Rams head football coach George Rush seemed to get all he wanted for a season opener from his team’s 54-13 rout of the Cabrillo Seahawks on Sept. 5 in Aptos.
“We have an opportunity to do great things this season,” Rush told his jubilant players in the post-game huddle. “We are just scratching the surface as to what we are capable of, but with hard work, I see this team going far this season.”
Starting freshman quarterback Darius Bell led a balanced and effective Rams offense as City College moved the ball at-will against a tired Cabrillo defense. Bell finished 12 for 20 in passing with 163 yards and two touchdowns. He added 68 yards and two scores on the ground to lead all rushers.
Following a slow start to the game which both Bell and Coach Rush accredited to nerves and the lack of a scrimmage, the Rams’ first score of the evening came on an 82-yard interception return from freshman defensive back Allen Chapman. He finished with two interceptions for the game.
“Allen is a great athlete and is used to playing in big games,” Rush said. “I’m not surprised at all with how he was able to step up and make big plays.”
The Seahawks’ special teams unit put themselves on the board in the second quarter after Josh Jordan took a blocked Jens Alvernik punt into the end zone. However, a missed extra point allowed the Rams to keep a one-point lead.
The blocked punt seemed to wake the Rams offense as Darius Bell marched his troops down the field, capping a 70-yard drive off by keeping it to himself for an eight-yard rushing touchdown.
City College was able to find the end zone once again when safety DeShawn Marmon took a short punt by Cabrillo punter Ryan Saucedo, running it all the way back for a 60-yard return and putting the Rams on top 21-6.
The Rams would then add on to the defensive onslaught, as tackle David Angilau’s interception during the next Cabrillo possession led to a Darius Bright touchdown reception, his first of two interceptions on the night.
“At halftime, Coach was just telling us to stay aggressive and not to let up,” Allen Chapman said. “Our defense was confident the entire game and we felt good out there.”
The Rams never looked back after starting the third quarter with a 28-6 lead. Cabrillo’s starting quarterback Ian McGinnis managed to throw 114 yards and gain 65 yards rushing, but threw three interceptions.
Freshman quarterback Jantz Steele finished the fourth quarter for the Rams, tossing an eight-yard touchdown pass, adding to the already lopsided score.
For the Rams, Fresno City College will be the first big test on Saturday, Sept. 12. It’ll be the Rams home opener.
Darius Bell is looking forward to avenging the 24-17 loss at Fresno last season.
“[Fresno] has beaten us the past two years in a row, and we have also turned the ball over a total of nine times,” Bell said. “So obviously, we need to execute and play with few mistakes if we want to beat them this year.”