photo by Mike Daly
REDDING, Calif. – Shasta College locked up at least a share of Pacific 7 League title with a 57-38 home victory over Foothill College Saturday at Memorial Stadium on sophomore night.
It's the third straight conference championship for the Knights, who need a victory over College of the Redwoods this week to earn a trip to the CCCAA Northern California American Division championship for third consecutive season, head coach Craig Thompson said.
Shasta's offensive outburst, which included 405 passing yards and another team-high 53 rushing from freshman quarterback Trent Darms, didn't come easy.
There were six lead changes in the first 21 minutes of the game. But it came down to the Knights (5-3, 3-1 Pac 7) finishing in the fourth quarter – something they struggled with early in the season without many returning starters. Since then, Shasta has won five straight.
Foothill (7-3, 3-2 Pac 7) cut the deficit to 3 with 11:48 left on a 38-yard touchdown pass. But Shasta responded by scoring the final 16 points of the game as Darms connected with Karnell Calloway for a 30-yard score, Kendall Raschein nailed a 31-yard field goal, and Preston Piltoff stripped Victor Cruz and returned the fumble 65 yards for a touchdown to ice the game with 2:44 remaining.
The 57 points were a season-high for Shasta as was its 587 yards of offense, passing yards (405), completions (25), completion percentage (63 percent), sacks (4), and penalty yards (163). It was also the first time two players surpassed 100 yards receiving in the same game with Calloway catching eight passes for 172 yards and two scores, and Jaquez Durham hauling in three passes for 127 yards.
Shasta traded scores in the first half as Raschein made a 21-yard field goal to get it going, followed by rushing scores of 8 and 37 yards from Darms. Foothill scored on an 8-yard pass – one of five scores through the air for the Owls, who also threw for 348 yards – but B.J. Brown caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Darms for the Knights to take the lead for good with 9:06 left in the second period.
Other Knights' scores came from Calloway on a 21-yard pass from Darms and Durham on a 9-yard run.
Raschein – the only sophomore to score for the Knights on sophomore day – was 3 for 3 on field goals with makes of 21, 31 and 25 yards.
Darms completed 25 of 40 passes and accounted for five touchdowns in the game – three passing and two rushing. Sophomore running backs DeMarco Grayson carried the ball 10 times for 50 yards and Justin Hellyer racked up 41 yards on 15 attempts, in addition to three receptions for 16 yards.
Sophomores Gio Lakmann and Brown had multiple catches with Lakmann going five for 41 yards and Brown with two for 22 yards and a score.
Shasta freshmen Zachary Thompson and Archez Marks tied for the team lead with six tackles apiece with Marks adding three for a loss including one sack. Treko Mattox had two interceptions to run his team-leading total to five, and Christian Rodriguez and Malik Johnson each tallied a sack.
Shasta plays at College of the Redwoods Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Redwoods Bowl at Humboldt State University.