OROVILLE, Calif. – The 25th ranked Shasta College football team turned the ball over six times in Saturday’s 49-6 road loss to #11 Butte College in the final NorCal Conference game of the season.
The Knights (1-4 NorCal Conference, 4-5) surrendered three Johnny Williams rushing touchdowns in the first half to fall behind 21-0 at the break and gave the ball away on three straight possessions in the second half – and four across five drives – leading Butte to run away with the victory.
“We continue to turn the ball over and put ourselves in bad situations,” Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton said. “You can’t win when you give the opposing team short fields and momentum by continuingly turning it over.”
Shasta’s offense has 16 turnovers during its three-game losing streak. The Knights’ defense held Butte to 325 yards of offense and held the Roadrunners (4-1 NorCal, 6-4) scoreless through the opening quarter.
Williams found pay dirt from 5 yards out early in the second quarter to go up 7-0. Butte blocked a Ty Thomas punt on the ensuing possession and took advantage of a short field with Williams capping a 4-play, 23-yard drive with a 6-yard rushing touchdown. Williams found the end zone again from 4 yards out for a three-score lead. He finished with 21 rushes for 104 yards.
“Three weeks in a row we’ve allowed (a blocked punt) and each time they have set up short, momentum shifting touchdowns,” Hamilton said.
Shasta nearly scored in the first half, operating the 2-minute offense to get to the Butte 8. But quarterback Toren Tuttle was flushed out of the pocket and his pass fell incomplete as time expired and the Knights didn’t come away with any points.
The Knights went three-and-out to start the third and Butte’s defense took over on the next three drives. Butte linebacker Tucker St. Andre picked up a Tuttle fumble and raced 28 yards for a touchdown, Tuttle was intercepted by Jamal McMurrin on a deep pass intended for Taivonn Ervin, and Tuttle was intercepted by Grant Ewell, who returned it down to the Knights’ 1-yard line.
Butte quarterback Brian Harper scored on a 1-yard keeper to go up 35-0 and backup quarterback Tanner Hughes flipped a short pass to Conner McKenzie for a 5-yard touchdown with 3:57 remaining. Caleb Ramseur added the final Roadrunner score on a 33-yard scamper with 12 seconds left.
However, the Knights avoided the shutout when Reyjon Williams raced around the left side and cut back across the field for a 65-yard touchdown run. Tuttle delivered the touchdown-springing block at the Butte 10-yard line to give the Knights the score as time expired.
Williams rushed three times for 72 yards and Shasta finished with 191 yards of offense in the game. Tuttle was 8-of-27 passing for 84 yards and three of those completions went to Tyler Carey for a team-best 31 receiving yards. Jayden Gordon was limited to 44 total yards and Tyler Boston had 10 carries for 17 yards.
Anthony Slayton had a team-high 10 tackles, Dermont Morgan had five tackles, Tyrese Randall registered four tackles and a sack, and Keiton Spengler had four tackles. CJ Catia recorded his second interception of the season.
Shasta hosts College of the Sequoias Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game that was postponed from September due to the Fawn Fire. The Knights have a shot for a bowl game appearance with a victory.
“If we want to give ourselves a chance to win Saturday and get to a 5-5 record, we have to clean these things up,” Hamilton said.
Week 10 Scores
#11 Butte 49, #25 Shasta 6
#12 American River 70, Siskiyous 13
Santa Rosa 24, #14 Sierra 21
Team NorCal, Overall
#12 American River 4-1, 6-4
#11 Butte 4-1, 6-4
Santa Rosa 3-2, 3-7
#14 Sierra 2-2, 5-4
#25 Shasta 1-4, 4-5
Siskiyous 0-4, 1-8