Trailing by 17 points in the fourth quarter in a pivotal Bay Valley Conference game, the Contra Costa College football team scored 20 unanswered points to stun Mendocino 41-38 on Saturday.
Quarterback Lamar McKnight sparked the Comets comeback, first with a 50-yard bolt up the middle for a touchdown with 8:56 left, then connecting with leading receiver Ronald Butler on a beautifully thrown pass with 4:18 left that gave Contra Costa a 39-38 lead.
With the victory, Contra Costa remained in sole possession of first place in the BVC.
A comeback seemed unlikely considering the Comets were penalized 20 times for 177 yards. Just about every time the Comets had a big play, it seemed, it was nullified by a penalty.
Mendocino (3-5, 2-1 BVC) led 24-13 at the intermission after a 30-yard field goal by Jammie McDuffie. The Comets cut the deficit to 24-21 early in the third quarter on a 24-yard touchdown run by tailback Rashad Hall (32 carries, 180 yards).
Mendocino pushed the lead to 38-21 on a fluke play as receiver Janod Flowers raced 65 yards on a reception from quarterback Kyle Harmyk. Flowers fumbled into the end zone, but teammate Ryan Brethower recovered for the touchdown.
"We stumbled a little bit getting out of the gate today, but I knew our sophomores were going to get us back in it," said Comets sophomore linebacker Keenan Coogler, who led a defensive effort that allowed just 56 yards rushing. "I knew we were going to come back."
Hall had three rushing touchdowns for Contra Costa (5-3, 3-0 BVC). McKnight completed nine of 19 passes for 160 yards.
Besides the stellar play of Coogler and Eriquel Florence, the Comets intercepted Harmyk four times. Defensive backs Avion Brown, Anthony Beaver, Tyran Finley and John Lewis had interceptions for CCC.
Laney 35, Merced 24: Charles Cobbs threw two touchdown passes and Daron Duong scored rushed for two scores to lead the Eagles to a Golden Gate Conference victory over the host Blue Devils (2-7, 0-3 GGC)
Cobbs brought the Eagles (3-5, 2-1) back from a 24-13 deficit, throwing two touchdown passes in the final minutes of the second quarter.
Cobbs first threw a 48-yard scoring pass to Xavier Milton with 1:45 remaining in the period. Then, after a missed 52-yard field goal by Merced was returned 55 yards by Jamal Mayo, Cobbs connected with Aaron George from 45 yards out for the go-ahead score with no time remaining.
Chabot 40, Feather River 33: Asanti McCrae scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including one on a 18-yard run with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter proved as the host Gladiators (4-4) beat the Golden Eagles (3-5) in a nonconference game. McCrae finished with 17 carries for 106 yards and Brandyn Eckhart had three touchdowns and 96 yards on 28 carries.