REDDING, Calif. – Shasta College's football team fell to Los Medanos College 32-20 Saturday at Memorial Stadium to drop to 0-3 for the first time since 2011. (Video clip).
The Knights never led in the Pacific 7 League opener, though, cut the deficit to one score three times. But Los Medanos always had an answer and Shasta couldn't capitalize.
"I'm proud of the way the kids stepped up and showed more life tonight," Shasta College head coach Craig Thompson said. "We did compete but too many times we kicked the wheels off the bus. They capitalized and didn't self-destruct."
Shasta quarterback Trent Darms found B.J. Brown in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to even the score at 7 in the second quarter. But Los Medanos responded by scoring on its next two possessions – a 23-yard touchdown catch and run by Tanif Rivers and a 58-yard pick-6 by Antoine Tanner – to lead 19-7 at the half.
The Knights' running game provided a spark out of half with DeMarco Grayson picking up gains of 19 and 7 yards before fellow sophomore running back Justin Hellyer made a couple guys miss on a 41-yard touchdown run to pull within 5.
But again, Los Medanos' Craijon Menefee punched it in from 3 yards out to go up 25-14 with 3:53 left in the third quarter.
Shasta (0-3, 0-1 Pac 7) didn't go away. The Knights marched on an eight-play drive, capped by Darms finding a wide open Patrick Blake for a 9-yard touchdown in the right corner of the end zone to make it 25-20.
One last time, the Mustangs (4-0, 1-0 Pac 7) extended their lead. Namontte Grigsby, who finished with 104 rushing yards on 19 carries, scored on a 13-yard run to go ahead 32-20 with 9:36 left.
Despite the Knights going three-and-out on their next possession, Jarod Fountain recovered a Mustang fumble deep in Shasta territory to give the Knights another chance. Backup quarterback Daniel Lewis connected on four passes – all for first downs – to get Shasta in the red zone. But a sack on third down backed the Knights up and his fourth down pass fell incomplete, and Shasta didn't run another play past midfield on its final possession.
"We don't have that big home run type threat right now," Thompson said. "Justin had some great runs and ran with great passion, the offensive line has improved but is still making improvements, and DeMarco Grayson had explosive runs. Comes down to execution and we're working on it."
Shasta outgained Los Medanos 406 to 368, the second straight game it outgained its opponent in a loss.
Darms finished 18 for 29 passing for 133 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while Lewis was 7 of 14 passing for 108 yards in a reserved role.
Hellyer surpassed 100 yards on the ground for the first time this year, totaling 126 yards on 18 attempts. He also added 14 yards on three catches.
Jaquez Durham led the Knights in receiving with six catches for 93 yards. Drew Faircloth was the team-leader in tackles with 13, followed by Archez Marks with six tackles. Isaiah Priester had an interception.
photo by Mike Daly