American River College defense returns to form in commanding win over Fresno City College

Jessica Maynard and Jessica Maynard

The No. 1 ranked defense in the state is determined to not allow 27 points on the scoreboard again.

The American River College defense held Fresno City College to 0 points, a first down and 31 yards during the first half of Saturday’s game to help the Northern California No. 2-ranked Beavers defeat the No. 6-ranked Rams 31-7.

After watching division rival San Joaquin Delta College score 27 points the previous week the Beavers defense shut down the Rams only giving up 7 points, 186 yards and 11 first downs.

“When we had to absolutely hold them we came through with it and that’s a testament to our coaches and the way we practice, we practice harder than anyone else so that when we do come to the game it’s easier,” defensive lineman Sione Umufuke said.  “

On three straight plays defensive back Malcolm Scott picked off Rams quarterback Marcus Montero, the first two interceptions were negated by late hits. The third interception occurred with 1:47 left in the first half as Montero attempted to connect with Wide Receiver Brayden Sanchez in the end zone; Scott cut the route and grabbed the ball for his second interception of the day.

“Honestly I was just looking where he (Marcus Montero) was throwing and watching his eyes so I was there when he threw the ball,” Scott said. “He kept throwing my way and he probably thought I was tired but I wasn’t going to give up the play.”

The Beavers got off to a fast start offensively after receiving the opening kickoff, the team moved the ball 76 yards down the field to take a 7-0 lead after wide receiver Tyler Trosin had a 10-yard rushing touchdown on a reverse from running back Drake Tofi. Trosin also scored on an 18-yard reception from quarterback Mike Hicks, which gave ARC a 17-0 lead with 14:46 left in the second quarter.

Tofi rushed for 125 yards on 23 carries. Over the last three games Tofi has averaged 131 yards per game making him the first running back to rush for over 100 yards in three straight games this season.

“It’s all the o-linemen,” Tofi said. “Everything I’m able to do is all because of them.”

FCCs defense gave up 17 points, 227 yards and 15 first downs in the first half of the game and went into halftime trailing 17-0. ARCs offense ended the game with 31 points, 350 yards and 22 first downs.

The Beavers offense also saw freshman quarterback Jake Bist return to action after being sidelined during last week’s game versus SJDC due to a concussion. Bist capped off an 8 play, 65 yard drive by rushing the ball one-yard for a touchdown, scoring the only offensive touchdown in the second half.

“It was great to get out there,” Bist said. “I tried not to worry about my concussion when I was out there because it wouldn’t help the team.”

The Beavers dominated in all aspects of the game including time of possession 33:14 to 26:46. For the second time in three seasons the Beavers are off to a 6-0 start.

“I’m pleased with how they’ve bounced back and how they’ve overcome it’s going to be critical in our continued climb,” head coach Jerry Haflich said. “We try not to focus on the negatives and focus on what is right and what’s good.”

The team’s next game is on the road against Modesto Junior College Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.