STOCKTON, Calif. – Shasta College freshman quarterback Gabe Curtis scored two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter and the Shasta College football team held off San Joaquin Delta in the fourth period for a 37-30 road victory Saturday.
Shasta scored on three of its first four possessions of the game. Dennis Perez nailed a 36-yard field goal to kick things off and Miles Wilson found pay dirt from 3-yards out to stake an early 10-0 lead. The Knights went up 17-0 midway through the second quarter when backup quarterback Gavin Dobson connected with Tyler Carey on a deep post route for a 73-yard touchdown. Dobson, who played the entire second quarter after Curtis exited for taking a helmet-to-helmet hit that caused a Delta ejection.
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Despite the early lead, Delta (1-1) scored 20 straight points to erase the Shasta (1-1) lead. A 57-yard pass capped a quick scoring drive, followed by a 43-yard field goal, a 2-yard touchdown run 48-yard field goal put the Mustangs in control.
However, the lead was short lived as Reyjon Williams answered with a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown that ignited the away bench. Delta tied it at 23 at half with a 34-yard field goal.
“We need to be more consistent and eliminate the one bad quarter we’ve had in both of our games,” said Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton.
Curtis returned in the third quarter and the dual threat ability on fake handoffs and sweeps kept the Delta defense guessing. Wilson’s 33-yard run set up a 4-yard keeper from Curtis and Shasta marched on an 11-play scoring drive with Curtis running it in from 4-yards out to go up 37-23 entering the fourth quarter.
Delta answered with a 4-yard touchdown pass to its tight end with 10:00 remaining but Holden Gilbert returned the kickoff to midfield to give Shasta strong field position. Five different Knights ran the ball over the next 12 plays that ate up 7:25 off the clock and converted two third downs. Perez tried to put Shasta up 10 but his 21-yard field goal was blocked, giving Delta one more chance at extending the game.
A quarterback scramble on third down gave the Mustangs life but an unsportsmanlike penalty on the next third down put the odds in Shasta’s favor. The Knights forced back-to-back incomplete passes to turn the ball back over to the offense.
After a kneel down, Curtis was sacked trying to waste time off the clock and ran backward for a loss of 24 on the final play to get the clock inside of 40 seconds for Shasta to run the time out and seal the win.
“The way our guys responded in the second half to that adversity showed a lot of character and maturity,” Hamilton said.
Curtis completed 4 of 10 passing for 54 yards and ran 21 times for 50 yards and two scores. Dobson threw for 85 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Wilson carried the ball 12 times for a team-high 74 yards and had a 12-yard catch while Carey’s TD was his lone reception on a team-best four targets.
Shasta tallied three sacks in the game, two from Braden Rohde, who had several quarterback pressures, and another from Anthony Slayton. Aiden Allsop and Slayton each neared double-digit tackles in the game while JaQuay Mills recovered a fumble.
Shasta hosts #22 Diablo Valley College Saturday at 6 p.m.
Tyler Carey’s 73-yard touchdown catch was the longest pass play for the Knights since Dylan Desmarais threw a 73-yard touchdown to Brock Barr in 2014 against Mendocino … Reyjon Williams had the longest kick return for a touchdown in school history, breaking Jason Sehorn’s record of a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown in 1991 against College of the Redwoods, according to the Knights record book. It was also the first kick return for a touchdown for the Knights since Nick Smith ran back a 93-yarder against Butte College on Nov. 16, 2019 … Shasta owns the all-time record against Delta 3-2.