After a year off, and a summer filled with Covid-19 related practice limitations, the San Bernardino Valley College coaching staff didn't know exactly what their football team would do when it faced its first live competition since late 2019.
The verdict Saturday night: the Death Valley defense limited College of the Desert to only 197 yards of total offense and had six takeaways, including a Pick Six. And the offense was potent enough to rack up 479 yards of offense and put up another 44 points of its own, as the Wolverines cruised to a 50-8 win over the Roadrunners.
It was the defense who opened the scoring for the Wolverines, as Mekhi E. Lewis picked off Dylan Seel on COD's first play from scrimmage. He returned the ball 22 yards for a quick 6-0 lead. Austin Bacher rushed the ball in for the two-point conversion, and an 8-0 lead.
Desert got on the board on the next SBVC possession. Boxed in at their own 1, the Wolverines went three-and-out and were force to punt. Forced to kick from the back of his end zone, Julian Pan's punt was blocked by Dylan Behymer out of the back of the end zone for a safety, making it 8-2 midway through the first quarter.
But that would be the only points the Roadrunners would put up until late in the game.
Backed inside their own 20 again by Desert punter Brooks Stephens on the next possession, the Wolverines were facing a third-and-16 from the own 10. Quarterback David Schmucker found Jerrell Calhoun on the right side. He shook off his defenders and raced up the sideline for a 90-yard score. A missed two-point try made it 14-2.
From there, the Wolverines continued to rack up the points, with three quarterbacks each getting snaps on Saturday. Robert Eggleston threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Latavion Staples in the second quarter. Then Cooper Justice found Xavier Ugorji for a 25-yard scoring play in the third quarter. Kobie Perez scored twice on the ground in the fourth quarter (from 6 and 9 yards) and Austin Bacher converted from 8 yards out in the second quarter.
The Wolverines wracked up 27 first downs, including going 6 of 7 on fourth down conversions.
Meanwhile, the Death Valley defense had eight tackles for loss, accounting for 40 yards.