Giants fall at state-ranked Shasta

Giants fall at state-ranked Shasta

By Nick Giannandrea

COS Athletics

College of the Sequoias' football team held state-ranked Shasta to three points and 75 yards during the second half of their non-conference showdown Oct. 5 in Redding.

Unfortunately for the Giants (3-2), the Knights (5-0) did most of their damage in the first half.

Shasta, which entered ranked Nos. 15 and 11 in the state's two major polls, rolled out to a 17-point first-half lead en route to a 20-7 victory over COS.

The Giants were ultimately unable to recover from the game's first 5 minutes, when they failed to capitalize on a possession inside Knights' territory after recovering a fumbled punt, and gave up a 29-yard touchdown pass from Hokulani Wickward to Brandon Morris one play after Shasta intercepting a Gus Villareal pass.

COS responded with rushes of 11 and 20 yards by Davonte Green (Hammond, La.) and a 43-yard pass play from Villareal (Dinuba) to Bryson Allen (Tulare Union) to move to the Shasta 6-yard line, but a short run and consecutive plays for losses led to a 37-yard field goal attempt by Dominic Hernandez (Tulare Western) that went wide left.

The Knights would extend their lead to 14-0 with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter when Wickward and Morris connected on an 8-yard touchdown to cap a 13-play, 69-yard drive, their longest of the game.

Shasta's only other extended drive of the night - seven plays and 62 yards - led to Matthew Ramirez' 21-yard field goal at the first-half buzzer for a 17-0 lead.

COS, which entered ranked No. 21 in the JC Athletic Bureau's Coaches Poll and No. 23 by the California Community College Sports Information Association, failed to capitalize on good field possession when Noah Beukers (Washington Union) intercepted the Knights' first pass attempt of the second half.

The Giants finally got on the board with 3:22 to play in the third quarter on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Villareal to Allen to make it 17-7, but Shasta responded on its next possession with a 24-yard Ramirez field goal.

Shasta held COS to negative 5 yards on its four fourth-quarter possessions.

The Giants allowed five sacks and were 1 of 13 on third down.

Villareal finished 9 of 29 for 168 yards. Miguel Wharton (Sierra Pacific) led COS in rushing with 52 yards on eight carries. Green added 48 yards on 12 carries. Allen caught three passes for 93 yards, while Jalen Oliver (Perry, Fla.) had two catches for 54 yards.

Rook Landers (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the defense with 10 tackles. Mitch Maggini (Riverdale) and Beukers added seven each. Bobby Peele (Edison) added his fourth interception of the season.

COS is idle this weekend before returning to action to open Valley Conference play Oct. 19 at consensus state No. 3-ranked Modesto (4-1), which lost 35-12 against state No. 2 San Mateo on Oct. 5.

The Giants' next home game is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 26 against San Joaquin Delta at Giant Chevrolet and Cadillac Mineral King Bowl. The game will be COS' homecoming.