The latter was especially sweet revenge for the loss earlier, 26-21, which cost the Yellow Jackets the Southern Division championship for the first time since 1992. It was a great coaching job by new head man Brad LaPlante. The RCC defense held MW to minus-13 yards rushing and outgained them 296 to 152 in total yards. A key play was a 49-yard INT return by Barry Quickstad in the 4th period.
MORE BOWL AND PLAYOFF RESULTS
KILGORE 21, TYLER 14. This one was for the SWJCFC title. It was the 3rd match between the Rangers and Apaches this season. TJC won the 1st match, 20-0, and Kilgore the other two 30-17 and 21-14. The Rangers were led by RB Justin Hardeman, 5-11, 200, DT Chip Brown, 6-4, 270, and S Marvin White, 6-2, 210.
PEARL RIVER 24, HINDS 13. The last time PRCC lost was 18 games ago to Hinds. In this one the Eagles led 13-0 after 6 minutes, but the Wildcats bounced back with a vengeance as Jimmie Oliver connected on 14 of 30 for 212 yards and tossed 3 TDs. WR Larry Brackins hauled in 4 catches for 100 yards and a pair of scores. Levance Richmond had 3 INTs (equaling his output the last time the teams met) and caught a 26-yard TD pass. This was not a classic contest since both teams had 14 penalties and 6 interceptions between them (Hinds was picked off 5 times).
HARPER 24, IOWA CENTRAL 20 in the GRAPHIC BOWL. Eric Schultz went 19 of 28 for 152 and 3 TDs to lead the way. WR Keith Eloi caught 2 of the scores and Terry Mitchell the other. Jon Keller had a 40-yard FG. Iowa Central RB Darian Williams gained 123 yards in 28 carries and Deyontae Batiste created a safety.
ELLSWORTH 25, NASSAU 12 in the 2nd game of the GRAPHIC BOWL. Ellsworth clearly dominated the NY team, leading at one time 25-0. Nassau scored a late pair on a 45-yard run and muffed snap that set up a TD. Last year Harper beat Iowa Central 31-24 and Ellsworth downed Hudson Valley 29-28 in 3 OTs.
BOWL PREVIEWS AND PREDICTIONS
NATIONAL BOWL @ Saddleback College 5pm
MT.SAN ANTONIO (8-2) vs. SADDLEBACK (9-1) – Mission American Division co-champs vs. the Mission National champion Saddleback Gauchos. Mt. SAC's rugged defense gave up only an average of 251 total yards while their offense averaged 458.8 yards per game. The mystery will be what determination the courts make in the case of SADDLEBACK ace QB Colt Brennan who finished the regular season: 177-259 (0.683) for 2,532 yards, 23 TDs and only 4 picks. Brennan's favorite target, WR Jarrad Rabb caught 64 for 996 with 12 TDs while Fr. RB Cheyne Verhagen carried 161 times for 1,033 yards and 9 TDs. That trio makes the "O" go. Mounties "D" is sparked by Filisonuu Tafisi at DE and SS/LB Tony DeMonaco. SADDLEBACK 27 – 24 is our hunch.
VERIZON BOWL @ Chaffey College 1pm
CHAFFEY (9-1) vs. GROSSMONT (10-0) – This contest pits the #6 seed vs. the Foothill Conference champs. This is a screwball match up. They finished one-two in the Conf. and the Griffins won the previous game, 45-14 on Oct. 16. And yet, Chaffey somehow rates home field advantage. GCC should be seriously ticked off. DT Dallas Mauga, DE Andrew Jilles, and CB John Guice head a "D" that allows only 239 per game. The "O" averages 481.5, but that's only 3 yards per game more than Chaffey. The QB match up is solid with Nick Davila (Season: 182-298-2,524-22-13) vs. Jarrod Jackson (Season: 114-199-1,459-10-7). The Panther's Ricky Moore caught 80 for 1,304 and RB Brandon Fractious rushed 202 times for 1,513 yards and 17 TDs. Those guys were stopped, however, back in October. Griffins' RB Rajive Otah rushed for 1,044 on just 143 carries for the Griffins. Prediction? GROSSMONT 38-21. Griffs only gave up 3 rushing TDs and 7 passing all year.
WESTERN STATE BOWL @ College of Canyons 7pm
EL CAMINO (8-2) vs. COLLEGE OF CANYONS (10-0) – This contest pits the # 7 seed vs. the WSC North Division champs. This will not be a runaway for COC, even though they sport fancy 447.4-241.7 averages. By comparison, El Camino averages are 402.8-307.4. But the Warriors have a bullish, scrappy defense that continually make big plays. Canyons' Cory Miles developed into the No. 1 QB in the WSC and Tyrell Smith the top WR. PK Jason Tompkins scored 89 points. The Warriors defense rides DBs Steve Akarim, Nate Ness and Charles Clavens along with DEs Rick Talanoa and Delvondre Gardner. I'm thinking upset here, but remember ECC lost to Pasadena. I'm taking CANYONS 20-17 in OT.
AMERICAN BOWL @ Veterans Stadium, Long Beach
WEST LOS ANGELES (7-3) vs. LONG BEACH CITY COLLEGE (6-4) - South Division WSC Co-Champ vs. Mission American Co-Champ. RB Lorenzo Bursey (Season: 173-1,025-5) and WR/RET Solomon Jones (Season: 1,198-12 All-purpose yards), spark a fair "O" for West LA. LBCC won its last 5 games behind Fr. QB Alex Aispuro (Season: 171-303-2,255-15-8) and RB Richard Nichols (Season: 146-988-11). LONG BEACH should win this one 41-17.
Those four bowl games (above) will serve as first-round playoff games. In future weeks the games will be hosted by the higher seeds.
GOLDEN EMPIRE BOWL @ Bakersfield 3pm
FULLERTON (6-4) vs. BAKERSFIELD (7-3) - #11 seed vs. #7 seed. This game is taking the place of the Potato Bowl, which was the longest continuous JC bowl game in the country. A pretty good match up and the fans from both teams know how to do "tailgate." Fullerton has a tenacious defense behind DT Gabe Long, and a double-threat running game with Alfred Guidry and Rafael Rice packing the load. The Gades have a pound ‘em-type game and an All-Star DT in Ismail Abdunafi. Based on tougher competition we will go with FULLERTON 21-14.
US BANK BEACH BOWL @Santa Monica College 4pm
COLLEGE OF DESERT (6-4) vs. MOORPARK (6-4) - #14 seed vs. #12 seed. Moorpark lost some big ones and gave up gave up 27.9 points per game while scoring 21.6. COD allowed 325 yards per game and had 369 on offense, much behind the rushing of Fredrick Collins (Season: 212-1,113-7). Nate Lewis is a big QB and Nick Lee caught 34 for 744 (21.9 pc). Venerable coach Ken Swearingen did a fine job in his first season back from retirement. Larry Dockery is a fair-to-middlin QB for Moorpark while Joe Shumpert is a very solid receiver. On defense, Moorpark features a widebody in DT Bryan Tarkington. Moorpark will be favored but we are going with DESERT 20-17.
TRI-COUNTIES BANK HOLIDAY BOWL @ Butte College, 12 pm.
SAN JOAQUIN DELTA (8-2) vs. BUTTE (9-1) - Valley co-champ vs. #2 seed. This looks like one of the best match ups of the bowl season. Butte's only loss was a rainy day blowout to CCSF. Delta was upset by Siskiyous and lost to Reedley, but holds a big win over Santa Rosa. Freshman RB Webster Patrick, 5-8, 200, led all California rushers, and Jason Peters, 6-3, 230, give the Roadrunners probably the best rushing duo in the nation. QB Steve Wichman has passed for well over 2,500 yards for the Mustangs of Delta, while Gil Martinez, Jess Miguel and Matt Truscott are capable receivers. BUTTE 35-28.
PRODUCERS DAIRY BOWL @ Fresno 12 pm
ALLAN HANCOCK (6-4) vs. REEDLEY (6-4) - #13 seed vs. Valley co-champ. A 22-17 win over Bakersfield is about the only game that AHC won that wasn't expected. Kris Dutra's lads suffered many injuries during the campaign. Drew Williams is a 1,000-yard back. Good run, not much pass. Reedley Fr. QB Terry Mayo, 6-4, 237, is the key here. He has over 2,000 yards passing and very competent receivers. The defense is the better side, though. The Tigers won five of their last six games. P Zach United is another good weapon for Michael White. Looks like REEDLEY from here. Make it 28 to 17.
SILICON VALLEY BOWL @ at Foothill College 1 pm
SAN MATEO (6-4) vs. FOOTHILL (7-3) - #12 seed vs. #7 seed. They already played on Oct. 23 with FH winning 29-14. Owls RB Alan Webster had 158 carries for 1,175 yards and 11 TDs after 9 games. LB George Manai, TE Chris Fulcher and WR Jon Williams are players to watch. You don't find many CSM players among the stats, but scouts are looking at TE Brent Ten-Bruggencate, 6-5, 250, DL Shawn Sapoaga and WR Brandon O'Bannon. FOOTHILL looks like too much, so 35-20.
EAST COUNTY BOWL @ Los Medanos College 1 pm
FEATHER RIVER (5-5) vs. LOS MEDANOS (7-3) - #15 seed vs. #11 seed. WR/KR Justin Amaral leads California in All-Purpose running for LMC and Bryan Beaver possesses big passing stats. Feather River RB Cornell Johnson, who played for Alfred State in New York in '03, had 98 points for FRC after 9 games. There should be some scoring in this one. LOS MEDANOS 29-28
We will preview and make predictions for the NJCAA contests in next week's issue of the Grid-Wire. Here are the games:DALTON DEFENDERS BOWL
Veterans Memorial Stadium
November 28, 2004 - 2 p.m.
Butler County Community College, Kan. (11-0)
Pearl River Community College, Miss. (11-0)
THE SUN BOWL
December 4, 2004
Coffeyville Community College, Kan. (9-2)
Copperas Cove, Texas
December 4, 2004
Tyler Junior College, Texas (8-3)
Mt. Pleasant, Texas
December 4, 2004
Kilgore College, Texas (10-1)
BANK TOP OF
Salt Lake City, Utah
December 4, 2004
Rochester Community & Techncial College, Minn. (9-2)
LANEY coach Stan Peters called to say his team scored what had to be the longest TD pass in JC annals. "The point of the ball was right on the goal line. My entire team was in the endzone and we threw a pass from Dan Brethaur to Dino Araniba that went all the way, 99 and nine-tenths yards." Peters also indicated he would hang up his coaching tack following the 2005 season, after 40 years, 33 of them as head coach at Laney.
QUESTION. Wouldn't it have made more sense to pair EL CAMINO with CHAFFEY in the Verizon Bowl? Let GROSSMONT and CANYONS get right at it. Or, with SOUTHWESTERN offering its stadium for a first-round game, why isn't GROSSMONT, No. 3 seed in SoCal, playing there as a home team? And finally, will the NorCal coaches finally agree on a real playoff system? As it stands now GROSSMONT, a team that has been ranked no worse than third in the state all season, stands the possibility of playing 4 playoff games, all on the road, a season total of 14. And if they won them all would then face a NorCal team playing just its 12th contest. Is there some inequity here maybe?
We will miss Bob Larson, who is retiring from the coaching ranks at GARDEN CITY. Bob will probably remain at GCCC as a teacher. He's a really good guy and very prominent in the NJCAA coaches Association. He was 48-18 in his 6 years as head man.