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

The College of San Mateo football team has been looking forward to the start of the 2013 NorCal Conference schedule for some time now.

No more need to speculate, look at rankings, or listen to early-season predictions. Finally, it was time for some real football.

And by the way they took care of Foothill College in the conference opener, any pent-up anxiousness was expunged in a 33-0 win.

George Naufahu ran for 136 yards on 16 carries to lead a CSM rushing attack that racked up 265 yards on the ground against the Owls.

Through the air, Casey Wichman was 9 of 18 for 79 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

But the real star of the game was CSM’s defense, which held Foothill to just 197 yards of offense and forced five turnovers (including four interceptions).

Wichman scored on a 1-yard run with 1:00 left in the first quarter to get the scoring started for the Bulldogs.

Less than three minutes later, Naufahu found the end zone from seven yards away to make it 13-0. It was a score that was set up by CSM’s second interception of the game.

In the third quarter, CSM managed to turn another turnover into seven points. This time, Jared Puamau found the Promised Land from five yards away after a Foothill fumble. Naufahu scored again less than three minutes later to put the game away for good.

But, for good measure, former Menlo-Atherton standout Taylor Mashack intercepted a pass and went 85 yards for a touchdown to leave absolutely no doubt.

The win gives CSM serious momentum as they head into their yearly showdown with City College of San Francisco.