BLINN 19, PEARL RIVER 6
The Bucs took an early 5-0 lead in a tough defensive struggle and then saw ace RB Bernard Scott break it open with an 80-yard scamper, to provide the Bucs with an undefeated 12-0 season and the second national championship in school history.
Brad Franchione's Blinn lads sacked Pearl River's Carlton Hill five times and repeatedly harassed him into making mistakes. The defense completely shut down the Wildcat running game, allowing just 33 yards on 31 efforts. RB Seth Hayden was stopped for just 9 yards on 7 carries. The final Buc tally came when LB Alex Cook blindsided the QB, who fumbled, and Damien Reed picked up the ball and rambled 64 yards for the score. It didn't help Tim Hatten's spread field attack when WR Larry Freeman limped off the field in the first quarter. Scott earned MVP offensive honors by rushing for 193 yards on 22 carries, showing why he was the nation's rush leader in 2006. DE Kendrick Young was the MVP on defense for Pearl River.
EL CAMINO 49, C.C. SAN FRANCISCO 35
In a royal shoot out in Fresno's minor league baseball park, John Featherstone's El Camino Warriors played their best game of the season while out scoring a potent San Francisco eleven. This contest was tied at 28-28 at halftime after a 48 point second period barrage. CCSF held the lead twice and there was never more than seven points separating the two teams until a Jamicah Bass 1-yard plunge with 7-minutes remaining in the contest. Four of the TDs went for longer than 22 yards. ECC WR Kayne Farquarson, who earned MVP honors, scored on a 30-yd pass play from Boo Jackson, an 84-yd kickoff return, coming right back after CCSF had taken a 20-14 lead, plus a 7-yd end around. Bass was the MVP on offense, rushing for 145 yds on 17 efforts and a pair of TDs. San Francisco Fr. LB Nick Thurston, was the MVP on defense making tackles all over the field.
CCSF OT Alesana Alesana, who committed recently to play for Kansas State, showed why he was an All-American with his powerful pass blocking. The Rams threw the ball 55 times and ran just 16 for a net of 55 yard. Zac Lee was 21 of 32 for 375 yds and 2 scores before leaving the game with an injury which occurred on the goalline when Warrior CB Damilyn Tanner met him head on. Backup QB Kyle Barker was just 9 of 22 and had 2 picked off. CCSF receiver Kenny O'Neal showed his speed grabbing 12 passes for 229 yds and 2 TDs, while Corey Surrency was 6 for 125 for ECC and Farquharson 5 for 90-1. CCSF punter Philip Zuvala must have set some game records with 3 punts avg. 62.3 yds, one going for 78. He also tossed a pass on a fake punt that went for 50 yards to Rashad Swanson, who will be a top national prospect next year. Kayne accounted for 198 total yards and Bass 180. CCSF passed for 515. It was a rather decent day with a few dark clouds hovering about, but relatively warm and some wind.
George Rush's comment after the game: "They are a darned good team and deserved to win. I felt that we dropped one interception that could have gone for a touchdown and had another picked off in their end zone that could have changed the game, but I give them all the credit."
NOTES AND STUFF…I'll never be nuts about watching a football game in a baseball park, but it beats the heck out of a high school field that has seen so much action that only a few blades of grass remain. Bass looks as though he will head for Oregon State, but Tuihalamaka has three or four offers to consider--including Arizona and Oregon State. Farquharson is practically headed for Miami, Fla. Moala has opportunities that include Oregon State and Rutgers plus others. Surrency is an absolute stud who may have to go DII. CB Da'MilynTanner will be a Cyclone. Lee is headed for Nebraska while O'Neal chose Tennessee. CCSF LB Devin Bishop could end up at Minnesota, Cal, or Oregon -- or one of the other schools offering a scholarship. There were certainly a bunch of stars playing in that game at Fresno that could easily make it at the next level. The last National title for BLINN was in 1996 when QB Michael Bishop was running wild for them. ElCo won it in 1987.
KUDOS to Kevin Lustgarten, major domo of the JCFOOTBALL.COM web site, for sponsoring a tailgate session in the parking lot. Gave a lot of folks a chance to put faces with names as far as the site itself goes and was a nifty hangout for the JC coaches who were there to select the All-State team. Darned good vittles too. Looked like some of the ElCo fans who used the parking lot enjoyed the grub as well as Kevin's hospitality as well.
IF I HAD A SOAP BOX I would be right back on it today. Such measly crowds show up for this championship affair, maybe it is time to go back to alternating hosts. Play at the North team one year and the South the next. Or a site in the North and a site in the South might even be better, in that advance publicity, advertising and promotion could be started well in advance.
Featherstone told me his kids had a great time visiting the Children's Hospital, sharing dinner and breakfast with the San Francisco team and the whole experience. Then the two teams played a sensational game in front of a sparse (and I use the term loosely) throng of about 1,000. What a shame. The Fresno paper had a small story on Thursday and nothing thereafter.
Was there any coverage on radio and TV in advance? It's nice to have a sports festival going on, but when your prime piece to the festival is something at the end of a downtown parade, you've got to wonder. I had a former sports writer at the L.A.Times calling me Sunday morning to find out the score, because apparently no one had bothered to call the Times with the score. Then we wonder why they don't give JC football coverage. OK enough said. Seems like I went down that path in past years also. FIND A SPONSOR. GET IT ON TV. BUILD FAN INTEREST BECAUSE THE KIDS SURE PUT ON A GREAT SHOW.
SOME COACHING CHANGES WE HEARD ABOUT. Brent Carder has retired at ANTELOPE VALLEY after 37 years as head coach. Brent is a fine gentleman and will be missed. Jeff Tisdel is returning to SIERRA and Ed Eaton apparently is going back to the defensive coordinator position. Don Dillon has hung'em up at AMERICAN RIVER. Said he can't wait to go fishing. The SOUTHWESTERN job is said to be open, but wouldn't it be a good thing for Jan Chapman to have at least one more year at the helm? Craig Jersild is gone at HUCHINSON. Keith Majors has resigned at HIGHLAND. Jim Rieves is said to have departed KILGORE. One rumor had RANGER giving up football. Obviously PHOENIX did not give up football in 2006 and showed some serious progress on the field. PIMA. Those poor guys were just overwhelmed in every game. Two new schools hit the gridiron this year in Louisburg College of North Carolina and Berean, New York (I think), broke onto the scene.
WELL THAT'S IT FOR ANOTHER YEAR. WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 47 OF THEM AND CAN'T WAIT FOR THE 48TH. There will be some changes in the format and you may have to keep your computer tuned, but we will return.
BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A PRAYER THAT ONE DAY WE WILL INDEED HAVE WORLD PEACE.