Notebook: Running game taking the lead for team’s offense as league play begins

American River College quarterback Jihad Vercher is brought down on a quaterback keeper by College of the Siskiyous defensive back Everette Deveaux during ARC football’s 49-31 win over College of the Siskiyous on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2015. Vercher threw for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns in addition to his one rushing touchdown. (Photo by Barbara Harvey)

American River College’s football team scored five rushing touchdowns in its 49-31 win against College of the Siskiyous and strengthening the running attack in the process.

Running backs Ce’Von Mitchell Ford and Armand Shyne each scored two touchdowns on the ground, with starting quarterback Jihad Vercher adding a fifth.
“We’re in a pretty good groove right now with our ability to run the football,” head coach Jon Osterhout said. “When we run the ball effectively, it opens up the passing game for those large chunk plays.”

Mitchell-Ford led the team offensively against Siskiyous, rushing for 159 yards on 19 carries. Both Mitchell-Ford and Shyne have over 400 yards rushing this season.

Mitchell-Ford has been getting most of the carries in the last three games over Shyne, who was the primary back early in the season.

“(Shyne) got banged in the San Mateo game,” said Michael Morris, ARC’s running backs coach. “He probably missed about half the practice between the two games. He’s fine now.”

Morris joked about the team’s game plan running the ball in its upcoming game at Feather River College.

“Well as the running backs coach, I hope we rely on it a lot,” he said with a laugh. “The reality is I’ll have to look at the film. (Offensive coordinator Doug) Grush will make that decision.”

Osterhout pleading for team to all get on the same page

In his postgame speech following the win vs. Siskiyous, Osterhout praised the team’s effort in the big win but also let the players know to make sure their attitudes adjust to a team-first mentality.

Osterhout said about 80 percent of the team has the right mindset but that the other 20 percent needs to quit thinking selfishly and put the team first.

“If we do that, we’ll establish ourselves as a prominent football team in this conference,” he said.

Vercher, who said that he considers all his teammates “my little brothers,” agreed with his coach but isn’t worried about the team fracturing.

“We’ll be fine,” said Vercher. “We just got to make sure we focus.”

Team wears pink to raise awareness about Breast Cancer

The coaches of ARC’s football team shined a little brighter in the dim lit field at Beaver Stadium Saturday, donning hot pink polo shirts instead of the usual red.

Many players wore pink wrist and ankle bands during the game, all in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.

October is breast cancer awareness month, and for Osterhout, the disease hits home personally.

“My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in June and she just finished her last chemo session,” he said. “We thought this would be a great way to raise awareness in the Sacramento region.”

Osterhout said he got the pink shirts worn by several players on the sideline, while defensive coordinator and longtime personal friend Lou Baiz got the shirts that matched the design of the coaches regular game day shirt scheme.

“We’re trying to do our part,” Osterhout said of the idea.

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About the Author

Matthew Peirson
Matthew Peirson is a third-semester student on the Current, where he serves as Co-Managing editor. He previously served as the Co-Sports editor and the Opinion editor. Matthew is majoring in broadcast journalism and plans to transfer after graduation.

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