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Panthers football win thriller at ARC

Posted by rc360 on November 16, 2009

Late comeback earns team championship, bowl game

City College football coach Dannie Walker looks on as his defense battles American River College Saturday, November 14, 2009 at ARC's Beaver Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. (saccityexpress.com/Cecilio Padilla)

(Note: Story appears as a teaser on the cover of the Express print newspaper on Nov. 24)

It was an unlikely comeback with a fantastic finish.

City College overcame a 19-point deficit in the third quarter Saturday at American River College to beat the Beavers, 54-51.

The Panthers got off to a hot start in the first quarter but were held scoreless in the second quarter, blowing an 18-0 lead.

The Beavers tore through the defense and special teams squads like tissue paper, but the Panthers finally got their game going in the second half.

“It was an adjustment of our effort,” Interim Head Coach Dannie Walker said. “It was a hard-fought game. Our kids wanted it and they got what they wanted.”

The Panthers eventually took a 47-44 lead after the second successful two-point conversion, but the Beavers marched down the field for another touchdown.

City College players take a breather during the intense second half of play

City College players take a breather during the intense second half of play Saturday, November 14, 2009, at ARC's Beaver Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. (saccityexpress.com/Cecilio Padilla)

The Panthers stormed right back and wide receiver Rob Rogers scored the game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left in the game.

“It’s amazing,” Rogers said about his catch. “We were down. There was a little phrase we learned: ‘Refuse to lose.’”

“I always kept it in mind and came clutch time,” Rogers said.  “I had to make the game-winning catch.”

The Beavers made one last run down the field before Angelo Pree intercepted the ball in the red zone to seal the Mid-Empire Conference Championship for City College.

The coaches were drenched with water after the game; the team was showered with cookies, confetti and praise from the Panther faithful.

With the celebration underway and the championship clenched, the Panthers’ season is not over yet.

The front page of the Nov. 24 edition of the Express.

The front page of the Nov. 24 issue of the Express. Designed by Kristen Stauss.

“We still have some business to take care of,” quarterback Cody Allen said. “We’re on top of the world right now.”

The Panthers finished 0.500 in the regular season, but all of their hard work paid off. “They endured,” Walker said. “There were some road blocks there…there was some adversity there, they fought through it.”

The game will be re-aired as Sacramento Access channel 17’s game of the week on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Panthers will play in the Laney Eagles Bowl against host Laney College this Saturday.

Click here to see the story on the Express website.

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