Squad drops first three games

Errors, penalties plague struggling freshman team

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

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ROCKLIN — After coming out flat and earning more yards in penalties (102 yards) than in the passing game (95 yards), the Comet football team finds itself resting in the basement of the Bay 6 Conference after a 35-20 loss to Sierra College here Saturday.

So far this season Contra Costa College (0-3) has outscored its opponents 57-28 in the second half, but lethargic starts were never more apparent than Saturday against the Wolverines (1-2).

The Comets played eight offensive series before halftime with three punts, two fumbles, two interceptions and a turnover-on-downs during that span.

“The second half score was 20-7. It wasn’t just the offense (in the first half). Both offense and defense took turns not making plays,” Comet coach Alonzo Carter said. “Whether it was fumbles or missed tackles, it was the little things that made the difference.”

In this game, as well as in the last game against Sacramento City College, whenever the Comets began to gain momentum an official’s flag would inevitably call a pivotal play back.

The Comets return to action Saturday at 1 p.m. against Modesto Junior College at Comet Stadium.

Being at the wrong end of an official’s call is something all Comet athletes should be used to, but combined with the 95 degree on-field temperature the situation became physically and emotionally draining.

Trailing 15-0 early in the second quarter following a Sierra passing score and a fumble recovery for another touchdown, the Comet offense sputtered along with quarterback Cameron Burston throwing an interception.

The Wolverines capitalized quickly by tossing an eight-yard touchdown that saw its receiver Isiah Bradley snag the ball from between the outstretched arms of two CCC defenders for a miraculous catch in the front corner of the end zone.

The score gave Sierra a 22-0 lead with eight minutes to play before halftime.

As the players on the field and some of the Comet fans began to succumb to the temperature, the coaching staff and players implored CCC players to lose their defeated posture and remember its championship pedigree.

“I don’t think I’ve ever started a season 0-3 in my life,” Comet safety Malik Hale said. “We are missing assignments, getting plays mixed up. We aren’t playing disciplined. We’re going to have a team meeting Monday to talk about it.”

The Wolverines tacked on another six points before halftime, following another Burston interception, with an 8-yard touchdown as mere seconds remained on the clock before the half ended.

At halftime Sierra led the Comets 28-0.

With CCC blanked on the scoreboard in the first half, the hiatus marked the longest scoring drought for the team in over two seasons.

The Comets were held scoreless in four straight quarters of football, going back to the second half of its last game against Sacramento City College Sept. 10.

The Comets opened the second half on a mission.

On Sierra’s opening drive of the second half, CCC defensive lineman Richie George sacked Wolverine quarterback Adam Besana for a 5-yard loss on the Sierra 45-yard line.

Besana fumbled as he was dragged to the ground and Comet defensive back Chandler Gumbs scooped up the ball and scurried 55 yards for CCC’s first score of the day.

The Comets trailed 28-7 after the touchdown.

The score brought most of the Comet squad out of its malaise, but another 29-yard run for Sierra’s only touchdown of the second half, settled the squad back into its perpetual doldrum.

Trailing 35-7 it was Burston’s father whose motivational words from the bleachers inspired his son and the players around him.

Six minutes into the third quarter, CCC running back Maurell Robinson sliced through the Wolverine defense and dashed 56 yards to the end zone.

After a missed extra point, and numerous failed drives, CCC was down by 22 points.

But Comet running back Harris Ross got in on the scoring action with an 8-yard touchdown as time wound down in the game. This was the last score of the game.

“A loss is a loss and if you aren’t ready to work you can leave now,” Burston told his teammates after the game.

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