The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Closing out the postseason with two more road wins will suit the College of San Mateo Bulldogs just fine.
CSM (11-1 overall) — the No. 2 seed in Northern California — opened the California Community College Athletic Association football playoffs with a 52-3 win over College of the No. 3 Siskiyous (8-2) Saturday at College Heights Stadium.
In what will stand as the final home game in Bulldogs head coach Larry Owens’ career, the defense set the tone, forcing punts on each of the first six possessions by Siskiyous. The only first-half possession for the Siskiyous not ending in a punt was a futile three-play possession to end the first half, a possession Siskiyous started at its own 1-yard line.
CSM totaled three interceptions on the day, all in the second half.
On Siskiyous’ best drive of the game to open the second half, quarterback Gage Ferguson marched his offense to the Bulldogs 10-yard line. CSM defensive back Jordan Hendy then went large with pick-6 he returned 95 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the quarter, Jalen Hicks added an interception off Ferguson. Siskiyous recovered a fumble on the following play, setting up possession at the CSM 7-yard line. On third-and-goal from the 9, however, Siskiyous backup quarterback Jordan Castro was intercepted by Nathan Talakai.
The Bulldogs outgained Siskiyous 541-257 in total offense, running up a 45-0 lead before yielding a fourth-quarter field goal.
CSM freshman quarterback Miles Kendrick accounted for 325 of CSM’s yards, completing 9 of 18 passes for 280 yards, including two touchdowns to wide receiver Rajae Johnson, one for 18 yards to get the Bulldogs on the board with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter, and another for 91 yards with less than a minute to play in the first half.
Johnson totaled six catches for 204, thrusting him into first place in Northern California in receiving with an average of 108 yards per game, also ranking fourth in the state.
Kendrick also rushed 10 times for 45 yards. Raymone Sanders rushed for a game-high 92 yards on 11 carries, including a 7-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Shawn Akina entered at quarterback for the Bulldogs in the third quarter. The freshman was 2-of-2 passing for 73 yards, including a 58-yard scoring pass to Elijah Harper in the third quarter. Harper had three catches for 110 yards on the day.
CSM now advances to the state semifinals, travelling to American River College this Saturday at 6 p.m. The No. 1 seed in Northern California, American River held off a late charge by Laney College Saturday for a 41-35 victory.
American River handed CSM its only loss of the regular season 21-20 Sept. 30 at College Heights Stadium.