The American River College football team hopes to continue on its road to repeating last year’s league domination. After an Oct. 17 win against the College of the Siskiyous, ARC is set to take on Feather River College.
Feather River has not had a successful season, being 1-5, but had a serious upset game defeating Chabot, which is currently ranked first in the Valley League and shares the same record as ARC in both conference and overall this season.
Feather River shows to be one of ARC’s easier games of the season, but coach Osterhout isn’t giving any leeway.
“Feather River is going to be a challenge just like any other team. They were able to beat Chabot, which is a really strong team,” Osterhout said after Tuesday’s practice.
With Feather River’s defense giving up a total of 487 yards so far this season, ARC should be able to put up some serious points on the board either through the air or on the ground.
But even though Feather River may not look to pose a challenge to ARC’s offense, starting quarterback Jihad Vercher says that “we got to look at it like they (Feather River) are the number one team in the nation and prepare for it that way too.”
Beside being prepared for Feather River, the team will also address the issue that both players and coaches agree on, which is finishing out games.
“When we’re up 36-3 there is no need to give up plays,” Osterhout said, alluding back to the Oct. 17 game against Siskiyous where ARC went into the second half up 36-3 and ended up finishing the game 49-31.
Defensive coordinator Lou Baiz attested to the lack of following through with loss of focus and mental break down.
“We have a lack of focus coming into the second half and it costs us,” said Baiz. “We get mentally broke down causing us to be unable to finish.”
Players from both sides of the ball also agree that it is a team issue and no blame can be put on either the offence or the defense.
“We need to have the offences back like they have ours,” said sophomore defensive lineman Nick Terry.
Vercher said that the offense needs to step up.
“We can’t expect the defense to play a 16 or 17 play drive then have a three and out on offence and have the defense come back out,” said Vercher.
If ARC wins this game, it will make the team 2-0 in the National Division, keep them in the first place seat ahead of Butte in the NorCal League and put them in a good spot for rival Sierra College next week.