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

Kevin Kutchera caught two key touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 51-26 win over Modesto.

Kevin Kutchera caught two key touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 51-26 win over Modesto.Photo by Patrick Nguyen

College of San Mateo football won its second straight game to start the year, triumphing 51-26 Saturday evening at Modesto Junior College.

After a seesaw battle throughout the first half, which saw the lead change hands three times, the Bulldogs ran away with it with a 34-7 scoring differential in the second half.

CSM sophomore wide receiver Kevin Kutchera caught two touchdown passes on the day, both within a minute of each other near the end of the third quarter. His first scoring reception was a 9-yard strike from freshman quarterback Jeremy Cannon, capping an eight-play, 46-yard drive to give CSM the lead for good at 23-19.

The Bulldogs started their next drive from favorable field position as well. On the ensuing possession, CSM sophomore safety Taylor Mashack recovered a fumble at the Modesto 35-yard line. Two plays later, Cannon connected with Kutchera, this time for a 35-yard strike to pad the lead at 30-19.

Kutchera had five receptions for 105 yards on the day, surpassing the 100-yard mark for the second straight week.

Cannon was 10 for 21 in the air for 132 yards and three touchdowns; he also connected with Johan Williams on a 3-yard pass with 16 seconds remaining in the first half. Cannon used his wheels to also rush for touchdown, a 28-yard first-quarter scamper to give the Bulldogs their first score. He rushed for a team-high 99 yards on the evening.

Modesto got on the board in a hurry to start the game. The Pirates started the game’s first possession deep in their own territory at the 7-yard line. Two plays later, however, Modesto running back Anthony Cota broke an 88-yard touchdown run to stake his team to a 6-0 lead.

After Cannon’s touchdown run, a barrage of field goals gave Modesto a 12-10 lead. CSM’s Justin Watts first booted a 35-yard field goal to extend a Bulldogs lead to 10-6. The foot of Modesto’s Thomas Langley generated the next two scores though, with field goals of 40 and 41 yards, respectively, to give the Pirates a 12-10 advantage.

Modesto lengthened its lead to 19-10 on its next possession when Cota ran for a 53-yard touchdown. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound sophomore ran for a game-high 217 yards on the day.

The Bulldogs responded with an eight-play, 74-yard scoring drive culminating in Cannon’s scoring pass Williams. The big play of the drive came on third–and-9 from the 50-yard line, when Cannon connected for 10-yard strike to Raeshawn Lee for a first down.

CSM capped the day’s scoring with three fourth-quarter touchdowns via turnovers to turn the final score into a rout. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, CSM’s Malik Beachum returned an interception 25 yards for a score. After a Modesto 22-yard touchdown run by Mike Milbourne to close CSM’s lead to 37-26, the Bulldogs’ Anthony Hines returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown with just over two minutes remaining. On the ensuing kickoff, Modesto fumbled and CSM’s Mashack recovered in the end zone of the game’s final score.

CSM’s leading tackler was linebacker Darium Henton with seven. The Bulldogs totaled two sacks, with linebacker Randy Allen tabbing a half sack to extend his state lead to five sacks on the season.

With the win, CSM (2-0) is one of four unbeaten teams remaining in the Bay 6 Conference along with Diablo Valley College, City College of San Francisco and Santa Rosa Junior College. Saturday, DVC topped Chabot 38-21, CCSF downed Laney 31-13 and Santa Rosa edged Butte 24-17 in overtime.