JC X-Factors: Butte College at Shasta College

Shasta College sophomore wide receiver Karnell Collier leads the Knights in receiving yards and touchdowns this season. (Photo by Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)

The final game of the regular season is here for the Shasta College football team. The Knights knew moving up to the National Division was going to have some growing pains so in a year of transition, a two-win season may not have met expectations, but the Knights surely competed and learned.

On Saturday, Shasta (2-7) faces its toughest test of the year in the Sierra Pacific Industries College Game of the Week when it hosts No. 4 Butte (8-1), which has won seven straight and is destined for a state playoff spot.

Here are some players to keep an eye on for Saturday’s game at Memorial Stadium, which kicks off at 6 p.m. for sophomore night.

QB — Brandt Hughes (Chico-PV), Butte, So.
Shasta ranks in the bottom six in passing yards per game allowed and Hughes has the arm strength to make all of the throws on the field. He has thrown for 1,824 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions but he ranks sixth in the state in passing efficiency and 10th in completion percentage (61.3%).

LB — Jalan Jenkins (Evanston IL), Butte, So.
The Roadrunners leading tackler, Jenkins has been a force on the gridiron this season. His 69 tackles is 21 more than the next player on the team, and he has three sacks and a forced fumble this season for a defense that allows 17.1 points per game, which ranks eighth in the state.

WR — Karnell Collier (Floriday City, FL), Shasta, So.
The Knights’ leading receiver is a 3-time Sierra Pacific Industries College Player of the Week this season and is coming off three straight games with at least 100 yards receiving. He has 712 yards and five TDs on 43 catches this season.

LB — Matthew Arriaga (Corning), Shasta, Fr.
Arriaga has seen playing time increase as the season developed, registering 32 tackles — sixth-best on the team — and a tackle for a loss this season. He’s coming off a career-best 12 tackles in last week’s loss to American River College.

RB — Deonta McMahon (Frostproof, FL), Butte, Fr.
DL — Leo Valdivia (Sparks, NV), Butte, So.
RB — Johnny Iniguez (McArthur), Shasta, So.
LB — Hunter Margain (Fountain Valley), Shasta, So.

About T.J. Holmes

T.J. is a national award-winning journalist who has roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010. He shares his passion for sports and the community with his fiancé Tracy, who works alongside him as a videographer for Shasta County Sports. Story tip: shastacountysports@gmail.com.

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