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Strong second half lifts No. 21 Shasta over West Hills 35-21

Shasta College's CJ Williams, pictured in the season opener against Delta, returned an interception for a touchdown against West Hills on Saturday. (FILE - Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)

For the second straight week, the Shasta College football team overcame a sluggish first half to pull out a road victory.

The 21st ranked Knights scored 28 straight points in the second half, getting a CJ Williams interception return for a touchdown, to beat West Hills 35-21 Saturday in a game that was originally scheduled as the season-opener on Labor Day weekend.

Knights coverage is presented by Shasta OrthopaedicsTri Counties Bank and Redding Rancheria.

Sophomore running back Tyler Boston rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, surpassing 100 total yards in every game this year.

Shasta rotated quarterbacks in the game and it was backup Gavin Dobson who got the Knights on the board first. Dobson found Josiah Graham for a 24-yard touchdown pass late in the opening quarter. Shasta nearly went up two scores but Toren Tuttle’s pass was intercepted at the West Hills 6-yard line.

That gave the Falcons momentum as they marched on a 12-play, 90-yard drive to even it at 7 before half. West Hills carried that over to the third quarter and scored on a 14-play drive capped by a 9-yard run by Joel Galvin to go ahead 14-7 early in the period.

Shasta’s defense buckled down from there, forcing four three-and-outs and intercepting a pass on the next five Falcon possessions.

Dobson’s 2-yard touchdown run tied it at 14 in the third quarter to kickstart four Knight touchdowns in a 5-minute, 42-second span. Boston found pay dirt from 1-yard out, Williams picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown two plays later and Dobson connected with Tyler Carey for a 54-yard touchdown pitch and catch to score three times across eight plays from scrimmage for a 35-14 lead.

“It was a long road trip and at times we played like it was a long road trip,” Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton said. “After a sluggish start, I was proud of how we responded in the second half.”

West Hills tacked on a 49-yard touchdown with 6:12 left in the game and accumulated 77 of its 356 passing yards in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.

Shasta’s defense held West Hills to 51 yards rushing on 26 attempts. Jaiden Harris had a team-best 10 tackles, Anthony Slayton had seven tackles, Tyrese Randall had two tackles for a loss and a sack.

Dobson was 4-of-9 passing for 134 yards, one interception and three total touchdowns and Tuttle was 5-of-10 passing for 67 yards and an interception. Carey had 118 total yards on two catches and two rushing attempts.

The Knights (3-1) head into NorCal Conference play as one of only two teams in the conference with a winning record. Shasta hosts American River, ranked 22nd last week, on Saturday for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

“We have to be much better this week and I expect us to be much better,” Hamilton said.

#21 Shasta 3-1
#24 Sierra 3-2
#22 American River 2-3
#18 Butte 2-3
Siskiyous 1-4
Santa Rosa 0-5

T.J. is a national-award winning journalist passionate about local news and telling the story no one else knows about. He’s roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010 and is a content producer from sunup to sundown. Sports are a hobby he shares with his wife Tracy where they’ve spent many dates around a field or court of some sort.

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