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Rams Finish Season With Bowl Victory
November 21, 2017
A season that started in early August finally came to an end for the Fresno City College football team when they defeated Butte College and won the State Center Bowl game 44-21 at Ratcliffe Stadium on Nov. 18.
The Rams finished the regular season with a 7-3 record and were hoping for an invitation to the Northern California Playoffs, but that didn’t happen. Instead, they were invited to play the Roadrunners, who finished their regular season 5-5 in the State Center Bowl.
FCC felt at home since the bowl game was being played in their own backyard, Ratcliffe Stadium.
Butte received the ball to start the first quarter, but the Rams showed that they meant business and they stopped the Roadrunners at midfield, forcing them to punt.
FCC’s offense wasn’t on the same page as the defense, because in their first possession of the game quarterback Trey McJunkin threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted by Butte’s defense.
The Roadrunners took the chance the Rams gave them and ran with it all the way to the opposing end zone, scoring the game’s first touchdown. The Rams answered quickly when defensive back PJ Jones took the kick all the way to midfield, leaving the offense in a great position to score.
Running back Khai Williams took the Rams closer to scoring with a 30-yard run that put the FCC offense in the Roadrunner’s redzone. The offense struggles continued, but kicker Evan Rios made a 24-yard kick that made the score 7-3.
The Rams defense continued to play great, keeping the Roadrunners to a negative 1-yard and forcing them to punt just before the end of the quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Williams scored the first TD for the Rams with an 8-yard run, making the score 10-7 in favor of the Rams.
After a couple of drives where the defenses of both teams were stellar, Butte finally got their chance when Jones fumbled the punt ball and was recovered by the Roadrunners inside FCC’s 10-yard line. With about three minutes left in the quarter, Butte scored a rushing TD that made the score 14-10.
FCC was not about to leave the half down by four points, so they decided to drive down the field. With great throws by McJunkin, runs and catches by Williams and one great 21-yard catch by wide receiver Coltin Velasquez, the Rams made it to Butte’s 1-yard line where Williams walked in the TD, making it 17-14 with 26 seconds on the half.
The second half was a different story—while the first half was a competitive match on both sides, the next half was dominated by the Rams.
The Rams began their third quarter dominance with a pass by McJunkin to tight end Ryan Brocks that ended in the endzone. This gave the Rams a 10 point lead of 24-14, the largest lead of the game by the Rams so far.
Butte struggled to keep the ball in the second half and made errors like bad punts that made it easier for FCC to keep and enlarge the lead. With a short field, FCC’s McJunkin made some good throws to several receivers and when in the 6-yard line, gave the ball to Williams for his third rushing TD of the game.
With the score 31-14, the Rams managed the game and finished the third quarter with the lead.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Butte finally got on the scoreboard and managed to make the score 31-21. The Roadrunners tried, but failed an onside kick, which lead the Rams to have great field position for the next drive.
With a short field position, FCC’s Williams scored his fourth TD of the game, making the score 38-21 and leaving Butte with little options for a comeback.
Besides the four TDs, Williams had a great game with 20 rushing attempts for 156 yards and 4 catches for 32 yards.
FCC’s defense managed to stop the Roadrunners’ offense, once again returning the possession of the ball to the offense. The Rams finished off the Roadrunners with one more rushing TD by running back Wesley Graves, missing the extra point, and finishing the game 44-21.
Williams was named game MVP and the game trophy was presented by FCC’s athletic director Cam Olson to head coach Tony Caviglia and the team.
Williams dedicated the win to his recently deceased high school mentor Tony Perry.
“My mentor Tony Perry showed me that if you believe in yourself, you will be great,” said Williams. “These guys make my job so easy, they are the best in California. At Fresno City we have the best.”
“It was a great way to finish and we are glad we came out as bowl champions,” said Caviglia. “I’m happy with how we finished [the season]. These kids worked hard.”