UNLEASHED: Bear Cubs open with a win


Photo by Joe Barkoff/Oak Leaf

Quinten McCoy intercepts the end of the game hail-mary, putting an end to Delta’s hopes of catching the Bear Cubs in their season opener Saturday, Sept. 6 at Delta Communtiy College in Stockton.

Joseph Barkoff, Sports Photo Editor

Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs football players have had enough of hitting each other. Saturday Sept. 6 the Bear Cubs boarded their respective offensive and defensive busses bound for Stockton to open the 2014 season against Delta College. Last year Delta was not on the schedule, so the day’s adventure begins into the unknown.

SRJC’s head coach Lenny Wagner knows that any team in his division is a contender, and today will be no different. Though Coach is sure of one thing, the Bear Cubs are ready for their first opponent and are tired of hitting each other during practice and are looking forward to putting their metal to the test.

Delta won the toss electing to receive the first kickoff of the game where they proceeded to go three and out.

SRJC took the field with Christian McAlvain under center in his first start for the Bear Cubs. Showing confidence in his fresh squad, on fourth and two, in the first drive of the game, Wagner gives the “go for it” and the Bear Cubs do just that. McAlvain scrambles for the first down and more on a busted pass play eventually running in the first touchdown of the day with 9:08 left in the first quarter.

By the end of the first quarter the score was heavily in favor of the Bear Cubs 21-0, but there is plenty of football left and no one in this division can be discounted.

The opening drive of the second quarter culminated with an impressive Bear Cub 45 yard field goal by place kicker Cody Waterman, followed up with a kickoff 7 yards deep into the end zone negating any chance of a Delta return. With 13:30 left in the third quarter, the term plenty of game left comes to fruition.

With a fumble by Desmond Nisby, Delta converts to a touchdown and the momentum begins to waver with 10:29 left in the first half. Delta scored another touchdown on their next possession leaving 5:19 still on the clock in the first half. The Bear Cubs botched coverage on the ensuing kickoff resulting in a turn over and Delta ball on the SRJC 21 yard line.

The first half ends SRJC 24-Delta 14 with Delta feeling like they were still very much in the fight.

Despite the first possession of the second half resulting in Nisby plowing through Delta like a flailing 225 lb. steam roller pushing the JC score to 31, the Bear Cubs concentration seemed to falter.

Regardless of momentum and faltering concentration, the Bear Cubs were able to hold onto the lead taking a victory over Delta by final score of SRJC 31- Delta 21.

“I feel good because we made a ton of mistakes and we still were able to get away with the win so we get to have a lot of good conversations with guys on things they need to improve on and we have really good examples to show them why we need to improve on them because we let that team back in the game based on some of the mistakes we made so really it’s kind of a win-win to be able to have all that stuff and have the victory. It feels pretty good because if we can clean up some of those things we are just gonna get better,” Wagner said.

The Bear Cubs will face a true challenge when they take the field against last year’s co-National Champion, Butte College, at 5 p.m. Sept. 13 on Bailey Field.