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A 20-point lead dissolved and a chaotic fourth quarter ensued, but the College of San Mateo Bulldogs survived to celebrate a wild win in their season opener.

The College of San Mateo Bulldogs made history last year, ascending to the program’s first California Community College Athletic Association state championship with a definitive 55-0 victory over Riverside College.

There was a time when the summer was considered the “offseason” for football. To College of San Mateo head coach Tim Tulloch, there’s no such thing. To him, the entire year is football season.

Five days of filming during finals week in May will provide a glimpse into the CSM student experience.

Early Thursday morning, the Bulldogs heard, officially for the first time, that they were named the junior college/community college national champion. “I’m not real big on preseason or in-season rankings. The only ranking I care about is the last one,” said CSM head coach Tim Tulloch.

College of San Mateo football team is on the verge of adding a “national title” to the state championship the Bulldogs claimed with Saturday’s record 55-0 victory over Riverside City College.

CSM (12-1) put on a master class of dominance on both sides of the ball. It was 7-0 after three plays and 14-0 after 10 plays as the Bulldogs ripped off huge touchdown runs. CSM scored 21 first-quarter points and continued to pile on. Meanwhile the Bulldogs’ defense completely shut a Riverside offense that came into the game averaging 590 yards of offense per game. CSM forced five turnovers and the game was punctuated by a Kavika Baumgartner pick six in the third quarter.

One could not ask for more when Riverside City College makes the trip north to face College of San Mateo in the California Community College Athletic Association state championship football game. The game features the state’s best offense, Riverside, against CSM’s top-ranked defense.

CSM managed just six points and 64 yards of offense in the first two quarters. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, the defense continues to play at a championship level. That enabled the CSM offense the time to figure things out. The Bulldogs’ offense finally came around in the second half as the Bulldogs pulled away for a 30-5 win to advance to their fourth state championship game in program history.

CSM won its last three games of the season to garner the No. 1 seed in the California Community College Athletic Association Nor Cal regional playoffs. Saturday, the train kept rolling. Hosting No. 4 Modesto at College Heights Stadium, the Bulldogs put on a dominating performance on both sides of the ball as they rolled to a 30-0 win over the Pirates.