SAN FRANCISCO - Although Fresno scored early to take a 7-0 lead, the City College of San Francisco Rams scored 19 unanswered points to win the 2001 Hawaiian Punch Bowl for the Northern California championship, 19-7 in a driving rain in San Francisco.
Approximately 500 fans braved the cold and the constant rain and wind to watch the CCSF Rams take the game. The Rams will play Palomar College in the State Championship game in Visalia. The Comets won the Southern California Bowl in Rancho Cucamonga, 20-14 over the previously undefeated Chaffey College Panthers.
Fresno took an early lead with a blocked punt in the first quarter, which Miguel Ruiz returned 16 yards for a touchdown.
The CCSF Rams responded to tie the game in the first quarter when John McKonnen caught a 9 yard pass from Orlando Evans, capping a 14 play, 77 yard drive.
CCSF took the lead for good when Fresno QB Mark Hetherington was tackled in the endzone for a safety.
The Rams went ahead 12-7 when Richard Heintz kicked a 32 yard field goal with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter.
The Rams fianl touchdown was a 6 yard Johnnie Mack run with 11:52 to go in the 4th quarter.
Over the course of the game, CCSF held Fresno to 66 yards of total offense. Starting QB Mark Hetherington was removed from the game early on with what appeared to be a hand injury.
Despite the poor weather conditions, CCSF managed to put up 444 yards of total offense, led by Johnnie Mack's 159 yards rushing on 30 carries and 52 yards on 4 receptions. CCSF QB Orlando Evans completed 23 of 42 passes for 296 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
The CCSF Rams' opponent, Palomar, was the last team to defeat the Rams, in the 1998 State Championship game in Sacramento.