The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
The rain was not kind to the CSM Bulldogs, and neither was Butte College.
The Bulldogs (7-4) saw their season come to an end in Saturday’s playoff opener in a 30-12 elimination loss to Butte (9-2). With a steady rain throughout the afternoon and the natural turf in Oroville growing more muddied as the game wore on, CSM was held to just 250 yards of total offense.
Trailing 14-0 at halftime, CSM saw a glimmer of hope when quarterback Bobby Calmeyn connected with Ramiah Marshall for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter. With the Bulldogs attempting a fake point after try, however, Butte seized back the momentum when Jose Elizondo’s pass was picked off by Ryan Lesch who returned it 98 yards to award the two points to the Roadrunners.
In his final game under center at CSM, Calmeyn had a quiet performance, completing 9 of 21 passes for 103 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The sophomore quarterback was 0 for 3 on the opening drive of the game, but the Bulldogs were still able to advance into the red zone by virtue of ground yards by Keenan Smith and Rashaan Fontenette.
Smith finished the day with 91 rushing yards on 21 carries, while Fontenette carried eight times for 39 yards. But on the opening possession, after a 15-yard Fontenette gain advanced the ball to the Butte 14-yard line for a first down, the drive stalled, with CSM being stopped on fourth down on an end-around by Marshall for no gain, turning the ball over on downs.
Three plays later, Butte running back Alex Laurel busted a 70-yard scoring run to put the Roadrunners up 7-0.
CSM didn’t gain another first down for the remainder of the quarter. Then Butte opened the second quarter with an 11-play, 61-yard scoring drive. Roadrunners quarterback Clayton Welch had gains of 9, 4, 27, 6 and 5 yards before punching in the touchdown score from the 1-yard line to put Butte up 14-0.
In the third quarter, after Butte went up 16-6, Welch threw a dagger two plays later. On the second play of the Roadrunners’ ensuing drive, he connected with Kavi Ram for a 75-yard scoring pass, upping Butte’s lead to 23-6.
CSM opened the fourth quarter with favorable field position near field and made the most of it, marching 51 yards for a score with Sione Finefeuiaki rushing for a 4-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 23-12.
But after the two teams traded three-and-out possessions, Butte put the game aways with a six-play, 57-yard scoring drive, highlighted by a 35-yard scoring run by Fleming to cap the day’s scoring.
For CSM, the loss snaps a five-game winning streak, as the Bulldogs ran the table in Bay 6 Conference play to win the conference title and qualify for the postseason.
Butte advances to the Northern California finals, hosting American River Saturday.