Victory remains elusive for team

Defensive, offensive lapses continue to define results

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The football team (0-4) continued its offensive woes and defensive struggles, this time on the road, losing a one-sided shootout 41-6 to Modesto Junior College (1-3) Saturday in Modesto.

With just one game to play before the National Bay 6 Conference portion of its season begins, the Comets have yet to find its team identity, or a recipe for victory.

“We’re getting on track, but just like anything new it’s going to take some struggles, some lessons learned and that’s just part of the process,” coach Pat Henderson said. “It’s tough to look at it that way because of the recent success of the program. The result doesn’t always show in the end product the way we would like it to — we have to bring it all together and make it one complete game.”

Showing no signs of continuity, the Comet offense, which netted just 90 yards in total, continued to strain its defense by not sustaining drives.

CCC’s offense earned just 12 first downs compared to 27 gathered by the Pirates.

A collection of short drives usually means a longer time of possession for the opposing team. However, Modesto had four-play, three-play and two-play scoring drives that ate only 90 seconds off the clock in the first half.

Even with the Comet defense’s propensity for yielding quick scoring drives, CCC’s lack of offensive production gave MJC a 30-27 minute time of possession advantage over CCC at game’s end.

Those 21 first half points, coupled with a 4-yard Modesto touchdown pass and interception returned 60 yards for another score, gave the Pirates a  35-0 lead at halftime.

“We need to play together as a team and work out the details — little things,” CCC defensive lineman Wyvonne Birden said. “I feel like if we can do that we will be better.”

Sophomore receiver Courtney Beane was the lone bright spot for CCC in the contest with 108 yards of total offense.

Beane earned 66 yards returning kicks and 42 yards receiving, which eclipsed his team’s total offensive output from scrimmage (90 yards).

In the second half, both teams played to a 6-6 stalemate, but the damage was already done.

“We haven’t figured it out yet,” CCC defensive back Marcus Pippen said. “We still have some things to fix. We need to work hard as players and as a team.”

The Comets only touchdown came by way of a 14-yard Rudy Norwood (10-30 for 72 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions) to Beane touchdown reception with just 6 minutes to play in the game.

The Comets return to action Friday, in their last non-conference game, against Laney College (3-1) at 7 p.m. in Oakland.