Strong defense nets win at home

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The Contra Costa College football (1-0) team started slow, but found its rhythm late en route to a 37-12 victory over Cabrillo College (0-1) Saturday at Comet stadium.

After losing a large chunk of last year’s team, the newer looking Comets led by freshman quarterback Cameron Burston wasted no time erasing the 0 on its side of the scoreboard.

In a play that exemplified the quick strike nature of the revamped CCC offense, Burston let off a 77-yard touchdown strike to Comet receiver Deshan Nelson.

“It’s a little different on this level so I had to adjust to the speed of the players early on, but as the game got going we got on track,” Burston said.

He continued his pocket mastery early in the second half when he hit Sterling Taylor with a two-yard touchdown strike.

The score put the Comets up 13-0 after the failed kick by Lorran Fonseca with 10:28 remaining in the half.

Although the Comets seemed to be shaking off the summer rust, coach Alonzo Carter felt there were many things the team needed to improve upon.

“We are more talented than a lot of teams, we are just young,” Carter said. “The next three weeks is going to be like death row — there is nothing easy.”

Over the next three weeks CCC will face three teams starting with an away game at West Hills-Coalinga on Sept. 12, who dealt the Comets its only loss last season.

The Comets, however, also struggled against Reedley and Merced College last season. In these two games CCC edged to victory by a few points.

The CCC defense was up to the task in its first matchup.

Throughout the course of the game against Cabrillo, CCC held the Seahawks to an average of 2.4 yard gains per play.

It was blanking Cabrillo for the majority of the first half, only surrendering 6 points just before halftime, that set the tone for the defense.

CCC also forced two fumbles and one interception, and was returned for 23 yards by Comet defensive back Jackson Finch.

“It felt like the left side was closing, that’s why I cut across the field,” Finch said. “After I looked at the film I think I was fast enough to get through to the end zone up the left.”

The defense also netted three sacks for the game.

At halftime the Comets led 20-6.

To start the second half, Cabrillo came out with a stronger sense of urgency. After a 60-yard kickoff, Comet Malcolm Hale fumbled the ball and gave possession back to the Seahawks.

Cabrillo made the most of the mistake and drove 46 yards in 4 plays to culminate a 11-yard touchdown run by Maurice McFadden. The points brought the Seahawks within one touchdown at 12-20 — just two minutes after halftime.

The next two scores were all Comets. First, Fonseca redeemed himself after the extra point miss by nailing a 26-yard field goal with 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Then, sophomore receiver Frank Stephens scored 77-yard touchdown from a Burston pass similar to the 75-yard score Stephens got when the two teams met early last season.

Those two scores gave the Comets a much needed cushion at 30-12.

CCC’s defense passed its first live action test allowing just 156 total yards on 66 offensive plays in total.

Although the time of possession was nearly identical, 30 minutes for CCC and 29 minutes for Cabrillo, the Comets dominated most aspects of the game.

The contest was finally out of reach for the visitors when Comet Louis Michael broke free for a 26-yard touchdown run that gave the Comets a 25-point lead with under 10 minutes remaining.

The Comet defense held its own and the only Cabrillo score in the second half came on a penalty assisted, four-play, drive.

The team returns to action at home on Sept.19 against Reedley College.