In its last regular season game of the 2014 season Santa Rosa Junior College’s football team took a circuitous route to Pleasant Hill, facing Diablo Valley College to see whose 2-2 conference record ends above 500.
Deferring to receive the ball in the second half, the Bear Cubs kicked the ball into the hands of DVC’s Vikings to begin the game.
Not quite achieving the coveted three-and-out, the Bear Cubs were able to smother the Vikings at their own 34-yard line where the Vikes tried to boot a confident 51-yard field goal. The kick was short and a turnover on downs ensued.
McAlvain and his trench-mates took the field for their possession of the game with 13:15 left to go in the first quarter. Out of the gate McAlvain was sacked for a loss of 1-yard. The next snap saw a ball fly incomplete to Terrence Drew
Third and 11, two-and-a-half minutes into the game, McAlvain, never losing faith, took the snap, dropped back and let a spiral fly. The ball fell into the hands of Drew who proceeded to take the rock into the end zone from 67-yards for the first score of the night.
Three plays, 46 seconds. The Bear Cubs looked like they were in their early season form.
The Vikings took the ball after the kick off on their 30. The first play from scrimmage DVC’s Adam Wood connected to CJ Cromwell for a 48-yard strike. Not even five minutes elapsed and if it wasn’t crowded in the stands, we might have seen a tumbleweed roll by.
Four plays later, third down, in the redzone on the Bear Cubs’ 16-yard line, Wood tossed a ball over the middle and Bear Cub Stephen Kenins leapt up, tipped the ball almost straight up and off its line. As Kenins fell to the ground the ball fell into his grasp where he secured it against his chest for an interception.
SRJC went three and out following the interception with a punt, but Vai Taito recovered the ball on DVC’s first play of their new possession and it was Bear Cubs’ ball again.
The Bear Cubs would follow this turnover with a score on a 4-yard TD run by workhorse Desmond Nisby, plowing over and through the Vikings like little kids trying to tackle a grown man. With only seven minutes gone in a 60-minute game, Santa Rosa was up 14-0 and it looked like it might turn into a long night for DVC.
With 52 minutes to go and DVC defending its own field for the last game of the regular season, the game was far from over.
Two drives later resulted in a TD for DVC on a 53-yard toss from Woods to Efrain Montalvo with 2 minutes remaining in the first. The extra point was blocked by Cameron Drummond bringing the score to 14-6.
The following Bear Cub possession McAlvain tossed a pick-six interception and though the rushing PAT would fail, the score was now 14-12 with 50 seconds before the end of the first quarter, but the beginning of DVC clawing its way back into the game.
Both teams had three fumbles and two sacks against. Both had interceptions against, and failed field goal attempts. Not one ball tumbled through the uprights for three points on the night’s game. DVC failed five of its six PAT’s and both teams committed enough combined penalties to make the ‘70s Raiders want their record back.
Despite the strong beginning, head coach Lenny Wagner and his staff could not will a win for their players.
“We let them stay in the game,” Wagner said. “We had a chance to put our foot on them and put them away but we didn’t take advantage of it. Once again, the penalties, our kicking game and the deep ball got the best of us.”
The final score ended with a defeat for the Bear Cubs by a difference of three points, 41-44 in favor of DVC.
The Bear Cubs finish the season 7-3 and 2-3 in conference play. The Bear Cubs take their sixth place National Division ranking into post season for one bowl game, the State Center Bowl hosted by Fresno City College against National Divisional, ranked number 11, Fresno City Nov. 22.