Trailing by two points after one quarter of play, Modesto Junior College erupted for 34 unanswered points en route to a 41-9 Valley Conference road victory over Chabot on Saturday night.
Freshman running back Devan Bass scored three touchdowns during the surge, capping drives with two 1-yard touchdown plunges and a 6-yard burst into the end zone. Bass, who played last season for Turlock’s Pitman High School, led all rushers with 155 yards on 28 carries. He alone outgained the Gladiators by 32 yards. Modesto JC quarterback Dan Velasquez just missed joining bass with a 100-yard game. The former Turlock High standout totaled 92 yards on 11 carries – including a 54-yard jaunt in the third quarter – and completed 13 of 23 passes for 157 yards and a TD pass to Michael Thompson late in the third stanza.
Offensively, the Pirates totaled 480 yards of offense on 86 plays from scrimmage. Chabot, meanwhile, ran just 56 plays and amassed 203 yards.
Modesto defensive end Mustafa Johnson, another freshman out of Turlock High, led the Pirates with six total tackles – two for losses – and one sack. Alex Velasquez and Kekupa’a Freehauf both finished with five tackles. Izzel Price and Dyjuan Jordan each had interceptions for the Pirates. Price’s pick came late in the first half when MJC held a 20-9 lead and the Gladiators were driving toward, potentially, making it a three-point contest. He returned in 23 yards to MJC’s 33 and the Pirates were able to run out the final 30 seconds of the half.
The victory puts the Pirates at 4-4 for the season and 2-1 in the Valley Conference. The Gladiators fall to 1-7, 0-3. Modesto will travel Friday to Oakland for a 7 p.m. contest against Laney, a 30-23 winner over Fresno City. The Pirates need a victory over the Eagles to create a three-way tie – with Laney and FCC – for first place heading into the final week of the regular season.
Modesto first got on the board against Chabot when Noah Preuss scored from the 1 to cap a 14-play, 77-yard drive that chewed up nearly five minutes of clock, making the score 7-3 with 3 minutes, 29 seconds to play in the first quarter. Chabot regained the lead when Vondell Pilcher hit Samuel Adams with a 10-yard touchdown pass with just 20 second left in the opening stanza.
From there, however, it wall all MJC.
Bass scored the next three touchdowns, making it 27-9. After the Velasquez-Thompson connection, which capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive, Kameron Beamon closed out the scoring with his 5-yard blast into the end zone with 1:09 remaining in the contest. His TD was the capper to a 13-play, 98 yard drive that ate up 6:10 off the clock.
All told, MJC held the ball for 33:26, while Chabot had it for 26:34.