Vikings offensive onslaught overpowers Comets


Denis Perez / The Advocate

A Viking defender tackles Comet quarterback Davin Lemon-Rodriguez during a scramble on Saturday night at Comet Stadium.

By Rob Clinton, Sports Editor

Hosting its first and only night game of the season, the football team (0-8 overall and 0-3 in the National Bay 6 Conference) soared to an early lead in the contest, but were eventually grounded by district rival Diablo Valley College 44-16 Saturday at Comet Stadium.

After leading for the majority of last week’s homecoming game against hapless DeAnza College before falling 15-12 and hosting the families of its sophomore players for sophomore night against DVC, the Comets took the field with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose.

From the opening kickoff, it was clear that both teams recognized this game as an inner-district rivalry.

After a near third down interception by Comet sophomore defensive back Jakil Sarhim on DVC’s opening drive, CCC scored its first points of the game by knocking a fumbled snap to the Viking punter out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

Just seconds into the contest, the Comets led 2-0.

“We don’t quit, we’re going to finish the whole season,” coach Pat Henderson said. “There will be tough times regardless of what you do in life or in relationships — you don’t quit, you fight to the end.”

Not to be outdone by its often-maligned special teams play, the Comet offense produced another score in the first quarter before the Viking offense had a chance to touch the football.

Comet sophomore receiver Semaj Mitchell put his team in scoring position with a 24-yard kick return following the Viking safety. Then, sophomore Davin Lemon-Rodriguez led a 5-play, 57-yard drive culminated by a 5-yard Lemon-Rodriguez to Cassius Banks completion for CCC’s first touchdown of the night.

However, for the Comets, a 9-0 first quarter lead and ownership of the contest’s momentum was welcomed — yet extremely short lived.

The Comets play its last game of the season at San Francisco City College Saturday at 1 p.m.

On DVC’s first offensive possession from scrimmage, running back Miles Harrison took a sweep 80 yards up the Comet sideline to give the Vikings its first score and a stab at getting back into the contest.

The Vikings would score once more before the end of the first quarter leaving CCC with a 14-9 deficit after 15 minutes of play.

However, CCC was prepared for the Viking onslaught and quickly regained the lead just 10 seconds into the second quarter on a 9-yard Lemon-Rodriguez to Mitchell scoring strike to give the Comets a 16-14 advantage.

“It takes time, every play isn’t going to be successful, as long as we are getting better every week,” CCC offensive lineman Malik Davis said. “It’s just about maintaining continuous growth.”

Comet sophomore Corey Juarez had his most productive night of the season, rushing for a workmanlike 69 yards on 22 carries.

After being admonished by coaches on the sideline for not hitting the hole fast enough, Juarez began to inflict damage on Viking defenders forcing would-be tacklers into pairing up to take down the Comet hammer.

“I have a habit of jumping into the hole and my coaches saw me hesitate and they told me to be prepared to hit and run right through the contact and that’s what I did,” Juarez said.

CCC yielded two more scores to DVC in the second quarter.

The first came on a 4-yard run the second by way of a 36-yard pick-six with 26 seconds to play before halftime.

At the break, the Comets trailed the Vikings 28-16.

It was not the pick-six just before halftime that seemed to doom the Comet chances, it was the team’s first possession after the break that eventually sealed its fate.

In the series, Juarez rushed for 17 yards on three carries and Lemon-Rodriguez notched another completion to Banks before the quarterback left the game momentarily due to injury. Back-up quarterback Rudy Norwood entered the game after refrigerating on the sideline for most of the evening.

By the second half, many of the fans still in attendance were buried under blankets or embedded inside of tightly-drawn hoods.

Norwood’s first pass from his chilly hands was intercepted and returned 91-yards for a Viking touchdown which extended the visiting team’s lead to 34-16.

The score came just three minutes into the second half but because of the success CCC was having on the drive coupled with the way Norwood’s interception took the air out of the team, it was effectively the Comet’s final play of the game.

DVC would score another touchdown and a field goal to eventually win the game 44-16.