SAN BERNARDINO – New San Bernardino Valley College football coach Kevin Emerson kept insisting his team put a woeful 0-10 season behind it. It showed as the Wolverines turned in a spirited effort, only to fall 13-6 in overtime to visiting College of the Desert.
The loss was the 16th straight dating back to the 2007 season and SBVC lost to the same team 34-17 a year ago. But Emerson wasn’t ready to call the showing to a powerful foe from the upper division a moral victory.
“We want to win games. That’s the bottom line,” Emerson said. “You guys can call it whatever you want. We had every opportunity to win the game and didn’t get it done. We have to go work harder this week.”
It was a battle of defense and kickers since neither team could find the end zone. COD’s only points came on field goals of 31 and 39 yards by Brett Symonds and SBVC doing the same with Jaime Garcia hitting from 25 and 30 yards. Each team made two of four field goal tries with the misses being more the fault of the other offensive personnel.
The Wolverines had the chance to win the game in the closing seconds, taking over possession at their own 34 after a COD fumble following a 40-yard play. The drive was hardly a fluid one as they appeared to be done in twice only to be bailed out by a COD offside and a pass interference call three plays later.
With a second-and-14 at the COD 39 quarterback Robert Fuller flipped the ball off to Eric Charles who then lofted the halfback option pass down field to an open Marcus Williams but the pass was just a little long with 22 seconds to go.
The same play had worked for a 21-yard gain midway through the third quarter.
A 14-yard completion to Williams with 14 seconds left gave SBVC a first down. It worked the ball down to the 25 with Fuller running 10 yards and keeping the ball in the middle of the field for the field goal try with two seconds left.
Desert called two time outs to ice the kicker but Garcia never really had a chance as the offensive line broke down, preventing him from getting a clean effort off.
Desert had the ball first in the overtime and needed just four plays, scoring when Gaston Bailey hauled in a nine-yard toss from backup quarterback Cameron Epting.
SBVC never got much going on its turn and the game ended with Fuller’s 16-yard completion to Williams on fourth down short by two yards.
SBVC totaled 284 yards offense. Fuller, who red-shirted last year at Utah State, went 15-of-33 for 155 yards. He also ran for 37 on seven tries. Ronnie Yarber led SBVC ball carriers with 53 yards on 12 carries.
COD managed 198 with Epting throwing for 106.
SBVC hurt itself with penalties. It was called for 12 penalties for 180 yards. It had an 11-yard scoring pass from Fuller to Eric Charles in the first half nullified by an illegal block. Then in the fourth quarter Jim O’Brien, one of the many SBVC standouts on defense, ran back an interception 19 yards for a touchdown which was called back by an offsides.
The SBVC defense turned in some punishing hits, one of which sent starting quarterback J.D. Buonantony out of the game for good with 9:22 left in the half. He had tucked the ball and run and was stopped by a defender though he was still on his feet. Another defender came in from the other direction and leveled him.
“I hope we showed people we can play good football tonight,” Emerson said. “We’re going to win some games.”
The Wolverines will play at Riverside next Saturday in the Bell Game.