The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.

If it’s true that you only get one chance to make a first impression, than the College of San Mateo football team just spoke volumes.

Behind a defense that allowed only 107 yards of total offense, the Bulldogs began their 2012 NorCal Coast Conference schedule against Foothill College with a 37-3 win.

“It was definitely a big step in the right direction for our team,” said CSM assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Tim Tulloch. “We played well in all phases. The guys did a really good job the last two weeks of focusing on the corrections and the mistakes of the first five games — making a commitment and saying ‘we’re all in, we’re committed to this game and each other.’”

The Bulldogs used a couple of huge quarters of offense to distance themselves from the Owls.

“We had the guys pick one thing to do better and the whole team was going to hold them accountable,” Tulloch said. “You could see the hard work and effort paid off on the field. We were happy with the play.”

Defensively, the Bulldogs put on a clinic. They shut down the Foothill rushing attack to the tune of two yards a carry (31 carries, 66 yards). And passing, the Owls came in averaging over 200 yards a game. On Saturday, they were held to 41.

“We definitely wanted to take away their top receiver, Chris Williams, who averaged 120 yards a game,” Tulloch said. “Their two best players are him and their running back and so a lot of our focus was on them. We just needed to play team defense without mistakes or breakdowns over the top — make them earn everything.”

The teams were shut out in the first quarter, but with six seconds expired in the second quarter, Jerrell Brown found the end zone on a 20-yard run to make it 7-0 Bulldogs.

Five minutes after that, George Naufahu’s 1-yard run doubled the CSM lead.

“The offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage,” Tulloch said of his team’s 255 yards rushing. “Our backs ran extremely hard and we as team, we addressed the turnovers … which has been our Achilles Heel. That made a huge difference.”

Blake Plattsmier started at quarterback for CSM and orchestrated a 409-yard afternoon — his 9-yard run with 14:55 left in the game made it 24-3.

Three minutes later, the quarterback showed he could do it with his arm, hooking up with Aaron Criswell on an 80-yard touchdown pass to make it 30-3 and all but seal the deal for CSM.

The Owls on the other hand, did nothing against CSM other than turn the ball over three times — all on interceptions.

“The guys just played really well together,” Tulloch said of a defense that only missed three tackles the entire afternoon. “When we play like that, it’s nice to see. We’re a tough defense when we do that.”

Chris Chang’s 12-yard touchdown catch with six minutes left in the game made it 37-3.

“We were firing on all cylinders,” Tulloch said. “That’s how we wanted to start it off. It was a good team effort.”

Plattsmier finished 13 of 20 for 154 passing and two touchdowns. Brown paced the rushing attack — running for 76 yards on 11 carries. Plattmier rushed for 66 yards and Naufahu had 53 on eight carries.