Big plays help Dons slay football team

By Alex Kwasniza, Staff Writer

After a valiant comeback attempt in the third quarter, the Comet football team (0-7 overall, 0-3 in the Pacific 7 Conference) failed to fight back into contention and eventually lost 41-14 to De Anza College Saturday in Comet Stadium.
The Dons (5-1 overall, 3-0 in the Pac 7) opened the game by taking a commanding 21-0 lead before halftime. This was accomplished by big plays and an opportunistic defense that capitalized on Comet mistakes.
Contra Costa College began to mount a comeback on the team’s first drive of the third quarter thanks to a 7-yard touchdown run up the middle by running back Steven Harvey.
Harvey said it felt good to finally break out a decent run for a touchdown. The touchdown brought the score to 21-7 with nine minutes to play in the quarter.
De Anza’s rush defense held strong the entire game and only allowed the Comets 36 yards of rushing on 25 carries for the game.
The third-quarter scoring drive had been extended by a surprise fake punt executed by punter Kyle Jarvis on fourth down with 3 yards to go. The play wasn’t completely designed to be a fake as it was set up as more of an option for Jarvis to read and react to the defense. If the defense was in front of him he would punt. If he could run for a first down, he would.
His recognition proved correct, leading to a 20-yard streak down the sideline and a Comet first down.
“That was a good job on Kyle’s behalf to just recognize that and make a play,” Comet coach Patrick Henderson said.
The football team remains winless this season with three games left to play. The next opportunity for a Comet victory is at sister college Los Medanos in Pittsburg this Saturday at 1 p.m.
After a De Anza field goal midway through the third quarter that made the score 24-7, Comet quarterback Riley Lee came firing back with a deep pass down the right sideline to wide receiver Kyree Jackson.
Jackson made the catch and ran the rest of the way for an 80-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 24-14, trimming the Dons’ lead to 10.
“I saw there was one man on Kyree (Jackson), so I just threw it up and let him do the rest,” quarterback Lee said.
Henderson said the team held strong in the third quarter by not giving up big plays and continuing to make attempts to execute the game plan.
“I think that’s one thing that we just continue to try to improve on week-in and week-out. It’s tough (to do that) not having a win,” he said.
Harvey said, “The effort was there. I can say we didn’t quit, and we rallied around each other the whole game. Nobody turned their back on each other.”
The Comet comeback aspirations would end late in the third quarter as the Dons dominated the rest of the game with a strong rushing and passing attack.
Their strategy was spearheaded by an alternating quarterback strategy between quarterbacks Oliver Svirsky (263 passing yards) and Eduardo Andrade (61 rushing yards).
Henderson said the dual quarterback approach was a tough adjustment for the defense, but it wasn’t a big surprise. The Comets just have to execute a little better.
The Dons offense took advantage of the Comet defense with big scoring plays in the first half, starting on the second play from scrimmage with a 71-yard touchdown run down the sideline by running back Nicholas Sermons.
CCC had hoped to stay close to its 14-point deficit heading into halftime, but with 35 seconds left in the second quarter, De Anza’s quarterback changed that plan. On a broken play, Svirsky scrambled away from the Comet pass rush and threw a 42-yard pass into the end zone to receiver Bruce Jones. That score extended the Don lead to 21-0 at halftime.
“I think we did a decent job trying to contain (De Anza). But you know, big plays are always going to kill you,” Henderson said.