By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Trailing by three points going into the fourth quarter, Santa Rosa JC scored twice in the final 10 minutes Saturday afternoon to defeat Foothill College, 27-17, in a NorCal Conference game in Los Altos.
Darrian Roman, who played his high school ball at Windsor, scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard pass from David Sowards with 9:13 remaining. Then, less than two minutes later, Spencer Morrow barreled over from the 1 for the clincher.
The game was marred by punts and penalties.
The teams combined for 19 punts and were whistled for 16 infractions.
“It was ugly at times,” Bear Cubs coach Lenny Wagner said. “We battled the entire way and it feels good to win our first conference game.”
SRJC began league play with a 49-21 home loss to Butte last week.
Saturday’s game marked the return of David Sowards as Santa Rosa’s starting quarterback. He suffered a shoulder injury on Sept. 20.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore completed 20 of 36 passes, good for 226 yards.
Besides the short scoring toss to Roman, Sowards found Andre Davis for a 71-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
“David was a little rusty in the first half,” Wagner said. “In the second half, he did a good job of managing the game.”
In addition to his touchdown catch, Davis had another long scoring play. In the third quarter, he fielded a punt and raced 58 yards to paydirt.
Morrow was the Bear Cubs’ leading rusher with 86 yards on 18 carries.
K’Lan Anderson, who came into the game as Santa Rosa’s top runner, was held to 29 yards on 10 carries.
SRJC improved to 5-2, which is quite a feat under the circumstances.
“We’ve been decimated by injuries,” Wagner said. “Ten guys that were starters at the beginning of the season are hurt.”
The Bear Cubs will be in San Jose next Saturday to face De Anza.
Foothill’s record is 2-5, 0-2 in conference play.