GAME NOTES . . .
College of the Sequoias (2-3) vs. Modesto Junior College (2-3)
Saturday, October 14, 2017—Mineral King Bowl
RECORDS: Each team is 2-3 heading into the Valley Conference opener. Modesto opened the season with three straight losses but has won its last two, including a decisive victory over previously unbeaten Siskiyous. Sequoias won two of its first three but has dropped its last two.
SERIES: COS leads 27-24-2. The first game was in 1942. The teams played every year from 1962-83, and have played each year since 2010 with the Pirates joining the Valley Conference. Modesto has won the last seven games, including 48-24 last season. The last Giants win was in 2005.
RANKINGS: In the latest JC Athletic Bureau state poll, Modesto is ranked 23rd in the state and 13th in Northern California. Sequoias is ranked 34th in the state and 17th in NorCal.
COACHES: COS coach Irv Pankey is now in his 20th season on the Giants' staff and his fifth year as head coach. Pankey has played football at the highest levels, earning second team all-American honors as a senior at Penn State and then playing 13 seasons in the National Football League as an offensive lineman, with the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts. He was originally hired at COS in 1998 as a physical education instructor and assistant football coach. Pankey's career record with the Giants is now 16-29. MJC coach Rusty Stivers is now in his third year, with a record of 15-12. He has led the Pirates to post-season appearances in his first two years, and last year won the Valley Conference title (5-0) before falling to American River in the Northern California semi-finals. Stivers was the MJC offensive coordinator for nine seasons before replacing Sam Young as head coach in 2015. The Hilmar native played at Modesto and was an all-state running back in 1992. He went on to play and earn a bachelor's degree at UC Davis and a master's from United States Sports Academy.
PIRATES: Modesto has four returning all-conference players. They are receiver Michael Thompson, offensive lineman Vaatofu Sauvao (6-3, 300) , defensive lineman Rob Luckett (6-0, 330) and linebacker Kekupaa Freehauf. After a slow start, the offensive unit seems to be jelling and the 468 yards against Siskiyous matched the season high. QB Dan Vasquez has thrown for 815 yards, with 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He is also the second leading rusher with 275 yards and 3 TDs. Thompson has 24 receptions for 343 yards and 4 TDs. The leading rusher is freshman Devan Bass, who has 348 yards and 5 scores. His 118 yards against Siskiyous was a season high. The defense's best game to date was against Contra Costa, holding the Comets to 90 total yards. Linebacker Robby Huddleston has averaged 7 tackles and has 2 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss while Mustafa Johnson has averaged 6.8 stops, with 2 sacks and 4.5 TFL. Defensive back Trae Nichols is tied for third in the state with 4 interceptions.
GIANTS: COS' 34-21 loss to Sacramento had some encouraging moments, and a few discouraging ones. The Giants, playing a ball-control type offense this year, had 9 possessions in the game and scored on three. They were stopped on the Sacramento 2 yard line, missed a 25-yard field goal in their first possession, and a bad snap from center on a punt gave Sacramento the ball inside the COS 10 which led to a quick score. One thing Sequoias has to do is get better in the third quarter. Thus far COS has been outscored 56-7, and Gus Villareal's 15-yard keeper for a TD in the Sacramento game was the first score all year in the third quarter. QB Nolan LeForge has thrown for 1027 yards, with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The leading rushers have been freshmen Andrew Azua (288 yards) and Dvonte Crandle (211). Blake Wells is the top receiver with 19 catches for 260 yards, while Juwan McCall has 18 for 153 and Phillip Adams 12 foir 365 yards and 3 TDs. The Sequoias defense has had several standouts thus far, including linemen Justin Wright, Phoenix Cooper and Rakeem Terry; defensive backs A.J. Greeley and Andrew Ballin-Armstrong, linebacker Jordan Dominguez and back/kick returner Frank Ngalamulume. The offensive line should be strengthened with the move of Gene Pryor to left tackle alongside guard Max Charite. Other offensive standouts have included Azua and Adams.
NOTES : COS has a Friday game next week, playing at Laney College before returning home for its final two home games, against San Joaquin Delta and Chabot…the Giants have lost 18 conference games in a row, and 24 of their last 25 dating back to 2012. The last win was over Delta in 2013…eight COS opponents are currently ranked statewide. Unbeaten Sacramento is No. 6, conference favorite Laney is No. 8, Fresno 17th, Sierra 21st, Diablo Valley 22nd, San Joaquin Delta 28th and Chabot 35th…Adams' 240 receiving yards vs. Diablo Valley was a single game record, breaking the old record of 213 by Stephon Charles against Walla Walla (Wash.) in 1993…Ryan Buchanan has a 35.1 punting average. COS is only 3-10 in field goal attempts this year.
San Mateo L 7-47
American River L OT 49-55
Sacramento L 13-34
Contra Costa W 41- 6
Siskiyous W 36-14
Contra Costa W 16-14
Feather River L 10-37
Diablo Valley W 40-35
Sierra L 14-28
Sacramento L 21-34
VALLEY CONFERENCE STANDINGS (non-conference games)
W-L PS PA
Laney 4-1 179 71
Fresno 3-2 171 116
COS 2-3 101 148
Modesto 2-3 146 156
Delta 2-3 168 156
Chabot 1-4 79 130
GAMES SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Chabot @ Fresno, 1 pm
Laney @ San Joaquin Delta, 1 pm
Modesto @ COS, 7:30 pm
GAMES SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21
COS @ Laney (Friday, 7 pm)
San Joaquin Delta @ Chabot, 6 pm
Fresno @ Modesto, 6 pm