The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
It seemed as though history was bound to repeat itself for the College of San Mateo Bulldogs.
Trailing by 9 to City College of San Francisco midway through the third quarter, CSM looked to be floundering yet again at George Rush Stadium, a venue where the Bulldogs hadn’t won since 1988.
Then quarterback Miles Kendrick and wide receiver Rajae Johnson paired for two sudden touchdown strikes to turn the tide, leading a 42-31 comeback win, CSM’s first in San Francisco in nearly 30 years, and the first — and last — in the career of Bulldogs head coach Larry Owens.
Owens, who will retire at the end of the season, was an assistant coach for CSM the last time the team won at CCSF. Now, in his 21st season spanning two tenures at the Bulldogs’ helm, Owens has his team on a trajectory to repeat as Bay 6 Conference champions as the victory leaves No. 4-ranked CSM (3-0 Bay 6, 7-1 overall) all alone in first place with two games remaining in the regular season.
Kendrick — 10-of-20 passing for 199 yards, three touchdowns and one interception — jumpstarted the CSM offense following a 32-yard field goal by CCSF kicker Greg Thomas to up the No. 7 Rams’ lead to 23-14.
With the Bulldogs starting its following drive at their own 20, Kendrick completed a 12-yard pass to Line Latu, then rushed for 12 yards to near midfield. Then on third-and-5, Kendrick got second life as a dropped pass by Johnson was nullified due to a CCSF offside penalty. On the following play, Kendrick hit Johnson for a 21-yard score, cutting the lead to 23-21.
CCSF (2-1, 5-3) was forced to punt with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter and CSM, taking over at its own 25, went right back to work. Freshman running back Cameron Taylor — 25 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns — set the offense in motion with gains of 5, 4, 22 and 3 yards. Kendrick then took to the air for a 30-yard scoring pass to Johnson, giving the Bulldogs a 28-23 lead.
The Bulldogs scored twice more to start the fourth quarter to put the win on ice. Sophomore safety Dorrzel enjoyed a 30-yard fumble return for a score midway through the fourth quarter. Then Taylor capped a career day with a career-best 27-yard run for a touchdown.
Taylor last saw action Sept. 30 in CSM’s only loss of the season 21-20 to American River. The freshman out of Hillsdale missed the previous two weeks with an ankle injury. He seems to be right, surpassing his previous career-high of 102 yards, which he totaled in the season-opener Sept. 2 against Modesto.
The freshman was the only CSM running back to touch the ball Saturday. Kendrick rushed for 34 yards on 10 carries. Latu, out of the receiver spot, took three carries for 18 yards.
Johnson finished the day with 84 yards on three carries with the two touchdowns.
CSM held brief leads of 7-6 and 14-13 in the first half. CCSF’s Isaiah Floyd led all rushers with 177 yards on 29 carries. After a 38-yard TD pass from Kendrick to Edmund Polataivao gave CSM the 7-6 lead late in the first quarter, CCSF answered back with a 16-yard score by Floyd.
But the Bulldogs got a reprieve on the ensuing possession when Kendrick hit Johnson for a 33-yard gain into CCSF territory. Kendrick would later advance it to the Rams’ 2 on a 13-yard pass to Latu. Then Taylor pounded it in to put CSM up 14-13. Prior to the half, though, CCSF quarterback Zach Masoli — 23-of-37 passing for 294 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions — hit Floyd for a 9-yard scoring pass to give the Rams a 20-14 lead heading into halftime.
Hicks finished the day with a career-high 13 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Colt Doughty matched his season-high with 10 tackles. Doughty ranks third in the Bay 6 Conference with 7.6 tackles per game. Hicks is close behind in fifth place at 6.8.