DVC Football wins East Bay Bowl

Gabriel Agurcia, Staff Writer

DVC football took down Laney College to win the inaugural East Bay Bowl last Friday, Nov. 16, at Viking Stadium.

DVC received the opening kickoff and proceeded to jump all over Laney on their first drive, with Quinn Kaehler completing five straight passes. After a couple incompletions DVC took the early lead on an option pitch from Kaehler to CJ Best, a four yard run on first-and-goal.

Laney’s subsequent drive resulted in a three-and-out, and most of their first quarter drives followed suit. Laney quarterback Charles Cobb dealt with relentless pressure led by linebacker Kyle Kragen and defensive lineman Siuea Vaesau. DVC didn’t do much the remainder of the quarter either. With about three minutes left Kaehler took off for a 30 yard run into Laney’s redzone, their best scoring opportunity since the opening drive. However Kaehler was sacked and stripped from behind on the very next play and Laney managed to recovere the ball.

The first quarter ended with DVC leading 7-0. Laney was able to muster just one third down conversion.

DVC’s first drive of the second quarter resulted in more points. Sustained by two Andre’ Lewis sideline catches, it was capped off with a 37 yard touchdown pass over the middle to Terrance Young. The extra point was missed, leaving the score at 13-0. A few minutes later Laney got their first touchdown of the game on a two yard run by Daron Duong. Their kicker also missed the extra point, making it 13-6.

With 3:10 left, Kaehler threw a pass over the middle that got deflected, intercepted, and taken back for an 80 yard touchdown by Laney cornerback Jamal Mayo, tying the score at 13-13. But the stalemate didn’t last very long: running back CJ Best sparked DVC with a pair of 20 yard runs, and Kaehler hit Trevor Smith down the seam for a 24 yard touchdown. On Laney’s first play after the kickoff, Cobb’s pass went through his receiver’s hands and fluttered in the air, where cornerback Robert Johnson snatched it and sprinted into the endzone for a score.

The first half saw DVC dominate on both sides of the ball. The Vikings were able to march up and down the field, whereas Laney compiled a plethora of three-and-outs and mistakes.

The third quarter was very uneventful. Laney got into field goal range but was forced to punt after a sack. DVC’s first drive of the second half looked promising until it stalled at the Laney 20. Stephane Vanier split the uprights on a 38 yard field goal, pushing the Vikings’ lead to 17 at 30-13. The only other highlights came on a huge sack by linebacker Kyle Kragen inside Laney’s own 5, and a great stretching catch by Terrell Robertson along the DVC sideline, where he managed to keep his right foot in bounds while reaching up and away to snag the pass.

The quarter ended with just three points scored between both teams. DVC was able to move within the middle of the field but not in scoring distance, while Laney’s offense was stymied by pressure in the backfield on run plays and constant harassment on Cobb dropbacks.

Just under a minute into the fourth quarter Laney found the endzone on a 74 yard dash by Cobb, cutting their deficit to 10. For the next seven and a half minutes the teams punted back and forth. But with 6:25 remaining, the game got very interesting. Kaehler dropped back, shuffled around the pocket, and stared down Smith in the flat. Cornerback Justin Brandon jumped in front and walked in a pick six, cutting DVC’s lead to just 3.

Laney saw their comeback attempt end at the hands of the Viking defense. With about 4:30 left in the game, on a pivotal 4th and 3 at DVC’s 39, Kragen fought his way around the offensive line and clocked Cobb in his throwing motion, forcing an incompletion and turnover on downs.

On 3rd and 2 from the DVC 41, with just under 3:00 left, Best sealed the game with a huge 42 yard run down to Laney’s 17 yard line. “I was thinking big time the whole way,” Best said. “And just making sure I stayed in bounds.” Laney took over on downs with 1:30 remaining, and a few Hail Mary attempts proved unsuccessful, giving DVC the victory, 30-27.

“Like every game this year, the guys played really hard,” said coach Mike Darr. The defense only allowed only two touchdowns, a reflection of Darr’s gameplan. “We wanted to stop the run. We knew they liked to run some play action pass, so we wanted to take that away from them.”

Overall, Darr was very proud of the way his team closed out the game, and the season. “Winning this bowl game is a very rewarding feeling. The defensive line finished this game, like they did every game, just relentless.”

CJ Best was given Offensive MVP, amassing 113 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Defensive MVP went to Laney cornerback Jamal Mayo, who finished with six tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception.

DVC completes the 2012 campaign with a 7-4 record, along with a shiny new East Bay Bowl trophy.

Congratulations on a successful season, Vikings!