The City College of San Francisco football team survived a scare in its conference opener Saturday, but this weekend will bring a tougher test as the Rams will head down the Peninsula to face the College of San Mateo in a matchup of two of the favorites to win the NorCal Conference.
CCSF (5-1, 1-0 NorCal Conference) had De Anza right where it wanted them with a 37-7 lead in the third quarter Saturday, but nearly saw the lead slip away as the Dons rallied off 22 unanswered points to make it more interesting than Rams coach George Rush might have liked.
Rush said he still was pleased by what he saw from his team, however, and blamed the rally on some misfortune for his team.
"We had several injuries," he said. "But none of them were serious but knocked some people out at key times. That wasn't helpful. ... De Anza's got some explosive players on their team that you've got to contain, and for the most part we did the things we wanted to do. Maybe a little more exciting than what I would have liked to have seen."
CSM (6-0, 1-0), which beat Foothill 33-0 in its conference opener, offers an unusual challenge for CCSF, which is ranked No. 7 in the California Community College Football Association Coaches rankings.
Calling the Bulldogs' offense one that favors the run would be an understatement. Coach Bret Pollack's team, ranked fourth in the state, has averaged 262 rush yards per game this year, compared to only 103 through the air.
In last weekend's win, quarterback Casey Wichman attempted just 18 passes, while 10 players netted positive rushing yards, led by 126 for George Naufahu.
"They have a style of play that's unique to them," Rush said. "You have to prepare differently for San Mateo's offense and I think it's a real wise decision by them to run that offense."
Despite the unique challenge and CSM's spotless record, Rush said that in the NorCal Conference, there are no easy weeks.
"When you play in our conference," he said, "it's the toughest conference in Northern California certainly and maybe arguably in the state. Every week is a big week. There are no patsies in this league. You've got to come to play every single game."
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at CSM's Bulldog Stadium.