The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Despite an evening where not much was going their way, the College of San Mateo Bulldogs seemed to be sensing a comeback at Modesto Junior College when, trailing by 11, freshman Jalen Lampley took a third-quarter punt return and dashed 62 yards for a touchdown.
Lampley’s first career touchdown turned out to be CSM’s last hurrah, though, as Modesto (3-2 overall) rushed for 306 yards en route to a 28-18 dismantling of the Bulldogs.
CSM — entering the game ranked the second most dominant defense in the state — hadn’t given up 300 rushing yards in a game in two years since a Sept. 24, 2016 in a win over Butte.
“We had some opportunities to make it close and, at the end, take the lead,” Bulldogs head coach Tim Tulloch said. “And some penalties here and there put us in some bad spots. And [Modesto] just executed better down the stretch.”
The Bulldogs (3-2) got flagged 13 times for 110 yards, including five penalties in the fourth quarter. Four of those came on CSM’s penultimate possession, trailing 28-10 while taking over at its own 35-yard line. Advancing to the Modesto 7 for first-and-goal, CSM got marched backward on two consecutive plays, being levied with illegal block and illegal man downfield penalties.
Then, on fourth-and-goal from the 20, kicker Cesar Silva missed a 37-yard field goal attempt.
The Bulldogs got the ball back with 3:32 remaining in the game and marched 71 yards on 11 plays to score on a 4-yard pass from Terrell Carter to Osai Elicker; they also punched in a 2-point conversion on a Carter run. With just 1:01 remaining though, Modesto recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock.
“A lot of fight with our guys in the fourth quarter,” Tulloch said. “They didn’t lay down and quit. And Terrell especially … he gave us a chance to get back in it. It was just a little bit too late.”
Carter couldn’t seem to get anything going early. The freshman was 6-of-27 passing for 78 yards, and added nine rushes for 42 yards. CSM was outgained overall 410-209.
CSM got on the board just once in the first half, finishing the game’s first possession with a 29-yard field goal by Silva to go up 3-0.
Modesto running back Devan Bass answered big time, though, totaling 21 rushes for 193 yards and a touchdown. Modesto quarterback Jack Weaver was a surefire 8 of 11 with two touchdowns by air, giving his team a first-half lead with a 58-yard scoring pass to Jose Garcia last in the first quarter, then adding a 16-yard scoring pass to Bass in the second quarter to send Modesto into the locker room up 14-3 at the half.
Prior to the break, CSM turned to quarterback Matt Adamkiewicz to spell Carter. The sophomore was 3 for 6 for 37 yards passing.
“Carter started off the game and we were just a little bit out of sync,” Tulloch said. “We wanted to try to give Matt a chance to see if he could come in and get us in a rhythm.”
Adamkiewicz worked into the third quarter. But after Lampley’s score, Modesto answered right back with a seven-play, 82-yard scoring drive, capped by a 51-yard touchdown run by Bass. Adamkiewicz would gain just one more first down on the ensuing drive before CSM had to punt.
The Bulldogs got a swing of momentum on Modesto’s next drive when freshman linebacker T.C. Lavulo forced a fumble in the red zone that was recovered by CSM sophomore Billy Tuitavake. Three plays later, though, Adamkiewicz was intercepted by Trae Nichols at the Bulldogs’ 30.
Four plays later, Modesto scored on a 1-yard run by Steve Hampton to go up 28-10.
CSM concludes its non-conference schedule with a 3-2 record. The Bulldogs are now in a position where they essentially must win the Bay 6 Conference outright, as there is just one at-large playoff bid allotted in Northern California. The three-round state playoff format features three conference winners and one wild-card team from Nor Cal, and the same from SoCal.
“Yeah, we don’t set our goals to win an at-large bid,” Tulloch said. “Our goal is to win conference.”
CSM has a bye this week. The Bay 6 opener is slated for Oct. 13 at home against Santa Rosa Junior College. Kickoff at College Heights Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.