Although its momentous seven-game winning streak has been interrupted by over two weeks of inactivity, a little break from action might be just what the City College of San Francisco football team needs.
The more time off, the better to study today’s foe, Sierra College, a squad Rams coach George Rush calls "the most consistently efficient offensive team around."
Sierra, out of the Valley Conference, is ranked second among Northern California junior college teams and will take on CCSF, the top-ranked NorCal squad, in the Hawaiian Punch Community College Bowl today at Rams Stadium, with the winner advancing to the state title game in Fresno a week from today.
Like theRams, Sierra heads into the NorCal final on a hot streak, winning its past eight games by an average margin of nearly 20 points.
Wolverines freshman running back Lamon Muldrow has been a force on the ground this season, rushing for 1,688 yards and 19 touchdowns, but Sierra is far from a one-dimensional team. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Will has thrown for 2,389 yards and 26 touchdowns and Sierra boasts two receivers — sophomores Carl Moore and Ryan Hedberg — who are both on the cusp of 1,000-yard seasons.
"We have to limit the effectiveness of their offense because we’re not going to shut them down," Rush said. "And we’re going to have put up some points. We’re not going to win unless we have a very good offensive game."
Rush will entrust his offensive game plan with freshman quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who has put up Tom Brady-like numbers in his first season running the CCSF offense. Masoli has tossed 26 touchdowns passes against just three interceptions, good for a 158.0 passer rating. He is also a threat on the ground, rushing for 383 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Masoli will look downfield to a quartet of sophomore wide receivers — Carlton Sanders, Deric Davis, Adrian Hillburn and Andre Wells — who have all hauled in more than 40 catches each this season. Running back Austin Curran will keep the Wolverines’ defense honest, as the sophomore has racked up 850 yards on the ground and a team-high 12 touchdowns for the Rams, who last played on Nov. 10 when they posted a 34-16 victory over Butte.
That extended layoff has not only benefited the Rams in terms of their game preparation, it has also helped a number of players heal from some minor injuries.
"We were a little banged-up the last few weeks of the season," Masoli said. "We’re still feeling good about how we’re playing, plus we’re all healthy now. Everyone’s focused on making sure our season doesn’t end on Saturday."