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

A look at the stat sheet from Saturday’s 29-28 loss to San Joaquin Delta College only tells part of the story for the College of San Mateo football team.

The Bulldogs lost the turnover battle 3-1, they were out-gained 437 to 377 on offense and were out-scored 17-7 in a fourth quarter that saw them lead 21-12.

But the play that matters in the win-loss column was a missed 33-yard field goal with less than a minute to play that conserved a 1-point lead for Delta and handed CSM its first loss of the 2012 season. The Bulldogs will begin their conference schedule in two weeks against Foothill College.

CSM went down early in the first quarter on a safety. That 2-0 score held up until the 10:37 mark in the second quarter when Quincy Nelson’s 3-play, 48-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run to made it 7-2.

But Delta regained that lead on a big, 34-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by David Holley.

As accustomed by CSM all season long, when faced with adversity, the Bulldogs usually respond. In this instance, Blake Plattsmier manufactured a 12-play, 71-yard drive that culminated with a 4-yard Kenya Price touchdown run. The drive was masterful, but it left Delta with 1:31 to work with and the visitors made the most of that, using 10 plays to set up a 34-yard field goal that made it 14-12 at the half.

Plattsmier kept the CSM offense rolling to begin the third quarter. His 38-yard run was the big play in the quarter’s opening drive. It was a scoring march culminating in Jerrel Brown’s 14-yard touchdown that gave CSM a 21-12 lead.

And on the flip side, the Bulldog defense looked to be locked in. Delta had two reasonably long drives in the third quarter — 10 plays and 13 plays — but came away with zero points. The latter of those drives ended on the CSM 1-yard line.

But the fourth quarter was a completely different story. The period began with a 45-yard Delta pitch and catch to inch San Joaquin closer. CSM got those points back on another explosive play by Levi Wilson. His 69-yard touchdown run gave CSM the momentum right back and made it 28-19 less than a minute after Delta’s TD.

The rest of the way, CSM gift-wrapped the win for Delta.

After a San Joaquin field goal made it 28-22, Plattsmier, who had come in after a John Willis fumble earlier in the game, coughed up the football that gave Delta the ball on the CSM 18-yard line. It took the visitors two plays to capitalize on the error and make it a 29-28 ball game.

The Bulldogs got two more cracks at the win. The Bulldogs’ last drive began on their 23-yard line with 2:48 left in the game. Plattsmier was sharp, completing three straight passes and adding a 3-yard run to get the ball to the San Joaquin 17-yard line. After a Nelson 1-yard run, Austin Pacheco came in to attempt a 33-yard field goal. His kick was wide left.

Plattsmier finished the game 10 of 15 passing for 114 yards. Wilson led all CSM rushers with 111 yards on the ground.

Delta’s Sam Hutsell passed for 266 yards.