Butte football looks to stay undefeated in NorCal Conference play

BUTTE VALLEY — The Butte College football team entered the start of NorCal Conference play with three straight losses, but since a Oct. 2 loss to Fresno City College the Roadrunners have turned things around and have won two straight games entering Saturday.

“I think it was something we learned from, it’s something we’re definitely going to use in the future and hopefully we’ll see those teams again,” said Butte backup quarterback Tanner Hughes about the team’s losses to College of San Mateo, Modesto Junior College and Fresno City College following last week’s win over Sierra College.

Saturday, both Butte (4-3, 2-0 NCC) and American River College (4-3, 2-0 NCC) of Sacramento will look to stay undefeated in conference play when the Roadrunners host the Beavers at 1 p.m. at Cowan Stadium.

Butte is coming off a 35-13 win over Sierra. American River is coming off a 38-22 defeat of Santa Rosa, who the Roadrunners defeated by one score in overtime in week six.

After last week’s win, Butte rose five spots in the California Community College Sports Information Association poll released Oct. 25. The Roadrunners are in a three-way tie for 14th with Feather River and Mt. San Antonio in the CCCSIA poll rankings. American River rose two spots and is ranked 19th.

In the Junior College Athletic Bureau Coaches poll rankings released Oct. 25, Butte rose five spots after last week’s win and sits at No. 11, one spot above the Beavers who are ranked 12th.

In Butte’s win against Sierra, the Roadrunner offense recorded a season-high 440 yards. Ten different rushers combined for 265 yards, and Hughes and starting quarterback Brian Harper combined for 175 yards passing. Running back Johnny Williams scored for a third straight week after opening the season with four scoreless games. Williams and many of the starters sat out much of the second half, as Butte led 28-7 early in the third quarter and 35-13 after three quarters.

The Butte defense also had a pair of sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a blocked point after attempt by Pleasant Valley alumnus Austin York that was nearly returned for a Butte score.

Snelling said his team did a much better job of all 11 players doing their job at one time last week, a point he has emphasized all season long. Snelling explained that one man not doing his job can cause an otherwise explosive play on offense or defense to fall apart.

“We had a lot of big runs, a lot of plays down the field in the pass game, defensively had a lot of guys on the ball, we had a lot of guys showing up,” Snelling said after last week’s win.

After Saturday’s home game against American River, Butte will travel to Weed to take on College of the Siskiyous in week nine, before returning home for its regular season finale at 1 p.m. Nov. 13 against Shasta.

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