The article below originally appeared on MercuryNews.com and is being reprinted with permission.
Let’s just say that if you were a quarterback for either College of San Mateo or Foothill College this season, you definitely got your chance to shine.
Foothill (9-2), which finished ranked No. 2 in Northern California, was forced to rotate three freshmen under center due to various injuries.
Kent London Jr. and Calvin Schmidtke split snaps early in the season. Then Schmidtke seemed to settle in as the starter before an ankle injury at the end of a 31-28 comeback win over CSM opened the door again for London.
By the end of the season, though, it was third-stringer Cory Murphy making the most of his opportunity, tying a team high with nine touchdown passes during the regular season in roughly a third of the attempts it took Schmidtke.
“It’s not ideal, but each of them stepped up when they had their opportunity and won games for us,” Foothill coach Doug Boyett said.
CSM (8-3) had only two quarterbacks on its roster. Julian Bernard was the sophomore, a 6-foot-5 prototypical passer. Miles Freeman was a grayshirt freshman, a more athletic option to run the offense. Bernard was lost to a shoulder injury prior to the CSM game, but gutted it out over the final two games. Bulldogs coach Bret Pollack was pleased with the way his team handled adversity, and things are looking better for next year already as three grayshirt quarterbacks are already on campus to compete for next year’s starting job against Freeman.
Now it’s on to offseason activities, which include finding new homes for the sophomores.”For us, it picks up in terms of making highlight films and reaching out to the four-year schools,” Pollack said. “And at the same time to recruit for next year. It actually gets more hectic because your body and mind get split in many directions.”
Top-ranked Oregon and Georgia are interested in CSM wideout Rashaan Vaughn, who caught 59 balls for 1,027 yards and 11 touchdowns if you include the Bulldog Bowl.
“Rashaan is a difference guy,” Pollack said. “Four-year schools are taking note. He has offers from double-digit Div. I programs.”
Both teams were well represented on the all-NorCal Conference first team. CSM had six members while Foothill had nine — including defensive lineman Litani Moimoi (Menlo-Atherton) and wide receiver Mike Scott (Palo Alto).
“Litani had a great second half of the season, and he just kept getting better and better,” Boyett said. “A high-energy guy with a great motor, and he just kept making big plays for us.”
CSM’s all-NorCal players: Sophomore OL Jeremy Galten (6-4 275), sophomore WR Rashaan Vaughn (6-2, 190), freshman DL Langi Haupeakui (6-3, 270), sophomore LB Brandon Francesconi (6-3, 230), sophomore LB James McCollough (6-2, 210) and freshman DB Ron Fields (6-2, 185).
Foothill’s all-NorCal players: Sophomore OL John Meyer (6-5, 280), sophomore OL Chris Tozer (6-4, 315), freshman WR Travis Reyes (5-10, 185) , sophomore WR Mike Scott ( 6-1, 200), sophomore DL Litani Moimoi (6-2, 240), sophomore DL Eric Banford (6-1, 270), sophomore DL Havea Lasike (6-1, 295), sophomore DB Phillip Thrappas (5-11, 205) and freshman kicker Andrew Amezquita (5-11, 190).