By Ivan Huang
In a top ranked match-up on Nov. 10 between No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Northern California, the Butte College Roadrunners upset the defending National champions, the City College Rams, 31-21.
After a dominant first quarter showing by the Roadrunners, in which they forced two “three and outs” on the Rams first two drives, the Roadrunners showed that they were like no other team the Rams had faced all season.
Rushing for a total of 409 yards, the Roadrunners trampled all over City College’s defense. Butte College ended the Rams’ nine game win streak this season and handed them their first NorCal Conference loss since Oct. 31, 2009.
With an 8-1 record, Butte College came into the game against the Rams as one of the top teams in rushing this season. The Roadrunners were able to find the holes in the Rams’ defense with three of their players rushing for over 100 yards.
The Rams struggled early in the first quarter at getting the ball downfield, allowing Butte College freshman receiver Wes McCoy to snatch a 14-yard touchdown from freshman quarterback Nelson Fishback with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Looking overmatched by the Roadrunners in the first quarter, the Rams battled back in the second, tying the game on sophomore quarterback Andrew Spivey’s 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Kyani Harris with 6:07 remaining in the second quarter.
The Rams would then take a 14-7 lead with a 4-yard touchdown by star running back Kristoffer Olugbode (who had rushed for 310 yards in a game against Santa Rosa the week before), culminating an 82-yard drive at 8:56 of the third quarter.
For those who thought the Rams were going to cruise to another victory from then on, they hadn’t been watching the Roadrunners all season. Butte College turned up the heat, scoring four touchdowns in a row to take a 31-14 lead with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter.
“We waited too late to turn it on,” Rams receiver Kyani Harris said. “We should have been playing the way we was playing in the fourth quarter throughout the whole game. It was just a lot of stuff that was missing out there on the offense, and then our defense really felt like they couldn’t stop them so it was all bad for us.”
With the score 31-14 and only 2:42 remaining in game, the Roadrunners didn’t give the Rams a chance to rally for another fourth quarter comeback. Butte College was able to run out the clock after the Rams scored a 15-yard touchdown from Spivey to sophomore receiver Drake Whitehurst.
It certainly wasn’t a storybook ending for the Rams, who were sitting comfortably at 4-0 in the NorCal conference coming into the game. At 4-1, the Rams are now in a three-way tie with Butte College and De Anza College.
“It’s the worst feeling in losing,” Rams running back Olugbode said, “especially when one of our goals was to go undefeated this year.”
Olugbode rushed for only 48 yards and one touchdown after his 310 yard, three-touchdown performance the previous week against Santa Rosa.
“I’m confident we’re going to bounce back from this,” Olugbode said. “We’ll look at the film and fix all of our mistakes. You’ll see a whole different team come postseason”
Rams Head Coach George Rush refused to be interviewed by The Guardsman after the game.
The 9-1 Rams will play their first game of the postseason on Nov. 24 against 8-2 American River College for the NorCal Championship and a chance to compete for the State Championship.