WEED, Calif. – The Shasta College football team rebounded from last week’s loss to cruise past College of the Siskiyous 31-6 on the road Saturday to pick up its first NorCal Conference victory.
The 23rd ranked Knights (1-1 NorCal, 4-2) scored on four times on a stretch of five possessions in the first half to pull away from the rival Eagles (0-1 NorCal, 1-5).
Quarterback Toren Tuttle accounted for four touchdowns, completing 9-of-16 passes for 105 yards with scoring strikes of 7, 31 and 7, and added an 11-yard touchdown run in the game.
“Toren did a great job of getting the ball into our playmakers hands,” Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton said. “He also was physical on some QB runs and scrambled. His first touchdown was a nice, physical run.”
Shasta’s defense had its best performance of the year, forcing turnovers on the first four Siskiyous possessions and finished with a season-best six takeaways. CJ Catia and Maurice Outten each intercepted a pass – Outten’s state-leading fifth – and the Knights’ Tavian Wallace, Noah Benson, Aiden Phillips and Isaiah Moore each forced a fumble.
“I was happy with how our defense played,” Hamilton said. “We stopped the run, forced a bunch of turnovers and didn’t allow any big plays.”
Tuttle got the Knights on the board in the opening quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run. Siskiyous fumbled on its next play from scrimmage and Shasta didn’t waste any time taking advantage. Tuttle found Tyler Carey for a 7-yard score on the first play of the second period to go up 14-0.
Benson forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Tuttle hooked up with Cameron Williams for a 31-yard touchdown strike to quickly take a 21-0 lead.
Catia’s interception deep in Eagle territory gave the Knights favorable field position and Tuttle found Williams again for a touchdown, this time a 7-yarder to give the Knights a commanding 28-0 halftime lead.
“We made some excellent plays in the passing game and did a great job of not turning it over in wet (playing) conditions,” Hamilton said. “We didn’t run it very well but overall we were able to capitalize on their turnovers and we gave ourselves a big halftime lead.”
Dennis Perez added a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for Shasta and Siskiyou scored its lone points on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Davis to Stevie Payne in the waning minutes of the game.
Jayden Gordon led Shasta in rushing with 39 yards on 15 attempts and Tyler Boston carried the ball eight times for 19 yards. Both of Williams’ catches went for touchdowns for the second straight game and he finished with a team-high 38 receiving yards. Shasta had 11 different players run the ball against Siskiyous.
The Knights’ defense allowed 187 yards of offense, including 60 yards on the ground, and limited the Eagles to 1 of 11 on third down. Anthony Slayton had a team-high four tackles while Wallace, JaQuay Mills and Dermont Morgan each had three tackles. Bladen Stankey had 1.5 sacks and three tackles.
Shasta hosts Sierra College Saturday at 6 p.m.
Team NorCal, Overall
#16 Butte 2-0, 4-3
#18 American River 2-0, 4-3
#23 Shasta 1-1, 4-2
#20 Sierra 0-1, 3-3
Siskiyous 0-1, 1-5
Santa Rosa 0-2, 0-7
*Rankings are JCAB Top 25 Poll