Due in large part to the play of emerging star running back Deon Ransom, American River College’s football team is traveling to the Bay Area this weekend to battle with City College of San Francisco for the NorCal championship, and with a chance at the state title on the line.
Ransom has had a monstrous few weeks, rushing for 273 yards and two touchdowns at Sacramento City College in the regular season finale and 187 yards for all three scores in the Beavers’ 20-17 first round playoff win against Butte.
“Deon has done a really great job over the course of the last three weeks, becoming familiar with what we’re looking for at running back, and he’s really done a nice job in the meetings, being inquisitive,” said head coach Jon Osterhout.
“Ultimately that’s helped him out on game day in terms of being able to run the football effectively… He’s just got tremendous vision, tremendous instincts, and obviously has the ability to put the football in the end zone,” he said.
Ransom is a sophomore on the team, and played as a defensive back and safety during his freshman season despite his high school play as a running back.
“Out of high school, I was supposed to be a running back, but (Devontae) Booker was here, so I thought I could be better help as a safety and on defense,” said Ransom.
Despite Ransom’s big last few weeks, the game plan for ARC hasn’t been heavy set on his carries through the course of the season.
“I didn’t play at all the first game, barely played the second game. They don’t really rely on me, but having me on the team is good (because) I can make the plays,” he said.
Osterhout was more firm in his belief of the run after its successes the last few weeks.
“We’re gonna rely on the run game, and try and control the clock and, look for a big game from our offensive line and all of our running backs,” he said.
Ransom, as a sophomore, is hoping to transfer from ARC with an offer as a result of his play, though says he hasn’t received any to this point.
“I don’t have any right now,” he said,“I’m just going to keep praying to god, and if it comes, it comes.”
For now, Ransom has one focus: helping his team win in San Francisco on Saturday and going to the state championship game the following week.
“I’m just going to run as hard as I can.
“(It’s going to take) everything we got. Everything and more.”