SBVC looks to rebound from opening loss

The fact that his team probably wasn’t supposed to win is of little
concern to San Bernardino Valley College football coach Pat Meech.

The Wolverines dropped their season opener 34-17 Saturday at College
of the Desert. The new conference alignment and playoff structure has
teams in the lesser division like SBVC playing teams in the so-called
power division before their own conference play starts so the chances
of a 0-3 start are definitely there.

But Meech isn’t looking at it that way.

“We haven’t put much emphasis on it so I don’t think our kids are
that aware of who is in what division. We’re just trying to go out
there and get better each day,” he said. “In the past you played
like teams in non-conference. Then it got tougher when you played
conference. This is really the other way around but you still hope to
win or two.”

The Wolverines got off to a slow start and it was all uphill after
that. They had turnovers on their first three possessions – an
interception off a tip and two fumbles. The Roadrunners turned all
three into touchdowns to go up 21-0 and led 26-0 before the
Wolverines scored.

The rushing game only managed 22 yards, 11 of that coming on a
touchdown run by Dewayne Booker. Meech said the lack of productivity
was the result of a combination of things. The offensive line didn’t
play up to par but the backs also didn’t find some of the holes that
were there. The deficit also forced the Wolverines to abandon the run
early.

The air attack, directed by sophomore quarterback Mike Stadler,
did tally 219 yards. Booker caught four passes for 20 yards while
Robert Anderson snagged three for 50. The biggest play was a
54-yarder to Aaron Barlow. Meech was most pleased with his line in
that regard.

“We did a pretty good job of protecting the passer,” he said.
“That was good to see because we were hurried quite a bit last
season.”

The defense performed adequately enough, given the poor field
position most of the night. Top tacklers were strong safety freshman
Ricky Pesquera, sophomore defensive back Justin Solis and freshman
defensive end Jim O’Brien.

A couple of injuries in Thursday’s practice forced a change in
personnel. Center Hugo Garcia (ankle) and defensive lineman Bobby
Martinez (knee) actually got hurt on the same play. Both missed
Saturday’s game but are expected back for next week’s rivalry game
against Riverside which opened its season with a 52-31 win over
Victor Valley.

Meech said he would likely make some personnel changes when the team
takes to the practice field today. The coaching staff spent much of
Sunday breaking down the game film, as well as going over the RCC
game.

RCC leads the series 35-28 but the teams last played in 2002. SBVC’s
last win in the series was in 1996 – 32-20.

Meech, who lives in Riverside and assisted Tigers coach Bill Brown
for two years before taking the head job at SBVC, is looking forward
to the contest dubbed “The Bell Game.”

“It will be a lot of fun,” he said. “Most of these kids had a real
rivalry game in high school so I hope this takes them back. It will
be good to re-establish this rivalry. We’re neighboring communities
where there are a lot of ties.”