American River College’s football team was defeated by College of San Mateo by a score of 42-10, in a game which ARC’s defense surrendered 298 total yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground.
Though no CSM running back had more than 100 yards, three of its backs finished with more than 50 yards rushing.
CSM running backs Ramiah Marshall and David Rango had a rushing touchdown of 65 and 50 yards respectively. Marshal averaged 11.5 yards per carry and Rango averaged 17.
“We had some mental mistakes that cost us some big plays. Mistakes with our option responsibilities, (we) weren’t as disciplined as we needed to be,” said ARC defensive coordinator Lou Baiz.
Although ARC was able to contain many of CSM’s interior runs, they had trouble when CSM ran to the outside, as most of its explosive runs came around the edges.
“We missed tackles at the point of attack,” said ARC head coach Jon Osterhout. “When you miss tackles at the point of attack, it could be devastating.”
“It’s triple option football. Assignment sound football and tackling. That’s all it comes down to,” said Osterhout.
CSM was able to score a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, as quarterback Dru Brown engineered a 10 play, 57 yard drive that ended when he found a wide open Rango on third and nine for the score.
ARC was unable to move the ball on its first possession following the touchdown, gaining just 15 yards on five plays before having to punt the ball away.
For ARC, that drive would mark the beginning of its offensive problems.
ARC finished the game with 257 yards of total offense, was six of 18 on third down, and fumbled the ball four times, losing one.
Three of these fumbles happened on poor snaps from shotgun which accounted for 31 total yards lost.
ARC starting quarterback Jihad Vercher, who exited the game in the second quarter with a chest injury, said he “settled” on his bad plays and did not move on.
Vercher was replaced by freshman Chris Guillen and finished 4-13 for 43 yards and two interceptions. Guillen finished 4-10 for 32 yards and one interception.
While ARC’s quarterbacks struggled, CSM’s Brown finished the game 9-16 for 165 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to wide receiver Johnny Niupalu.
Perhaps Brown’s most important play of the day came in the first quarter with the game tied at seven.
On fourth down and 10 at ARC’s 27-yard line, Brown scrambled to his right and hit Niupalu in the right corner of the end zone to give CSM the lead that they would not relinquish.
CSM finished the game with 463 total yards of offense and 7.5 yards per play compared to ARC’s 3.6 yards per play.
“We had an absolute abundance of breakdowns. A lot of missed opportunities, (It’s) really frustrating,” said ARC offensive coordinator Doug Grush. “If I knew everything I’d write a book, sell it, become a billionaire and solve the world’s coaching problems.”
In addition to bad snaps, ARC receivers Zack Suarez, Damen Wheeler, and Marc Ellis each had a drop.
Wheeler’s drop, which happened late in the first quarter, was particularly damaging for ARC as he had gotten behind CSM’s secondary and looked poised to score on the play.
“(There were) a lot of dropped balls because of the wind (it) had a big impact. Just unlucky I guess,” said Guillen.
ARC wide receiver Johnathan Lopez, who finished last week against City College of San Francisco with six catches for 143 yards, finished his game against CSM with one catch for one yard.
ARC running back Armand Shyne, who was coming off a 72-yard, one touchdown performance against CCSF, was pulled from the game in favor of Ce’von Mitchell-Ford who finished the game against CSM with 158 yards rushing and 10.5 yards per carry.
“(Mitchell-Ford) had the hot hand. If our whole offense played like he carried, we’d be in better shape,” said Grush.
ARC is now 3-2 and is heading into its bye week before playing College of Siskiyous at home on Oct.17.
Matthew Peirson contributed to this report.