Photo by Mike Daly
REDDING, Calif. – Shasta College got another dominating performance from its defense and pounded visiting Sacramento City College 22-6 Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Knights, ranked 16th in the CCCSIA state poll, scored in all three facets of the game as part of 19 straight points through the middle quarters to improve to 4-0 on the season. It's the sixth time in program history Shasta College has started 4-0 (1957, 1986, 1987, 1998 and 2016).
Shasta (4-0) gave up a first-quarter field goal but only allowed two drives longer than four plays the rest of the game. Along the way, the Knights racked up a season-best six sacks to add to its season total of 16, which ranks sixth in the state. Shasta allowed only 139 total yards of offense, including 26 yards on 28 carries while not giving up a third down conversion.
"We're turning into a defensive-based team where we can help flip the field on offense and make other teams churn out long drives," said Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton.
Shasta got on the board with a 3-yard touchdown run from freshman wide receiver James Lee. Later in the second quarter, sophomore defensive tackle Detrius Kelsall grabbed his first interception of the season and the Knights picked up a safety when Darrell Webb tackled the Sacramento City running back out of the side of the end zone for a 9-3 lead.
The Knights scored following the drive, settling for a 25-yard field goal from Matthew Ramirez to go ahead 12-3, which would hold until half.
Shasta opened the second half with a nine-play scoring drive, capped by Matt McCree's 2-yard touchdown run to lead 19-3. Quarterback Hoku-Lani Wickard connected with Dy'Shone Hayes, Brandon Morris and McCree for passing plays on that drive.
Sac City (1-3) added a 28-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter but Shasta's defense continuing to dominate. Cole Parker had 2.5 sacks, Rashard Budd had 1.5 sacks and Kelsall and Torren Calhoun-Ray each had a sack to make it the first time this year all four starting defensive linemen registered a sack.
"These are the hardest working people I've ever been around and they push me to work harder than I ever thought I could," said Parker, who's 5.5 sacks on the year ranks him sixth in the state. "I think our work ethic separates us from anyone else in the state."
Ramirez punched through a 38-yard field goal with 6:30 left in the game to stretch the lead to 16 points and the Knights ran out the final 5:11 of the clock following the defense forcing a quick 3-and-out.
McCree turned in 128 total yards, leading the team with seven catches for 78 yards. Vinny Smith led the Knights with 56 rushing yards on 14 carries and Wickard completed 21-of-38 passing for 209 yards.
Shasta College hosts College of the Sequoias (3-1) Saturday at 1 p.m. before the bye week.
"We're riding the highs but we have a ton to work on and critique," Wickard said. "Yeah, we're 4-0 but we're not satisfied with how we've played. It's one thing if we see our record and believe that's what we are but we know we're not reaching our full potential."