28 - 13Full Time
Control the line of scrimmage, control the game. American River College did just that to down Shasta College 28-13 Saturday in the NorCal Conference opener at Memorial Stadium.
The Beavers (1-0, NorCal Conference, 3-3), who entered on a three-game losing streak, scored just before half to go into the break leading 7-0 before blowing the game open with a pair of scores in the third period to go up three touchdowns.
American River had a remedy for Shasta, which boasted the state’s top-ranked rushing defense and attacked the second-ranked rushing offense at will. Avant Jacobs, who entered with four carries on the season, racked up 184 of the Beavers’ 241 yards rushing. Shasta (0-1 NorCal, 3-2) had allowed 175 rushing yards in all four games combined before Saturday’s conference tilt.
Video by Tracy Holmes/Shasta County Sports
“They didn’t care about our rushing totals or what we’ve giving up, they wanted to run the ball from the start and they did,” said Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton.
Shasta trailed 7-0 at half with the lone score coming on a 1-yard option keeper by Grant Patterson to put ARC up a touchdown. It could have been more but Maurice Outten intercepted Patterson on back-to-back second-quarter drives in Shasta territory. However, the Knights offense sputtered in the first half with three-and-outs on three of their four first half drives and finished with seven three-and-outs in the contest.
For the first time this year, the Knights were unable to move the ball on the ground. ARC keyed on running backs Tyler Boston and Jayden Gordon, which were held to a combined 78 yards on 18 attempts, forcing Shasta to be one dimensional. The successful rush defense helped the Beavers rack up six sacks in the process and stymied the Knights’ offense all game.
“We never established the line of scrimmage or rhythm with the throwing game,” Hamilton said. “Our running backs can’t do it all. We have to be physical, get off the ball and help them out with the passing game.”
Jacobs broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and tight end Grayson Barnes turned a sizable first down catch into a 44-yard touchdown pass from Patterson to go up 21-0 with 4:10 to go in the third.
Shasta rotated quarterbacks throughout the game to provide a spark to its offense. Backup quarterback Gavin Dobson connected with Taivonn Ervin for a 44-yard gain to set up Dobson’s 8-yard touchdown strike to Cameron Williams to cut the deficit to 14 midway through the fourth.
Shasta appeared to stop ARC on the ensuing drive. But the Knights were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during a timeout, giving the Beavers first-and-goal from the Knights 8. Jacobs found pay dirt on the following play to stretch the lead to 21 with 4:58 to go.
“Some guys made it about themselves instead of understanding it’s a team sport,” Hamilton said. “We succeed and fail together. But we also didn’t play well enough to win.”
Shasta answered quickly with Dobson orchestrating a 7-play, 45-yard drive, capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass on a fade route to Williams on fourth-and-goal.
The ensuing onside kick bounced off a Shasta player but the Knights couldn’t come up with the loose ball. ARC ran the remaining clock out to snap a three-game losing skid.
Dobson was 7-of-16 passing for 113 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while starting quarterback Toren Tuttle completed 4-of-10 passes for 38 yards. Josiah Graham led the Knights in receiving with 40 yards on four catches. Boston ran nine times for 52 yards, gaining 22 on his final carry late in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Slayton registered a team-best 11 tackles in the game, including two for a loss. Tavian Wallace had nine tackles and two for a loss, Noah Benson forced a fumble and Bladen Stankey recorded the Knights’ lone sack in the contest. Outten’s two picks doubled his interception total on the season.
Shasta travels to face College of the Siskiyous Saturday at 1 p.m.
Shasta’s 1-for-11 on third down was the lowest of the season … Tyler Boston snapped a seven-game streak of at least 100 all-purpose yards in the game … Shasta gave up six sacks after allowing only seven in the previous four games … Shasta won the turnover battle 3-1 with two interceptions by Maurice Outten, his second two-interception game this season (Laney).
Team NorCal, Overall
#22 American River 1-0, 3-3
#18 Butte 1-0, 3-3
#24 Sierra 0-0, 2-2
#21 Shasta 0-1, 3-2
Siskiyous 0-0, 1-4
Santa Rosa 0-1, 0-6
Week 6 SCORES
Butte 29, Santa Rosa 21 (2OT)
American River 28, Shasta 13
Sierra-Siskiyous – PPD