Comets’ offense ‘lays another egg’ at home
Scoring struggles plague winless team in rough 33-7 defeat
Published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Updated: Monday, June 29, 2009 17:06
HERCULES — In the words of coach John McDermott, the offense simply laid another egg on Saturday against College of the Redwoods, as the football team lost its sixth straight game of the season, 33-7, in Hercules.
"We weren't clicking at all and we couldn't move the ball," wide receiver Alberto Johnson said after the game. "There was lots of stuff we worked on in practice that we wanted to execute today, but it's difficult for (quarterback Royce Hughes) and us receivers to perform without consistent play from our offensive line."
The Comets' (0-6 overall, 0-1 in the Bay Valley Conference) next game is this Saturday on the road against Yuba College at 1 p.m.
Contra Costa College's lone touchdown in its first BVC contest of the season came by way of the defense, when linebacker Sean Nakamura recovered a fumble from COR quarterback Sergio Allen and returned it for a 26-yard score.
"The defense stepped up and played a great game once again," McDermott said, "but when you look at that scoreboard, we still lost. We have to get both sides of the ball going and develop some consistency."
The Comets' defensive unit came up with several stops and forced four turnovers against the Corsairs (2-4 overall, 1-0 in the BVC), which featured an interception on COR's first play of the game by defensive lineman Carlos Ortiz and three forced fumbles, including one from First Team All-BVC running back Lyndon Rowells.
What mattered most, however, was what the offense did with the ball when taking over after the turnovers — next to nothing. Quarterback Hughes and his offense followed up those opportunities with two three-and-out series, which led to two missed field goals by kicker Justin Naterman, and an interception from Hughes, which led to a touchdown for the Corsairs on the ensuing possession.
"This team was not better than us today," defensive lineman Sakpa Kpaka said. "We had this game, this was our game to win but we couldn't get our offense to produce."
On offense, the Comets tried to come out with a new look beginning in the first quarter with their first two drives, as they ran a "Wildcat" formation offense with Johnson taking direct snaps from the shotgun formation, while Hughes lined up as a wide receiver. While the new formation was effective initially, COR quickly adjusted, forcing the Comets to completely abandon the approach for the remainder of the game.
Establishing the run was another component that CCC coaches hoped to implement against the Corsairs as well, but running backs James Villaruz and Rashad Smith combined for only 42 yards on 16 carries.
Hughes did not fair much better either, as he completed only 39 percent of his passes for 47 yards. The sophomore quarterback also threw two interceptions.
"Right now, our offense doesn't have any confidence whatsoever," McDermott said. "We'll try to work on getting two or three things right and condense the offense a bit so we can progress that way and develop some balance with our offense."
One shortcoming on the defensive side of the ball, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the game, was the defense's inability to stop Rowells, who rushed for a total of 270 yards on 29 attempts, an average of 9.3 yards per carry.
The sophomore also scored all five touchdowns for the Corsairs on the afternoon, including an impressive 58-yard score in which he spun Smith around multiple times in the open field on his way to the end zone.
COR took full advantage of CCC's porous run defense, as the team ran a total of 61 plays on Friday, 48 of them being run plays. As a team, the Comets allowed COR to rush for a total of 350 yards on the ground.
"(Rowells) is a good runner and the difference with him is he's a smart runner," Kpaka said. "He knows how to follow his blockers and he knows where to go on the field, he gave us some trouble today."
"He's just a great running back, and our game plan all week was to stop and contain him, but it wouldn't happen today," McDermott said.
Both McDermott and Kpaka also agreed that in order for CCC to start improving, the team must begin working harder on the practice field.
"If we can practice with a higher intensity on offense then it'll show up during the games, but right now, that's missing with this team," McDermott said.
Contact Jeff Carillo at email@example.com.