Modesto Junior College running back Devan Bass rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns as the Pirates won their third consecutive game Saturday, defeating College of the Sequoias 35-7 in their Valley Conference opener.
Bass, who ran for 1,036 yards during his senior season at Pitman High last year, scored on runs of 1, 12 and 1 yards to help MJC move out to a 21-0 lead midway through third quarter.
But the Pirates (3-3, 1-0 VC) didn’t get on the board until less than two minutes remained in the first half. Up until that point, the Modesto defense was the star.
“Sequoias is pretty good on defense so it took a little while to get things going,” said MJC head coach Rusty Stivers. “We were fortunate our defense playing so well. It was a dominating performance by our defense.”
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Quarterback Dan Velasquez scored on a 7-yard run to make it 28-0.
The Giants (2-4, 0-1) finally got on the board on Gus Villareal’s 9-yard touchdown run with just 25 seconds left in the contest.
“Everybody wants to get the goose egg,” said Stivers. “But it doesn’t really matter.”
Though Modesto lost its bid for the shutout, but got a measure of revenge when Jeff Hines returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to produce the final margin.
“They tried an onside kick and the ball got past our front line,” said Stivers. “Jeff picked it up and had to zig-zag his way for a touchdown. He didn’t just run up the sidelines. It was a good way to finish the game.”
The Pirates produced 355 yards of total offense on 63 offensive plays, while Sequoias amassed 164 yards on 70 plays.
The Pirates lost their first three games of the season, giving up 45.3 points per game while scoring just 69. In the last three contests, MJC has averaged 37.3 points and surrendered a total of 27 points.
Modesto Junior College will host Fresno City College (4-2, 1-0) on Saturday at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on NorCalSportsTV.com. The Rams are coming off a 45-21 victory at Reedley and have two close losses to powerhouses San Mateo and American River.
Modesto Junior College 35, College of the Sequoias 7
Modesto 0 7 14 14 – 35
Sequoias 0 0 0 7 – 7
MJC – Devan Bass 1 run (Donovan Bravo kick)
MJC – Bass 12 run (Bravo kick)
MJC – Bass 1 run (Bravo kick)
MJC – Dan Velasquez 7 run (Bravo kick)
COS – Gus Villareal 9 run (Ryan Buchanan kick)
MJC – Jeff Hines 52 kickoff return (Bravo kick)