The 2011 season for the Contra Costa College football team was bittersweet.
After finishing the 2010 season 4-6 overall, 2-2 in the Bay Valley Conference, second-year coach Alonzo Carter had hopes of improving the Comets’ record and reputation on campus entering the 2011 season.
While CCC has not seen playoff contention in the past five seasons, Carter has been able to reshape the Comet squad as the team improved to 6-4 overall, 2-2 in the BVC for 2011.
“There’s a lot to be excited about from this program for years to come,” Carter said. “We laid a foundation and we’re making positive strides.”
Opening the 2011 season, the Comets looked sharp as they went on the road to defeat Monterey Peninsula College 40-20 for the second consecutive year.
Despite suffering a close 31-26 home loss to Diablo Valley College, the Comets were able to go on a four-game winning streak, defeating Los Medanos College, College of the Redwoods, Mendocino College and Gavilan College (due to a forfeit).
CCC’s offense relied on the arms of quarterbacks Jeffrey Anderson and Lamar McKnight, a dual rushing attack from Rashad Hall and James Hines to win its first five games by two or more touchdowns.
While the Comets’ offense established itself at the beginning of the season, a strong defensive unit led by a solid defensive back core of Devin Brown, Clordion Kennedy, Issac Goins, Cameron Fuller and Malcolm Ajayi anchored the squad.
The Comet defense was ranked seventh in the state under new defensive coordinator Otis Yelverton, as the unit held opposing offenses to only 21 points per game for the season, allowing a total of 101 points over the first six games.
Injuries, however, played a huge factor in the team’s season finish as many players such as Hines, Ajayi, Anderson and McKnight suffered injuries that kept them out of key games late in the season.
“We were off and rolling at the beginning of the season, but a couple of guys got nicked up during the latter part of the year,” Carter said. “When you lose key people, you lose momentum. We went from having four to five running backs at the beginning of the year to about two. (The season) was tough.”
While the 2011 season is behind them, Carter is excited for the upcoming season as he said the squad has been working hard in an off season conditioning class this spring.