BUTTE VALLEY — It took a touchdown in overtime and a touchdown and a successful two point conversion in double overtime for the Butte College football team to defeat Santa Rosa Junior College in the opener of NorCal Conference play last week in Santa Rosa.
With the win the Roadrunners (3-3, 1-0 NCC) snapped a three game losing streak and look to carry that momentum into Saturday’s matchup against Sierra College at Butte College. Kick off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Cowan Stadium in Butte Valley. It will be “pink out” day at Butte College in support of breast cancer awareness, and the Roadrunners will be selling pink Butte College football shirts to help raise money.
In the Junior College Athletic Bureau Coaches poll rankings released Oct. 18, Butte jumped two spots up and now ranks 16th, with Sierra College at No. 20. In the California Community College Sports Information Association poll, Butte rose two spots and is now No. 18, with Sierra College tied for 21st.
Sierra College enters Saturday’s game 3-2 and is coming off its bye week. After two straight losses to Modesto and City College of San Francisco, Sierra has won games against San Joaquin Delta, Sacramento City and most recently an overtime win against Diablo Valley College on Oct. 9.
Butte running back Johnny Williams enters Saturday’s game with back-to-back games with 100 yards rushing or more. Williams had 127 yards rushing on 26 attempts last week against Santa Rosa, and 201 yards on 45 attempts the game prior in the Roadrunners’ loss to Fresno City College.
Against Santa Rosa, Butte did not have the ball much in the first half as the winless Bear Cubs took a 14-7 lead into halftime. Butte’s offense scored right away to open the second half on a 33-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brian Harper and its defense held Santa Rosa scoreless until overtime. Butte kicker Gabe Estabrook nearly ended the game in regulation, however the Pleasant Valley alumnus missed a 25-yard field goal with eight seconds to play.
Both teams scored once in overtime, and in the second overtime period Harper threw a 3-yard pass to Troy White, and then Harper completed a pass to Jailen Hammer to complete the two-point conversion. Butte’s defense shut Santa Rosa down on four straight plays in the second overtime as the Roadrunners came out with the win.
For a second week this season, Butte had 14 penalties in the game. The Roadrunners were tagged with 14 penalties for 135 yards. The last time Butte had 14 penalties for 144 yards in a loss to Modesto on Sept. 25, Butte coach Robby Snelling told the media the penalties would be addressed in conditioning practice on Monday following the game.
Snelling said he is OK with the occasional holding call, false start or pass interference call when players are playing hard, but unsportsmanlike conduct calls are unacceptable. Snelling said the issues would be “taken care of” ahead of Saturday.
After Saturday’s game, Butte will remain home the following week to take on American River, before traveling to College of the Siskiyous on Nov. 6.