BUTTE VALLEY – The Butte College football team no longer controls its own destiny.
In all likelihood, the loss to American River last Saturday means that the Roadrunners will be excluded from the CCCAA playoffs and will instead play for the possibility of a bowling game.
The 14-7 defeat, which put the Beavers (6-2, 3-0 NorCal Conference) one more match on the Roadrunners (5-3, 2-1) in the conference standings. Unless they lose to American River in their last two games against Shasta and Siskiyous respectively, the Beavers are the favorites to win the conference and automatically qualify for the eight-team playoffs.
The Roadrunners recognized the situation they faced and were realistic.
"We talked about it. I mean, that's obvious, "said Butte Head Coach Rob Snelling. "It's kind of one of those things where you're obviously not happy with the situation you're in, but again … that's where we are. For us, we need to focus on the next step. It's really the same state of mind: "You can not live in the past".
Nevertheless, Roadrunners still have a lot to do. There are two regular season games, starting with Saturday at 1 pm confrontation at Sierra, before Butte returned home to face Shasta on November 16th.
"Honestly, it's been difficult for us since this game," linebacker Terrel Goodwan said. "The energy at the beginning of the week was pretty weak, but the leaders of the team kept us informed. We are aware that our chances of participating in the playoffs are low, but some things can happen, and we are ready for anything. "
First, the Wolverines (5-3, 2-1) enter Saturday's match with an identical record, having won three of the last four. Sierra averages 35 points per game in an offensive featuring two quarterbacks, Preston Eklund and Qyntyn Pilcher, defenders Calvin Robinson, Christian Simmons and Graylon Lindsey, as well as Lanell catchers "LJ" Nelson and Matt Smart.
The Roadrunners defense, meanwhile, has limited its opponents to two goals or less on six occasions this season, including last week at American River. Although Butte dropped both touchdowns in the first half, the defense stopped for the remainder of the match to keep the Beavers off the board.
Goodwan represented the two sacks of Butte, one of which almost caused a fumble, and four other players – Cameron Alfaro, Siaosi Finau, Nate Eschleman and Dario Pizzuti – each had at least one tackle for defeat.
"I have the impression that we played a very good football game," said Goodwan. "Things did not go the way we wanted, but we left everything we had there. We had a lot of good games, but I really feel like it was one of our best. "
The Roadrunners scored just before half-time on a 18-yard Marshal Brose grab by Kyle Lindquist. Butte was regularly faced with stacked cartons while the American River was trying to stop his ground game.
"It's not something we've never seen before, it's just different," said Snelling, "I would say that's part of it." Another part of that was, we had penalties at times very expensive, we had a few drops at very expensive times.You make these pieces, it's a different story.
The Roadrunners had their last training finished in 4th place at the American River 15 after Butte started scoring 19.
"I've always appreciated how much our guys are playing hard," Snelling said. "I think this effort has never been a problem. It's just about being able to run at the level you have to perform when you play in a difficult game … When you play a good opponent, it must be a high level of execution. You must limit the penalties, you must limit the errors and all self-inflicted things that can make you beat. "