Football wins season opener

Zach Tatar

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Jags comeback late to win

Game played Saturday, Sept. 13 2014

San Jose City College rallied with :26 left for its first win of the season in the Jags’ first game at home in 2014 with a 41-36 win, freshman quarterback Ray Rivera accounted for five touchdowns including the game winning pass connected with tight-end Tyler Green in the corner of the end zone to beat the Reedley College Tigers, Saturday Sept.13 at Jaguar Stadium. Down by three with 1:29 left in the game, Jags freshman quarterback Rivera connected with sophomore tight end Green with an 8-yard bullet-pass to the corner of the end zone giving the Jags a 34-30 Jags sophomore receiver Kirby Linscomb IV praised his quarterback after the game. “He played great, he was composed, ” Linscomb said, “he took his time, and he didn’t rush or panic with pressure in his face. He delivered a great ball and led the way for us.”
Linscomb caught one of the four touchdowns thrown on the night. Rivera, starting in his first collegiate game after taking the last two years off from football, finished with 299 passing yards, threw four touchdowns, and also ran one in himself for a touchdown on a quarterback sneak. The first touchdown of the 2014 season came over halfway through the first quarter. A 49-yard pass from Rivera was caught by sophomore receiver Lydell Williams, completing a seven-play, 89-yard drive. “Without the O-line and the quarterback, the play couldn’t be developed without them, so I got to give them credit, and the easy part was just me catching the ball and running. It was a well-designed play that we executed,” said Williams. Lydell finished with 83 yards on six catches and improved to 111 receiving yards on the season.
Quarterback Rivera couldn’t find words to describe scoring his first touchdown in two years. “To be the first score of the game and the year, in front of the home crowd it was just, I mean, I was pretty speechless.“ Rivera said. “After, I just ran up to him (Lydell) and didn’t know what to do, so I just gave him a hug.” Rivera finished with 299 yards passing, a career high. The Jags’ Rivera ran for a one-yard score run right up the gut, over the line of scrimmage to make it 14-0, the second of three scores in the second quarter. Freshman wide receiver Nick Inneh had a breakout game with 163 passing yards receiving, scoring a touchdown and connecting six times with quarterback Rivera.
“We had a lot of chemistry there, we did a lot of work during last week, after practice, didn’t do it in week one, tried it the second week and I think it all paid off in the game,” Rivera said.

Despite being shutout in week one against West Hills College, Friday, Sept. 5, the Jags allowed 14 points in the first quarter in Coalinga, a game that the Jags would like to forget, a 50-0 loss to the Falcons whom were no match in the 90 degree heat. Reedley College’s first score came with 11:53 left in the third quarter, making it 27-7. The Tigers’ freshman running back Javin Harrison ran his way into the end zone for a 16-yard score. Harrison led the way on the ground for the Tigers with 170 rushing yards, 18 carries, scoring two touchdowns. On the very next drive for SJCC, the Reedley defense pinned the Jags deep in their own zone. After forcing a fumble, the Tigers recovered the ball in their own end zone for a team safety, inching Reedley’s chances back into the game. It was 27-9 with just over six minutes left and the Tigers were just getting started. Reedley had the momentum and continued to show why the Tigers won their season home-opener Saturday, Sept. 6 scoring 37 points in the first three quarters against Mendocino College.
Reedley took the lead from the SJCC late in the game Saturday by scoring on three consecutive drives in the fourth quarter. Harrison fought his way across the goal line for a 2-yard run, making the score 27-16 with 13:45 left. Reedley’s sophomore quarterback Sean Stell Jr. passed for 350 yards on the night with two of his three touchdown passes came in a matter of 7 minutes to make it 30-27 l, and the Jags lost the lead and momentum with 2:08 left.
Then came Rivera’s bull’s-eye, corner of the end zone pass to tight end Green for first score since the end of the second quarter, taking the lead back, and making 34-30 with 1:30 left in the game. On Reedley’s next drive, Jag freshman linebacker Christian Paolinetti recorded his first sack of the season, forcing a fumble recovered by SJCC’s sophomore defensive back Khari Vanderbilt, giving the possession and momentum back to the Jags. That was Vanderbilt’s first fumble recovery of the season and the sophomore also leads the Jags in tackles for the season. Vanderbilt is also being recognized by a few four year schools such as BYU and Cal Berkeley, said head coach Carlton Connor. After giving up 50 points to a West Hills team a week prior, the Jag defense had a lot of preparation for Saturday’s home opener.
“The whole plan was to control what they gave us by formations and personal group coverage in order to put them where we wanted them,” Connor said. The Tigers put together a 36-yard drive and scored with :26 left in the game. Despite being down 41-36 in the game, Reedley’s quarterback Stell Jr.’s 2 point conversion was no good. As the clock ran out, San Jose City walked away beating the Reedley College Tigers 41-36 for the first win of the season.