Sierra College football falls to 1-4 after blowout loss to Santa RosaBy: Christopher Engelage for the Auburn Journal
ROCKLIN — Defensive back Keith Benjamin started the onslaught with a 47-yard pick-six and the undefeated Santa Rosa Junior College football team never decelerated, cruising to a 44-0 victory over the host Sierra College Wolverines.
Santa Rosa improves to 5-0 while Sierra drops to 1-4.
Sierra’s offensive struggles were a plague throughout the game. Sierra punted 11 times, losing possession on downs twice and turning the ball over once. Wolverines quarterback Adam Besana (Roseville) threw for only 45 yards, completing four out of 19 passes with one interception before being replaced by Justus Spillner (Colfax) late in the second quarter. In his relief duties, Spillner managed 37 yards on seven of 15 passing.
The Wolverine running game was anchored by Oak Ridge graduate Andrew Lackowski, as he went for 52 yards on 13 carries. Lackowski also led his team in receptions, nabbing four catches for 34 yards.
When asked to elaborate on what needs to change with the lack of offensive production, Coach Ben Noonan was a man of few words, saying, “get better.”
Defensively, Sierra barely had enough time to catch a breath. Santa Rosa quarterback Mitch Hood took full advantage of a tired Wolverine defense, going 17 of 23 for 204 yards and connecting on three touchdown passes. The Bear Cubs’ backup QB, Tyler Okiyama, even got in on the action. He threw for 56 yards and a touchdown on six of 10 passing. Ivan Hudson led the Bear Cubs in receiving as he pulled in five catches for 76 yards and two scores.
Wolverines defender Jonathan Fletcher (Alabama) led the defense with 10 tackles. Franklin graduate Ronell Deo, Kevin Thorman (Maui), and Jahmar Sexton (Monterey Trail) all recorded a sack. Sexton was also able to break up two pass attempts thrown his way.
Penalties proved to be costly for Sierra, as they had 14 on the day, totaling 139 yards. In each of the five games played this season, Sierra has had over 100 penalty yards in all of them.
When Noonan was asked what needs to change he again kept things simple, saying, “less penalties.”
Sierra heads into a much-needed bye week. The Wolverines return to action Oct. 15, traveling to take on the Sacramento City College Panthers. Sierra College will return to Rocklin Oct. 22 when the squad plays host to Feather River College.