A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

SRJC wins final regular season game but misses out on playoffs

Albert Gregory
SRJC sophomore wide receiver Ben Putman fights through multiple tackles and falls into the end zone to score one of seven receiving touchdowns for the Bear Cubs in their 53-30 win on Nov. 12.

The Bear Cubs offense helped seal a 53-30 victory over De Anza College in what was a must-win for Santa Rosa Junior College on Nov. 12 at De Anza College.

SRJC knew that if they did not win the game, the season and any hopes of making playoffs were over.

The Bear Cubs offense started out stagnant and was only able to put up seven points in the first quarter on a 10-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Mitch Hood to sophomore wide receiver Kerr Johnson Jr.

“It was flat at the beginning of the game,” said head coach Lenny Wagner. “It was scary because these guys are impressive.”

Despite having a losing record, De Anza challenged the Bear Cubs defense more than any other team they’ve faced this season.

“They’ve lost nine games in a row and you wouldn’t think it. They play hard,” Wagner “There is no quit in those guys.”

In the second quarter SRJC’s offense came alive, scoring three touchdowns and two field goals.

But the defense, which struggled throughout the game, allowed a touchdown and a field goal in that same quarter to give SRJC a 26-9 lead at halftime.

“It was great team win,” said sophomore center Jalen Soto. “Our defense struggled a little bit, but the offense pulled it through.”

SRJC’s offense had its best performance of the season to date.  Hood threw for 460 yards and completed 30 passes on 40 attempts. Hood also threw seven touchdowns, is a season-high for the sophomore.

“I’m really happy about the way they played and a lot of backups had to step up because our roster size,” Wagner said.

The Bear Cubs offense continued their success in the second half, outscoring their opponent 20-14 to secure the victory.

SRJC’s defense has been the foundation of the Bear Cubs team all season, but at the last game of the regular season they were not at their best. They allowed 338 yards, including 145 rushing yards.

“The team did cool,” said sophomore defensive back Keilan Benjamin. “Defensively we had some mental breakdowns though.”

Benjamin and other players on the team felt the defense wasn’t performing up to their ability because their minds were focused on the fact that their season might be over.

“Its depressing because we had a long season and we went 7-0 and our first goal was thinking state,” Benjamin said. “But now its like damn we lost two fluke games, and we don’t know if we’re making playoffs now.”

Despite winning the game the Bear Cubs will miss playoffs and instead play in a bowl game against the College of the Siskiyous.

“Wherever we make it to its still a blessing,” Soto said. “Whether it be playoffs or it be a bowl game.”

The Bear Cubs will play their last game of the season against College of the Siskiyous in a bowl game Nov. 19 at Bailey Field.

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Albert Gregory
Albert Gregory, Managing Editor

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