By ANDREW BUTLER
College of the Redwoods football came up short on the road against Pacific 7 Conference rival De Anza, falling 42-34 Saturday afternoon in Cupertino.
“I can’t fault our effort today at all,” Redwoods head coach Frank Borba said. “We missed on some big play opportunities and allowed some big plays by them.”
Redwoods (1-1, 2-3) trailed 35-34 late in the fourth quarter to De Anza (1-0, 3-1) and it appeared that the home team had the game in hand, needing to just take a knee a few times to run out the clock. De Anza’s running back Necholas Sermons, however, opted to break off a 39-yard touchdown run to put his team ahead 42-34. Redwoods, under the direction of quarterback Alex Adams, seized the late game opportunity and drove down to De Anza’s 25-yard line. The drive ended there as Adams threw a game-ending interception.
Redwoods may have not needed late-game heroics if not for a duo of questionable penalties during De Anza’s extra-point attempt following its game-tying touchdown earlier in the fourth quarter.
De Anza was given three opportunities to convert the extra point which put them ahead 35-34 after a running into the kicker call nullified the first missed attempt and an offsides call on the second attempt retracted what was a blocked kick by Marcus Finney. De Anza converted its third extra point attempt.
“I haven’t watched tape yet but I don’t think it was the correct call, either time,” Borba said.
Redwoods pushed De Anza to the limit and held the lead at halftime by a 27-21 margin. Redwoods, however, scored just seven points in the second half to De Anza’s 21.
Both defenses struggled to contain the other team’s offense as Redwoods posted 409 total yards and De Anza, a staggering 755.
Adams took the majority of snaps at quarterback for Redwoods and finished with 271 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions. De Anza’s quarterback Oliver Svirsky had himself a day with 523 yards through the air and three touchdowns.
Elijah Hicks was efficient on the ground for the Corsairs, managing 74 yards off of 13 carries. He scored two touchdowns rushing as well. Sermons lead De Anza in rushing with 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Redwoods will look for a win next week when in travels to Aptos, Calif. To face Cabrillo College. Kickoff is at 1 p.m., Oct 6.