MODESTO -- For nearly two decades, the Graffiti Bowl wrapped up the community college football season in Modesto.
That run will come to an end this year, which would have been the 20th renewal.
Modesto Junior College coach Sam Young confirmed this week that the game, always staged one week after the end of the regular season, will not be held.
MJC (4-5, 1-3), preparing for its season finale Saturday at San Joaquin Delta, will not advance to the Graffiti Bowl for the first time since 2005.
Nor will anyone else.
Young said the Pirates, who couldn't find a Graffiti title sponsor in 2011, spent between $5,000 and $7,000 to present the game, a 48-25 loss to Butte.
"We can't find a sponsor every year," Young said. "It's do-able but it can't be sustained. I had to use that amount of money (the game's cost) just to run our program."
Former MJC coach Steve Da Prato started the Graffiti Bowl in 1993. It was played each year, including five times without MJC.
Young said the Graffiti Bowl probably wouldn't have been held even if Modesto would have won six games, making it bowl-eligible. Northern California will ditch its current bowl system in favor of a seeded playoff bracket in a few years, Young said. Modesto's bowl game already had a limited shelf life.
"Everything seems to be pointing toward playoffs," Young said. "The floating bowl structure eventually will take hold."
The Graffiti Bowl will return only if Modesto earns a home game down the road. Hosting it each season, however, is history.
Which leaves the Pirates only with a play-for-pride game at Delta. Modesto bowed out of the Valley Conference race after three straight losses, all by 10 points or fewer.
The Pirates yielded nearly 49 points a game during the slump, but the offense shared the blame during last week's 52-42 loss to Fresno. The Pirates' 619 net yards were blemished by six turnovers resulting in 21 points by the Rams. Still, MJC didn't give up the lead until the game's final five minutes.
Modesto needs a win to avoid its first sub-.500 record since 2003.
"To finish the season with a win would still feel good to us," running back Ricky Fuentes said.
Delta (6-3, 2-2) probably will earn a home bowl berth with a victory. The Mustangs were rolling until losses the last two weeks, the latter a 45-38 thriller in double overtime to Sierra.
"All the external rewards have been taken away. We're playing for all those internal rewards," Young said. "It's a pure football experience. We're playing for the love of the game and for each other."
The Valley, one of Northern California's top two leagues, enters Week 10 with three teams tied atop the standings: defending champion Fresno, Sierra and American River. The tie reflects this year's parity.
"When we start league, it's like starting the playoffs. It's a round-robin," Fresno coach Tony Caviglia said after last week's game.
NOTES Kickoff is 1 p.m. Saturday at DeRicco Stadium. ... Left guard Joe Vargas, who suffered a separated shoulder against Fresno, will miss the game. So will running back Aaron Fields (groin), who scored a touchdown early in last week's game.
The Graffiti Bowl
A look at Modesto Junior College's bowl game over the years:
1993: Butte 28, MJC 18
1994: MJC 25, Foothill 7
1995: MJC 42, Chabot 14
1996: San Bernardino Valley 9, Sequoias 7
1997: MJC 36, Mendocino 19
1998: West Hills 31, Shasta 21
1999: MJC 46, American River 20
2000: MJC 51, West Valley 17
2001: MJC 24, San Mateo 6
2002: MJC 57, Shasta 37
2003: West Hills 28, Laney 24
2004: Monterey Peninsula 35, Solano 28
2005: Hartnell 37, Yuba 34 (OT)
2006: Laney 34, MJC 28
2007: Laney 42, MJC 21
2008: MJC 31, Sacramento 6
2009: MJC 54, San Jose 13
2010: MJC 45, Diablo Valley 21
2011: Butte 48, MJC 25
2012: No game