The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
With College of San Mateo head coach Larry Owens set to retire at the end of the season, Saturday marked the final regular-season home game of his career.
There’s a good chance it won’t be his final game at College Heights Stadium though as the Bulldogs clinched the Bay 6 Conference championship Saturday with a 66-21 win over Santa Rosa Junior College.
With the conference title, the Bulldogs (4-0 Bay 6, 8-1 overall) earn an automatic berth in the Northern California playoffs. Currently ranked No. 2 in the Nor Cal rankings, the Bulldogs will clinch home-field advantage if they close out the regular season with a win this Saturday at third-place Diablo Valley College.
The Bulldogs erupted early Saturday, responding to an early Santa Rosa (1-2, 1-7) score with four straight first-quarter touchdowns. CSM got consecutive rushing touchdowns from freshman Cameron Taylor, who tied it with a 10-yard run then put the Bulldogs ahead with a 13-yard score with 5:55 remaining in the quarter.
Then a blocked punt by CSM freshman Jalen Hicks gave the Bulldogs the ball at the Santa Rosa 15. Anthony Mason scored on the next play with a 15-yard run. After a Santa Rosa three-and-out, CSM scored with 21 seconds remaining in the quarter on an 8-yard run by quarterback Miles Kendrick.
Kendrick totaled 292 yards of offense. He was 13-of-18 passing for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, the freshman rushed six times for 51 yards and one TD.
Taylor totaled 45 yards rushing on four carries, but gave way in the second quarter. Sophomore running back Jerome Holloway took control from there, rushing 16 times for career-high 103 yards. Holloway — out of Homestead-Sunnyvale — has played just three games out of the backfield this season. He has gone triple-digit rushing in two of them. He also gained 100 yards on 10 carries two weeks ago at Contra Costa.
Sophomore receiver Line Latu had two scoring catches in the game. He made a 36-yard TD catch from Kendrick to start the second quarter. After Shawn Akina took over at quarterback in the second half, he connected with Latu on an 18-yard scoring strike.
Rajae Johnson paced CSM with five catches for 126 yards. The freshman caught an 11-yard TD from Kendrick at the start of the second half. Johnson currently ranks fourth in the state with 859 yards on the season, averaging 95.4 yards per game.
Santa Rosa tight end Matt Hyman led all receivers with nine catches for 137 yards.
CSM’s 66 points were the most by the team in a conference game in at least 10 years. The Bulldogs lead all Northern California teams, averaging 453 yards of offense per game.
The Bulldogs have now won two straight Bay 6 Conference crowns. They fell in the opening round of the playoffs in 2016 with a 30-12 loss to Butte.
This Saturday’s regular-season finale at DVC is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Through 21 years as Bulldogs head coach, Owens has etched a career record of 127-90.