The article below originally appeared on MercuryNews.com and is being reprinted with permission.
SAN MATEO — It wasn’t quite Julian Edelman vs. Aaron Rodgers on Saturday at College Heights Stadium.
Instead, it was College of San Mateo vs. Butte, their respective one-year J.C. stops en route to the NFL and Super Bowl rings.
And it wasn’t much of a game.
CSM catapulted into the No. 2 spot in the state rankings after thoroughly dominant 51-12 victory over Butte, which at least for now surrendered its claim as the top team in Northern California.
“It’s still sinking in, this is a big win for us,” CSM running back Cameron Taylor said. “We knew we had to come out here and do our best, and that’s what we did. We showed them what we’re about.”
Here’s a few takeaways, as the Bulldogs (4-0) avenged a 30-12 setback in last year’s NorCal semifinals to the Roadrunners (3-1).
• Ten previous times in program history, a CSM player managed to score four touchdowns in a single game.
That includes the aforementioned Edelman, who achieved the feat in 2005 after leading his alma mater Woodside to a Central Coast Section title the previous year.
Taylor, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound greyshirt freshman out of Hillsdale — where he ran for 2,113 yards and 29 TDs as a senior — didn’t even need to wait until halftime to tie the record with TDs of 1, 1, 5 and 12 yards.
“I think Julian called maybe (offensive coordinator) Bret Pollack and told him, ‘Hey, don’t give it to him anymore,’ ” joked CSM coach Larry Owens, who wasn’t aware of the record-tying performance until after the game. “I don’t know. I didn’t know that. I didn’t pay any attention to it, and I’m sure Bret didn’t.”
• CSM quarterback Miles Kendrick, a 5-11, 200-pound true freshman who a year ago led Valley Christian to a state runner-up finish, saw limited time in his first three games as a Bulldog.
His stat line: 1 of 7 for 10 yards.
Pollack must’ve seen something at practice to insert Kendrick in place of Shawn Akina, the top-rated passer in Northern California and No. 3 in the state with an efficiency of 171.5.
“We have a great group of QBs and we’re all very competitive,” Kendrick said. “And I had a pretty good practice and coach gave me the nod to come out and to have an opportunity to play.”
The gamble paid off.
Kendrick scrambled for 79 yards in the first quarter, then proceeded to dissect the defense by throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns.
“I wanted to get myself in the game and take a couple of hits and get a feel,” said Kendrick, who committed no turnovers.
“For him to step up to the plate like that, that’s huge,” Taylor said. “I love to see my brother step up to the plate and make something happen.”
CSM led 38-0 by halftime and his afternoon was over early in the fourth quarter.
“I wasn’t shocked,” Owens said. “I think some things clicked for us today. Early, Miles was the big difference, just his legs. It kind of got our momentum and I think Butte got kind off-kilter, if you want to say that. They weren’t where they normally would be on defense.
“So it wasn’t a shock, but it was good to see.”
• It wasn’t hard to discern Kendrick’s favorite target. After all, Rajae Johnson is a clear mismatch in the secondary as a 6-4, 215-pound wide receiver.
“Rajae is — I’ll just say it — a man amongst boys,” Kendrick said. “Having a wide receiver like that with his stature and his physicality, as a quarterback it makes our job so much easier.”
Johnson, who hails from St. Louis, caught a 32-yard TD on the opening drive of the second half, then spun away from three would-be tacklers on his way to the end zone to turn a short pass into a 40-yard TD on the second play of the fourth quarter.
So, about that whole thing of man amongst boys …
“Stevie Wonder could see that,” Owens said. “He’s a beast. He’s the real deal. The guy goes up for the ball and he’ll make plays.”
• The CSM defense more than held its end of the bargain.
It began with a fumble recovery on the second play from scrimmage by defensive back Deon White, who rumbled 35 yards before he was tackled at the Butte 1.
“That strip was huge for us,” said Taylor, who promptly crossed the goal line for his first touchdown.
“If we start like that every week, we’re going to win a lot of games,” said CSM linebacker Colt Doughty, a 6-3, 240-pound sophomore out of Los Gatos who verbally committed to Cal earlier in the week.
While the Bulldogs amassed 248 yards on the ground and 511 yards of total offense, Butte was limited to 67 rushing yards and struggled to find any rhythm through the air, going 16 of 39 for 153 yards.
“Like Bill Belichick says, ‘Do your job,’ ” said Doughty, who led the way with 10 tackles. “That’s the best way to play football in three simple words.”
“That’s what we’ve been preaching, too — just do your job,” Owens said. “And put your eyes in the right spot, and I think the guys did that really well. Last year we had a lot of freshmen and these guys are sophomores who played a lot last year and now it’s going in the right direction.”
• Next up: A visit from No. 6 American River (3-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Last year’s state runner-up crushed CSM at the same stage of the season 40-13, thereby providing the Bulldogs another opportunity to avenge a loss — not to mention cementing its spot in the rankings.
“It’s a group effort,” Doughty said. “It’s everybody coming together and getting better every week. You don’t start as a great team. You keep fighting and fighting and fighting — and that’s how you become great.”