Gritty game delivers first win of the season


Comet wide reciever Dominique Latham catches a pass for a first quarter touchdown during Contra Cota College’s 35-33 win against College of the Redwoods at Comet Stadium in San Pablo, California on on Sept. 5.

By Luis Cortes, Sports Editor

The 2019-20 football season had not been kind to Contra Costa College (1-3 overall, 1-0 in the Pacific 7 Conference) with the team dropping its first three games of the season, the third a 66-7 trouncing against Reedley College on Sept. 21.

However, in the team’s first conference game Saturday against College of the Redwoods (1-3 overall, 0-1 in the Pac 7), CCC earned a 35-33 win.

The Comets return to action Saturday against Merced College at 3 p.m. in Comet Stadium.

Comet coach Patrick Henderson applauded his team’s defensive effort.

“Defensively, we got big play,” Henderson said.

CCC found itself down seven points early in the first half after a deflected pass off defender Marcus Finney’s hands bounced right to Redwoods’ wide receiver Jamari Sweet for the game’s first touchdown.

The score ballooned to 14-0 with 6:65 in the first quarter following a second quick Redwoods TD.

All seemed lost for the Comets after punting from their own end zone following a quick three and out on offense. Redwoods defensive end Zachary Mahoney came racing off the edge and blocked

Keegan Grayson-Zehrung’s punt for another Redwoods touchdown, pushing the score to 21-0 Redwoods.

The Comets got on the scoreboard after converting a fourth and goal from the one-yard line with a designed quarterback run by Jaylen Tregle.

After a blocked extra point, the Comets trailed the Corsairs 21-6.

But soon CCC suddenly got back into the game after Grayson-Zehrung’s kickoff was poorly played by a Redwoods’ returner whose fumble was recovered by CCC’s Darion Dunlap-Johnson at the Corsairs’ 20-yard line.

The Comets offensive drive was slowed by a late substitution forcing CCC to take its second time out. The short drive was capped off when Dominique Latham caught his second TD of the season cutting Redwoods’ lead to 21-12.

Latham, a freshman wide receiver, said he was extremely pumped for his team.

“It feels great to win, because every day, that’s what we practice and plan for. Hard work pays off,” Latham said.

The Comets ended the first half of a game they could have dominated trailing 27-26.

After a scoreless third quarter dominated by both defenses, the Comets took a 32-27 lead after a 1-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Jaylen Tregle.

The Corsairs retook the lead 33-32 with 10:42 left in the game.

After what seemed to be a clear interception for Dunlap-Johnson, Redwoods’ Sweet found a way to gain possession of the ball for his second score of the game.

CCC’s Riley Lee kicked what turned out to be the game-winning field goal with 5:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.

With 15 seconds left in the game and down 35-33, Redwoods sophomore kicker Roberto Ortiz lined up for a 37-yard field goal to win the game — but his kick was wide left.

Comet Stadium erupted with joy, delight and relief with the victory.

Defensive coach Tim Johnson said his team and defense stepped up and showed the rewards of working hard.

“Everyone deserves this — players and coaches. This is what we work hard for during practice and meetings throughout the week,” Johnson said.