Sac City welcomed in Contra Costa for their 2017 home opener at Hughes Stadium and would improve to 2-0 with their 28-7 victory. The Panthers special teams scored two touchdowns and the offense scored twice, one on the ground and one through the air.
The Comets had the first opportunity as they received the opening kickoff, but saw their drive end after 6:21 had ran off the clock with a blocked field goal attempt from 41 yards out by Christian McFarland. The next four possessions would result in punts (two by each team) and the two teams played a scoreless first quarter. After a Panther fumble and a Contra Costa recovery, the two teams traded punts again. When the Comets got the ball back (after a nice punt return and good field position) with 9:52 to go in the first half, the offense got something going. A quick 12 yard pass on 2nd down and then two plays later on 2nd down again, a 28 yard pass pulled down by Johnathan Thomas put the Comets on top. The extra point made it 7-0 Comets. Contra Costa then tried a pooch kick that Brandon Baty returned 9 yards to the Panthers 45 yard line. On 1st down, Daniel Wright ate up 55 yards as he reached the end zone for the Panthers (extra point by Elijah Siemering) and just like that the game was tied 7-7 just 11 seconds later.
Sac City would then make a stand on defense forcing a three and out for the Comets. The offense was on the move again when the Panthers put the ball on the turf for the second time, again recovered by the Comets. After the Panthers "D" sacked the Comets QB twice and put the visitors in 4th and long situation, SCC's special team was sent out for a punt return. Instead it was Peyton Bailey who blocked the punt and would scoop it up and return the ball 24 yards for a touchdown. Elijah Siemering added the extra point and then kicked off for the Panthers. He kicked a line drive off the chest of one of the Comets front lineman and the ball was recovered by the Panthers. Jayden Machado then connected with Jordan Moore on a quick strike and a pickup of 18 yards. A roughing the passer penalty tacked on 15 more yards and the Panthers were on the Comets 26 yard line with time running down in the half. Jayden Machado passed to Isaiah Montanez who took it the distance for another Sac City score with 27 seconds left in the half. Elijah Siemering knocked through the extra point and put the Panthers up 21-7. That's how the score would remain heading to the locker rooms.
The 2nd half started with a bang as the Panther's special teams once again made a big time play. Tayvian Cunningham took the kickoff at his own 5 yard line and returned the ball the distance for a 95 yard kickoff return (Elijah Siemering point after). That's the way it would end up at Hughes Stadium as the home team won 28-7.
The Panthers finished the game with 152 passing yards from Jayden Machado, including the one TD pass. Daniel Wright led the ground attack with 8- yards and a TD. Jordan Moore was the top receiver with just two grabs for 53 yards, followed by Isaiah Montanez who had 42 yards on two catches and a TD.
Defensively, Christian McFarland had 11 tackels (7 solo, 4 assisted) and a blocked punt. Terrence March had 10 tackles (8 solo) and Aarmon Euwing had 7 tackles, including 3 sacks for a combined loss of 20 yards. Chris Le had an interception in the end zone for a touchback to prevent the Comets from scoring early in the 3rd quarter. Adam Mier (1.5), Michael McKee (1) and TJ TiaTia (.5) also had sacks for the defense.
City is back at home next weekend as they host Modesto Junior College on Saturday, September 16th at 6pm.