SRJC football: Bear Cubs rally to road win over De Anza


For the second Saturday in a row, Santa Rosa JC overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win a NorCal Conference game on the road.

This week, the victim was De Anza. The Dons took a 17-point lead into the fourth quarter in Cupertino, but the Bear Cubs rallied with 21 unanswered points to prevail, 35-31.

The previous Saturday, Santa Rosa was in Los Altos and trailed Foothill by three heading to the final stanza. The Bear Cubs wound up winning, 27-17.

The De Anza win has ramifications because it was the Bear Cubs’ sixth victory of the season and makes them bowl eligible.

“It’s the first time in five years the program has been bowl eligible,” coach Lenny Wagner said. Santa Rosa still has two regular-season games remaining.

Saturday’s game-winning 56-yard touchdown pass from David Sowards to Andre Davis had Wagner searching for superlatives when describing it.

“It was a short pass of about 10 to 15 yards,” the coach said. “Davis broke six tackles getting to the end zone. Breaking tackles wears a player out but once Andre got in the clear, he put it in another gear. It was a fantastic piece of open-field running.”

The score that put the Bear Cubs in front came with 4:48 left on the clock.

“We shut down De Anza on their next possession and then ran out the clock,” Wagner said.

Linebacker John Jackson started the comeback less than a minute into the fourth quarter when he scooped up a De Anza fumble and ran the ball in from 8 yards out.

On Santa Rosa’s next possession, K’Lan Anderson finished a 48-yard drive with a 1-yard run.

“I’d like to tell you that I said something profound to get the guys going but I’d be lying,” Wagner said. “When we got that fumble recovery, the momentum shifted our way.

“We’re just a team of blue-collar dudes that are overmatched sometimes but always play above our level.”

Close to 20 players have missed time with injuries this season, forcing Wagner to put together patchwork lineups.

De Anza quarterback Jack Singler, who came into the game with a conference-best 21 passing touchdowns, added four more to his resume. He threw for 296 yards and was intercepted once.

Santa Rosa quarterback David Sowards finished with 229 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Dons (3-5) were plagued by 15 penalties totaling 140 yards. The Bear Cubs were flagged six times for 58 yards.

Spencer Morrow led the rushing attack for the winners. He gained 128 yards on 25 carries.

The Bear Cubs, ranked No. 4 by the CCCAA in Northern California, are now 2-1 in conference and 6-2 overall. They play their final regular-season home game next Saturday afternoon when San Francisco City pays a visit.

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