Mustang’s comeback falls short

CELEBRATING A TOUCHDOWN: Delta’s Evan Owens scores a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

After a 2-8 record in the last season, the Mustangs football team was poised to start fresh in 2014

Unfortunately, the scoreboard read 24-0 in favor of the Santa Rosa Junior College early in the second quarter of the home opener Sept. 6 at DeRicco Field.

The Mustangs struggled on offense and defense early, but cut the Bear Cubs lead down to 24-14 before falling 31-21.

Freshman starting quarterback, Arnold Kimball completed 12 of 35 passes for 188 yards.

Kimball also ran for a touchdown, but threw four interceptions in his first career college start.

William Mafi had four catches for 77 yards including a 40-yard diving catch.

“We had a lot of young starters today,” said Assistant Head Coach Doug Murray. “They are learning how much faster the game is played in the college level.”

Delta finally got on the board after linebacker Nathan DiDonato recovered a fumble by Bear Cub running back, Darrel DeFlorimonte.

Kimble scored on a one-yard touchdown run a few moments later.

On the Mustangs next possession, running back Evan Owens (11 carries, 66 yards) found the end zone from two-yards out. On the ensuing kickoff, Delta recovered a botched return and it looked like a comeback was starting to take place.

But facing a fourth down, Delta passed up on a 38-yard field goal opportunity and Kimball was hit as he threw the ball causing him to overthrow his intended receiver in the back of the end zone.

Santa Rosa led 24-14 at halftime.

The Bear Cubs scored on the team’s first drive of the second half to push their lead up to 31-14.

Santa Rosa quarterback Christian McAlvain (20 of 28 passes for 192 yards 2 touchdowns) hurt the Mustangs with arm and feet.

“I just tried to make plays happen,” said McAlvain. “We were never worried that they would come back and beat us. We just had to play our type of game.”

His coach also agreed with him.

“We got very conservative on offense after we were up 24 points. We tried to run out the clock every play,” said Bear Cubs Head Coach Lenny Wagner. “We have played some memorable games here at Delta, and we knew Coach Barlow would have this team ready to play.”

Up next for the Mustangs is a road game against the College of Siskiyous on Saturday. Delta returns home to play American River College on Sept. 20 with kickoff scheduled at 1 p.m.

Price of admission is $6 for adults

Children 12 and under are free.