Mari Erin Roth
Sportswriter [email protected]
What a season it has been for Feather River College football fans! The Eagles won their last game, Sept. 25, in a real nail-biter finish, 31-30. The Eagles were playing the Blue Devils in Merced Saturday afternoon under clear skies and at lower elevation. Here is how the game played out.
The Blue Devils were first on the scoreboard scoring after an 8-play drive for 75 yards in 2:35 minutes. With a good kick, Merced took the lead 7-0 on their home field. Claiming the entire first quarter Devil territory, Merced David Pressly kicked a 38-yard field goal after a 6-play drive for 25 yards in 3:22 minutes. The Devils widened their lead with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter, 10-0.
The Eagles rallied in the first few minutes of the second quarter with a 25-yard field goal kicked by FRC’s Gio Morales after 11 plays for 61 yards in 4:48 minutes. This put FRC on the scoreboard, 10-3. Merced came back tough as Ryan Kraft made a 32-yard run into the endzone after a 79-yard gain in 5 plays and 2:18 minutes. Blue Devil Agustin Piza landed a good kick for a Merced expanded lead, 17-3. Home team receiver, Evans Demoundre, caught an 18-yard pass from Ryan Kraft to score for Merced after 3-plays and 14 yards in 1:18 minutes. Pressly failed to score with the extra point kick, but that didn’t fade the glory of the 23-3 lead the Blue Devils racked up in front of their Merced fans with 9:34 remaining before the half.
The Eagles made a 7-play drive for 56 yards in 2:52 minutes. FRC’s Tanner Hall carried the ball 1-yard into the end zone and Morales scored on his second extra-point kick of the day to put the Eagles back in the game, 23-10, at halftime. Merced Demoundre caught a 30-yard pass from Kraft after a 4:04 minute drive of 94 yards in 9 plays. Agustin made a good kick and the Blue Devils said, “It’s our game,” 30-10 at the end of the third quarter.
Apparently, that’s what it took to spark the Eagles. They lit the torch, blazed through the tunnel, and never looked back. The Eagles drove 57 yards in a short 1:59 minutes and with eight quick plays put Chance Bustillo in position to carry the ball one yard and score. Morales kicked true, 30-17. With 2:59 left in the game, Jared Taylor turned a 17-yard run into a touchdown after the Eagles traveled 35 yards in 4 plays and another quick 1:06 minutes, 30-24. Feather River managed 89 yards in 7 plays in just 1:51 minutes ending with Hall making the tying touchdown with just 39 seconds in the game.
The score was 30-30. FRC kicker, Gio Morales, stepped up to do his thing and he did! Morales kicked the wining point for the Eagles to win 31-30! No pressure. “It was nice to get a tough win on the road,” said Feather River College head football coach Nick Goulet. “It truly tested our resolve and is something to build confidence from. We have to continue to focus on the how and the why of things, not the what.” There was nothing easy about the 31-30 victory over the Blue Devils, but the continued drive is inspiring.
Three wins in a row is a first for a very long time in Eagle football. The FRC men can be very proud of their accomplishments. Coach Goulet became coach of a 0-10 Eagle team four years ago, and it’s been tough. The team has had a win each year since but, have yet to have a winning season. Covid knocked college football as hard as it hit High School conference play.
But here we are with a full fall season schedule, there are fans in the stadium, and the Feather River College 2021 Eagles team is undefeated. It doesn’t get much better than that. Fans are welcomed and invited to attend the Feather River College home football games. The Eagles have added two Saturday home games to their schedule: first hosting the Los Medanos Mustangs Saturday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m., and for the final game of the season, the Foothill Owls at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Feather River College Eagles Football schedule
Feather River College 41, San Jose Jaguars 16
Feather River College 32, Monterey Peninsula 15
Feather River College 31, Merced Blue Devils 30
1 p.m. Feather River College at Hartnell Panthers
5 p.m. Home game: Feather River College vs. Los Medanos Mustangs at FRC Stadium
1 p.m. Feather River College at Yuba 49ers
1 p.m. Home game: Feather River College vs. Contra Costa Comets at FRC Stadium
1 p.m. Feather River College at De Anza Mountain Lions
1 p.m. Home game: Feather River College vs. Foothill Owls at FRC Stadium