Defense forces turnovers, offense fails to capitalize


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Comet defensive back Dayvonne Greenwood (left) flicks the ball from Merced College running back Daniel Davis (right) who fumbles the ball during the third quarter of the Blue Devils 21-2 win over Contra Costa College at Comet Stadium on Saturday.

By Luis Cortes, Sports Editor

The football team (1-4 overall, 1-0 in the Pacific 7 conference) faced off against Merced College (3-2 overall, 1-0 in the Golden Coast Conference) Saturday at Comet Stadium and the Blue Devils escaped with a 21-2 win.

CCC had multiple opportunities to score more points but weren’t helped by multiple turnovers.

The Comets won the time of possession, 34:37 to 25:23 and also totaled 216 yards of offense with 19 first downs.

Comet coach Patrick Henderson said that some of his players must be willing to sacrifice to improve the team while also getting over their selfishness.

“Some guys were thinking about themselves, but we have to be selfless, work hard every day and when that happens, we will see a new outcome,” Henderson said.

Henderson also gives props to his defense for showing up but stresses the need to score when in the red zone.

“It’s tough when losing the ball in the red-zone. A critical moment was on a fourth and one when we fumbled and couldn’t get it in,” Henderson said.

The team returns to the field Saturday to play San Jose City College at 1 p.m. in San Jose.

After receiving the opening kickoff, CCC proceeded to drive to Merced’s 37-yard line only to see the drive stall after Merced’s 3-yard sack on third and thirteen forced a CCC punt.

However, Merced’s Jake Narayan muffed the punt, which was recovered by CCC at Merced’s 48-yard line.

The Comets gained 23 yards and moved the ball to Merced’s 27-yard line, but pushed back eight yards after a holding penalty on CCC. On the next play, Comet quarterback Jason Tregle’s pass intended for wide receiver Dominique Latham was intercepted by Brandon McKinney, who missed a pick-six only after Latham tackled him at CCC’s 24-yard line.

Once again, the Comet defense came up big, forcing a turnover on downs. This was after Merced went for it on fourth and 16 after a six-yard tackle for loss by Comet defender Keegan Grayson-Zehrung.

CCC began the drive at their 20 and on the first play, sophomore running back Jerald Daniels fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Merced. The Blue Devils used the short field to score the first TD of the game on an Osby Green 2-yard quarterback run.

The Comets’ unfortunate luck continued.

A Merced sack knocked out Tregle for a snap and forced CCC to bring in backup Malik Stewart on their own 15-yard-line.

Stewart fumbled his first snap after coming into the game, losing the ball at CCC’s 12-yard line. Again the Blue Devils took advantage and scored on another short TD.

After the score and extra point, CCC trailed 14-0 going into halftime.

Coming out of the break, CCC got on the board after a bad snap on a Merced punt attempted at Merced’s 42-yard line.

With the ball bouncing backward toward the end zone, Comet players were unable to pick it up for a touchdown. Instead they kicked the ball into the end zone for a safety.

These missed opportunities doomed the team for the rest of the game.

The Comets were now down 14-2 in the third quarter.

With seven minutes left in the third quarter, the Comets had an opportunity to shrink the Blue Devils’ lead after CCC’s defense forced a fumble and recovered it at the 48-yard line.

CCC’s efforts were fruitless and the scoring drought continued for the entirety of the contest.