There is only one 5-0 community college football team in Northern California, and that team is the San Mateo Bulldogs College.
CSM (5-0) ended their tough non-conference schedule Saturday at College Heights Stadium with a 28-21 victory over Butte College. The ‘Dogs have a bye this week before the inaugural Bay 6 Conference play Saturday October 15th, at home against Laney College at 1:00
The Bulldogs have won 15 straight games of a regular non-conference season dating back to 2019, but this year’s roster from Sierra, Sequoias, Modesto, American River and Butte was the toughest roster to date, according to CSM coach Tim Tulloch.
“All five of these teams were in pols last year, and they are all really good teams this year,” Tulloch said. “So, it’s a timeline. And then, the next two of us, you go into the league, it’s Laney [and Diablo Valley College]. We have seven teams that participated in matches in a row. Nobody has that kind of table.”
Ezra Molini’s shootout totaled 19 runs for 171 yards and three touchdowns, including 10 touches on the game’s opening CSM drive. It was a 16-game, 75-yard grind that included three conversions for a third down, and one for a fourth down, before Molini punched it with a 2-yard lead. The acquisition took 9 minutes, 23 seconds off the scoreboard.
But it wasn’t until early in the fourth quarter that the Bulldogs dominated the pace of the game.
Butt (3-2) took advantage of long distances on his own, going 66 yards in 15 games to score with 3:02 remaining in the first half. The Roadrunners made three fourth-down conversions on the drive, most recently coming in fourth and one off the 23-yard streak from CSM, when Caleb Ramseur slipped out of the interference to stay put until he dived over his head through the left pylon to hook him 7-7.
CSM specials responded when returning J’Wan Evans turned a near-disaster into a major play. The bot kick was caught in the wind and bounced between two Bulldogs returning close to ten, leaving Evans to fall back to pick it up. But the sophomore picked up the field and introduced him 30 yards to the 41 Roadrunners.
“He’s a guy, we want to find opportunities to put the ball in his hands, in space,” Tulloch said. “He’s just explosive, and he’s got great vision. And that plays a big part in a kickoff. He can use his running back vision in terms of finding seams and creases, and he has the speed to take it a distance.”
Mullini then ran from 14, 12 and 2 yards before quarterback Richie Watts reached out to Evans for a 31-yard pass leaving 1:04 in the half, giving the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Poti fired at right-back to open the second half. Ramsur totaled 24 holders for 148 yards in the game and opened the second half with an explosive 61 yards. The sophomore added 7, 2, 2, 3 and 2 yard runs, including 4th and 3rd downhill transfers, before sophomore quarterback Tanner Hughes ran off for a 3-yard touchdown to tie him 14-14.
But the Bulldog’s defense centered on three consecutive stops. CSM’s third-place attack near midfield marked a turning point, as he sacked new midfielder Flynn Williams-Hughes for forcing a kick. Roadrunners Punter Dante Jackson pitted the Bulldogs against him when his 43-yard tumbler was brought down at CSM 6.
Then Mullini turned the field, cutting 53 yards to cross into Butte Zone. After three plays, Moleni gave CSM the lead by scoring 25 yards.
“A combination of [Evans] And what Ezra was doing — I mean, these two guys, you have to count them in the running game,” Tulloch said. “And if you don’t, these guys can get it done.”
Bulldogs’ defense gave Molini and his teammates the ball at right-back. Alo Mata’u forced Butt into the air in third place. The blitz then forced new defensive back Demetrius Phryne Hughes to speed up with an incomplete pass.
The Bulldogs got the ball back on their own 16. A 52-yard pass from Watts to sophomore Raymelo Murphy got the CSM team moving. Then, Wes Brown’s legs extended the push on a mock field goal by three minutes to play.
CSM lined up to score a field goal at 53 yards, with second-place goalkeeper Gabi Placencia a threat to convert from that distance. The Bulldogs ran the trick game to perfection, though, with Brown sprinting around the left side for an 18-yard pickup and first touchdown.
“I think if Gabe wasn’t a real threat, we wouldn’t be able to do it, at least from there,” Tulloch said.
Tulloch said Brown’s athletics were key to the play.
“He’s a great athlete,” said Tulloch. “We have some really great athletes who get overlooked because they are specialists. He can play for our tight team, he can play the kick-off team. He’s a guy who can play so many different positions. He’s the massive tall snapper. He’s pound for pound and one of the most athletic players on our team.” .
After two games, Mullini hit his third hit of the day with a 12-yard touchdown run.
Butte added a harmless touchdown with two seconds remaining in regulation, and a 2-yard pass from Hughes to Jailen Hammer.
CSM outperformed the Butte 386-331 despite running it fewer than 19 times.
Watts finished the day with a team totaling 179 yards, including 9 of 16 passes for 153 yards and touchdowns. In the middle of the season, the freshman leads the state with an efficiency of 183.6 quarterbacks, along with a 72.5 completion percentage. He threw six touchdown passes and didn’t get in his way.