REDDING, Calif. – Tyler Boston turned in a career-high 294 rushing yards and four touchdowns to lead the No. 22 Shasta College football team to a 42-27 season-opening victory over San Joaquin Delta College Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
"We wanted to be physical in the run game and consistent and get Tyler rolling," said Shasta College head coach Bryon Hamilton. "We believe he's one of the best (running backs) in the nation."
Neither team led by more than eight until late in the fourth quarter. With Shasta up 35-27, the Knights' defense came up with a goal line stand to halt an 11-play Mustang drive that took 7 minutes off the clock. Justin DeMello's fourth down pass in the corner of the end zone was out of reach, turning the ball over on downs.
Two plays later, Boston broke through the hole for a 93-yard touchdown – the third-longest run in school history – to seal the game with 2:05 remaining.
"In my mind we were still behind at that point," said Boston, who now owns the fourth-best single-game rushing mark in Knights history with 294 yards. "That game shouldn't have been as close as it was, so I told myself I need to get in (the end zone) because my team was depending on me."
Shasta (1-0) needed only 45 seconds to score its first touchdown when Toren Tuttle found tight end Trevahn Foster over the middle for a 20-yard score on the game's opening drive. But eight penalties, a pair of red zone interceptions from Tuttle, first-game mistakes and missed assignments interrupted the offensive momentum until late in the second period.
By then, Delta (0-2) scored on back-to-back drives, the first on a 1-yard quick out pass from Justin DeMello to Jaylen Pickens and an 11-yard back-shoulder dart from DeMello to Rashard Stallworth.
But the Knights evened the score with a 12-play, 65-yard drive capped by Boston's 1-yard run to go into half tied at 14.
Both teams scored twice in the third with Delta striking first on a 14-yard run up the gut from Jaylyn Session. Shasta answered with Boston finding pay dirt from 3 and 2 yards out on consecutive drives, the second of which was set up by Tyler Carey's 40-yard catch down the sideline from Tuttle. With nine seconds remaining in the period, Pickens got behind the defense for a 56-yard touchdown pass from DeMello but Shasta held the lead thanks to a missed extra point.
With ball control a priority, the Knights fed their one-two punch of Boston and Jayden Gordon to put the game away. Each of them had a 20-plus yard run before Tuttle's rollout was sniffed out, causing the freshman quarterback to improvise and take off the opposite direction for a 10-yard touchdown run.
Tuttle finished the game 11 of 22 passing for 145 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and only threw the ball six times in the second half. He added 50 rushing yards on five carries.
The Knights' defense held the Mustangs out of the end zone on the following drive, including four stops inside the Shasta 4 yard line as Tyrese Randall and Elijah Grooms both came up with tackles for a loss.
Shasta held Delta to 22 rushing yards and 0.8 yards per attempt, racking up two sacks and 13 tackles for a loss, two of which were sacks by Randall and Dermont Morgan.
"I thought we played physical up front and did well against their run game and put pressure on the quarterback," Hamilton said.
Boston broke free for his long touchdown run, marking his fifth run in the second half alone of 20-plus yards to put the game out of reach.
Carey was the leading receiver for the Knights with 49 yards on two catches while Leslie Cummings had a 39-yard grab. Gordon finished with 85 total yards on 13 touches.
Shasta goes on the road Friday at 7 p.m. to play winless Laney, which lost to Butte 23-10 on Saturday.
Boston's 294 rushing yards was the fourth-most in single-game history for the Knights, his previous career-best was 272 against Feather River in the 2021 spring season … Boston became the 17th Knight to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in the game, he is currently at 1,296 yards, which ranks eighth all-time for the Knights … his 16 rushing touchdowns are tied for fifth in school history … Boston's 93-yard touchdown run was the third-longest run in program history.