug in.  CCSF managed one first down on a 10-yard run by Brown, but soon had to punt on 4th and 2 at the Grossmont 47.  Rajive Otah took Brillhart's punt at his own 13 and returned it 19 yards to the 32.  And on the very next play, Adams threw a spectacular 68-yard TD pass to Watkins, who had gotten behind the CCSF secondary.  That made it 31-28 CCSF with more than a quarter remaining.

On the ensuing kickoff, Grossmont tried an onsides kick, but CCSF's Larry Maxwell recovered at the Ram 44.  And then CCSF managed to get three first downs, which at least gave the defense a chance to rest.  A 17-yard pass to Jackson moved the ball into Grossmont territory, and an 18-yard run by Brown got the ball to the 22.  Moments later, 9-yard scramble by Ayoob got the Rams to the 10.  But then CCSF took a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty, and the drive stalled at the 15.  Ghoddoussi came on to try a 32-yard field goal, but his kick was low, keeping the score 31-28.

Just after Grossmont took over, the third quarter ended.  The Griffins were unable to move the ball, and Perkins was called on to punt.  His kick was downed at the CCS 12, pinning the Rams deep in their own end.  And though CCSF was able to move the ball to its own 40 on a scramble by Ayoob and an accompanying personal foul penalty, the drive stalled there.  And when Brillhart dropped the snap and had to rush his punt, the ball traveled a mere 19 yards, giving Grossmont possession at its own 41.

CCSF Fans:
Those in attendance were enthusiastic

And on the very next play, Grossmont took the lead on a 59-yard TD pass from Adams to Griffin.  It was Grossmont's first lead of the game, and they had made it all the way back from a three-touchdown deficit behind Adams.  And when CCSF was unable to move the ball on its next possession, it looked like Grossmont might pull away.  The Griffins gained one first down and entered Ram territory, but on 4th and 2 at the CCSF 47, they elected to punt.  That strategy appeared to pay off handsomely when Perkins' punt was downed at the Ram 5-yard line.  Just 6:03 remained in the game.

With their undefeated season, and the state championship on the line, the Rams had 95 yards to cover and with just 6:03 left, they knew there was little chance of getting the ball back if they failed to score.

And the Rams decided to give the ball to their money man, Tim Brown.  On the first play of the drive, he gained 7 yards on a run.  On the next, he gained 2 more.  Then, on 3rd and 2 from the 14, Ayoob kept the ball on a QB sneak to get the first down, moving the ball to the 17.  After that, Brown moved the Rams down the field, running for 26 yards to the Ram 43 on play 4 of the drive, and another 23 to the Grossmont 34 on play 5. 

CCSF QB Joe Ayoob
Offensive MVP Trophy

But then the Grossmont defense keyed on Brown and threw him for a 3-yard loss back to the 37 on the next play.  So Ayoob took to the air, completing an 8-yard pass to TE James Otuhiva to the 29.  Then on 3rd down, Ayoob threw an incomplete pass, making it 4th and 5 at the 29.  Ayoob went back to pass on what could have been CCSF's final chance, the 9th play of the drive, and was flushed from the pocket.  But suddenly the field opened up and Ayoob rambled 20 yards down to the Grossmont 9-yard line for the first down.

Just over a minute remained on the clock.  On first down, Ayoob tried another pass, but it fell incomplete.  On second down, Ayoob threw a short pass to Brown, but again the defense was keying on him and tackled him for no gain at the 9.  Now only about 40 seconds remained and it was 3rd and goal from the 9.  CCSF called timeout to plan for the upcoming play, the 12 play of the drive.

When play resumed, Ayoob dropped back to pass.  As the pressure came, he rolled to his left, searching for a receiver.  Suddenly, he was Jackson all alone in the corner of the end zone and lofted him the ball for the touchdown.  CCSF had the lead once again.  Ghoddoussi's extra point made it 38-35.

Still, 33 seconds remained, and Grossmont had all 3 of its timeouts left.  Brian Allbrooks took the kickoff at his own 4 and returned it to the 27.  Prior to first down, CCSF was called for being offsides, moving the ball to the 32.  But then on first down, Adams was sacked by CCSF's Isaac Watts for a 3-yard loss.  On second down, Adams' pass fell incomplete.  And on third down, Adams' pass was intercepted by Harvey at the CCSF 42, securing the win for CCSF.  The Rams were so ecstatic at their win they drew not one but two excessive celebration penalties in the aftermath.

But the celebration penalties didn't matter a bit since CCSF had the ball.  With just 7 seconds remaining, Ayoob took one final snap, knelt down and the Rams were champs.

Grossmont displayed a lot of character, rallying from the 21-point deficit behind Adams, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 347 yards and 3 TDs despite not starting or even playing in the first quarter.  In all, Grossmont QBs passed for 450 yards.  Griffin had 6 catches for 142 yards and a TD.  Mazzi had 6 catches for 111 yards and a TD.  And Watkins caught 4 passes for 144 yards and a TD, and also kicked 5 extra points.  In all, Grossmont rolled up 505 yards of offense on the day.

CCSF nearly matched that total with exactly 500 yards of offense of their own.  Brown not only rushed for 158 yards but also caught 4 passes for 43 yards.  Jackson had 6 catches for 82 yards and 2 TDs, including the all-important score with 33 seconds left, and also returned a pair of kickoffs for 87 yards.  Guidry had 5 catches for 110 yards and a TD.

The California State Championship is the 4th in the last 5 years for CCSF, and their 5th since 1994.  Grossmont finishes with a state-record 13 wins.

CCSF entered11-0, #1 in North.  Grossmont entered 13-0, #1 in South.  This is CCSF's 4th California State Championship in the last 5 years. 

Game M.V.P.:  Tim Brown, CCSF.  Offensive Player of Game:  Fr. Joseph Ayoob, CCSF.  Defensive Player of Game:  So. Bobby Kelly, LB, Grossmont (pictured right).

Fr. Jarrod Jackson started at QB for Grossmont; Adams entered for 4th possession (it was 21-0).  LoPiccolo came in for 3 plays incl. the 38-yard pass to Griffin on Grossmont's 2nd TD drive (Adams shaken up). 34-Maxwell recovered an onsides kick Grossmont tried after their 4th TD.  CCSF's winning drive was 95 yards.

Grossmont LB Bobby Kelly
Def. MVP Trophy


TEAM STATISTICS San Francisco Grossmont
First Downs 26 (13 pass; 12 run; 1 pen) 20 (16 pass; 4 run)
Rushes – Yards 38-194 28-55
Passing Yards 306 450
Comp - Att – Int 23-38-1 21-33-1
Return Yards 118  135
Sacks – Yards 4-33 3-19
Fumbles – Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties – Yards 15-112 7-77
Time of Possession 36:07 23:53


1st Quarter:
SF – R.Jackson 35 yd pass from Ayoob (Ghoddoussi kick) 11:18 – 7-0
SF – Love 6 yd pass from Ayoob (Ghoddoussi kick) 2:39 -- 14-0                   

2nd Quarter:

SF – Guidry 25 yd pass from Ayoob (Ghoddoussi kick) 14:55 -- 21-0
G – R.Mauga 1 yd run (Watkins kick) 6:55 -- 21-7
SF – FG Ghoddoussi 32 yds 3:27 -- 24-7
G – Franklin 3 yd run (Watkins kick) 0:48 -- 24-14

3rd Quarter:

SF – Brown 8 yd run (Ghoddoussi kick) 11:31 -- 31-14
G – Mazzi 45 yd pass from Adams (Watkins kick) 8:37 -- 31-21
G – Watkins 68 yd pass from Adams (Watkins kick) 6:18 -- 31-28

4th Quarter:

G – Griffin 59 yd pass from Adams (Watkins kick) 10:36 -- 31-35
SF – R.Jackson 9 yd pass from Ayoob (Ghoddoussi kick) 0:33 -- 38-35


SF:  7-Brown 27-158, 18-Ayoob 10-37, team 1-(-1)
G:  26-McClay 5-36, 28-Franklin 9-33, 32-Walker 6-15, 30-R.Mauga 2-3, 7-Adams 3-(-9), 4-J.Jackson 3-(-23)

SF:  18-Ayoob 23-37-1-306, 4 TDs; 7-Brown 0-1-0-0                     
G:  7-Adams 18-28-1-347, 3 TDs; 4-J.Jackson 2-4-0-65; 16-LoPiccolo 1-1-0-38

SF:  2-R.Jackson 6-82, 20-Guidry 5-110, 5-Love 5-33, 7-Brown 4-43,  19-Swanigan 2-30, 89-Otuhiva 1-8
G:  8-Griffin 6-142, 3-Mazzi 6-111, 1-Watkins 4-144, 10-Allbrooks 2-24, 28-Franklin 1-17, 82-Rabara 1-14, 26-McClay 1-(-2)

SF:  14-Brillhart 4-36.3 avg
G:  37-Perkins 5-41.4 avg

Kick Ret:
SF:  2-R.Jackson 2-87, 6-Mahasin 1-32
G:  10-Allbrooks 6-96, 20-Otah 1-8

Punt Ret:
SF:  20-Guidry 1-(-1)
G:  20-Otah 3-24

Int-Ret Yds:
SF:  22-Harper 1-0
G:  6-Bloomer 1-7

SF:  45-J.Johnson 1-15, 10-Bishop 1-10, 98-Padilla 1-5, 97-Watts 1-3
G:  70-Schuh 1-10, 80-Widders 1-10, 91-D.Mauga

Missed FG:
SF:  23-Ghoddoussi 32 yds (low)
G:  1-Watkins 32 yds (wide right)


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