Armando Herrera threw for three touchdowns and Jeffrey Proctor ran for two more as the San Bernardino Valley College Wolverines rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat College of the Desert 35-33 in Palm Desert.
The Roadrunners ran out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, taking advantage of a bad snap on a punt to be up three scores just 7:52 into the game. But that’s when the Wolverines started to rally back.
Herrera completed five passes and ran for yards on two more plays, completing an eight-play drive in 4:06, finishing it with a 13-yard pass to Brian Boyd Jr.
San Bernardino’s defense took over from there. They held Desert out of the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard-line to start the second quarter, then pushed the Roadrunners back 5 yards on the next drive.
The Wolverines cut the lead just before the half, as Herrera marched SBVC 57 yards in five plays, this time hooking up with Elijah Smith for a 9-yard score that cut the deficit to 17-14 at the half.
College of the Desert extended the lead to 24-14 to start the third quarter, scoring on their first drive of the second half. But the Wolverines answered quickly back, as Kellen Pachot ran for a 34-yard gain to the Desert 35 on the second play of the following drive. Proctor followed it up with a 35-yard run of his own, and the Wolverine trailed again by 3.
Proctor carried the load on the next SBVC drive, carrying the ball four times, including a 2-yard run to cap the drive, and give the Wolverines its first lead of the game, 28-24.
After another defensive hold, the Wolverines struck quickly. Herrera hooked up with Brandin McDowell for a 53-yard pass play and a 35-24 lead at the end of three.
The Roadrunners scored twice in the fourth, kicking their second field goal of the game, then quarterback Noah Shoeman passed to Kerrion Ringo for a 21-yard score with 7:10 to go. But Shoeman’s pass on a two-point conversion fell incomplete, and the Wolverines were able to hold on from there, as David Haney intercepted Shoeman to end the Roadrunners’ last chance.
Coach Daniel Algattas said after the game that the team was mentally stronger than it had been in past games, finding a way to win.
Herrera ended the game completing 26 passes for 311 yards, while Proctor ran the ball 17 times for 112 yards and the two scores. Pachot ended with six catches for 81 yards, while McDowell had five catches for 77 yards. Boyd had seven catches for 69 yards. Haney and Nick Como each were credited with 11 tackles, and both had interceptions in the game.
The Wolverines will travel to Southwestern College next Saturday before returning home on Nov. 4 to take on Victor Valley College.