The 2016 CCCAA State Championship features two teams that fought their way to the top becoming regional champions. The Southern California champs, Fullerton College and the Northern California champs American College will meet for the first time since the 1967 season, when both teams battled it out at Anaheim Stadium before ten-thousand fans.
The Beavers and Hornets have played each other only one time, and that was the State Championship game in 1967. After narrowly defeating Bakersfield College 14-13 at Bakersfield, the Hornets hosted ARC at Anaheim Stadium and cruised past the Owls 41-0.
The American River Beavers (10-2 overall) enter the state title game for the second time in their program's history. Like the first time in 1967, they face the Hornets of Fullerton College. The Beaver's 2016 season has been a very successful one losing only two games under head coach Jon Osterhout. Their first loss was at the hands of last season's state champion San Francisco City College (51-36). The second loss for ARC was against this season's National Conference champion Butte College (21-14) in double overtime back on November 5th. Last week's 15-9 revenge-victory over Butte in the NCFA Championship was even sweeter for the Beavers as it propelled them to the state title game.
American River's offensive unit averages 29 points a game. They average 216 yards in the air and 163.8 on the ground. Defensively, the Beavers hold their opponents to 221 yards per game in passing and 145.1 on the ground.
ARC's freshman quarterback Griffin Dahn has guided the Beaver offense passing for 2,111 yards (132 comps. – 279 atts.) for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Dahn is also second on the team in rushing with 492 yards on 146 carries with 9 TDs. Leading the way on the ground is sophomore running back Ce'von Mitchell-Ford. Ford has amassed 665 yards on 118 carries with 2 touchdowns. Sophomore RB Wadus Parker will also be a factor rushing for 365 yards on 64 carries with 2 TDs. ARC has a slew of receivers in Namani Parker (33 catches, 483 yards, 5 TDs), Damen Wheeler (26 catches, 512 yards, 4 TDs), Torian Williams (21 catches, 325 yards, 5 TDs), Lee Reed (18 catches, 270 yards, 2 TDs), Daliceo Calloway (17 catches, 245 yards, 2 TDs), and Jabarri Johnson (14 catches, 208 yards, 1 TD) that can hurt any team in the air.
Leading the Beaver defense is freshman linebacker Rahsaan York with 83 tackles. Sophomore defensive back Moises Valcarcel is right behind with 81 tackles. Sophomore defensive lineman Antony Luke has 66 tackles and leads ARC with 4 sacks. Sophomore defensive back Sammy Gray has 62 tackles and leads the team with 4 interceptions.
The Fullerton College Hornets (11-1 overall) will play in their eighth state championship (1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1983, 1988, 2013, 2016), their second in the last four years. Ranked #1 in the south, Fullerton's lone loss came from Saddleback College (30-27) back on October 22nd. Celebrating their 100th anniversary, the Hornets made it back to the state championship after beating #2 Riverside City College 45-29 in last week's SCFA title game. Fullerton is the 2016 Southern Conference Co-Champions along with Saddleback College. The conference title is FC's sixth in the last nine seasons under head coach Tim Byrnes.
The Hornet offense has been the best in the state all season scoring on average 51.7 points a game. The passing average is 303.6 and the rushing average is 213.6 yards per game.
The Hornet offense continues to roll up the numbers as they have all season with freshman quarterback Jordan Hoy leading the way. Owning the program's record for TDs in a season, Hoy has thrown an amazing 36 touchdowns with 6 interceptions. Jordan has thrown for 3,260 yards and is the team's leading rusher with 689 yards, on 119 carries, and 9 touchdowns. After a stellar game last week, the Hornet running backs are ready for more. Kentavious Thomas (89 carries, 457 yards, 2 TDs), Phillip Butler (73 carries, 433 yards, 6 TDs), Gerald Hulett (79 carries, 410 yards, 7 TDs), Anthony Wood (62 carries, 396 yards, 5 TDs), and Aundre Carter (29 carries, 136, 5 TDs) are the running game weapons that will be difficult to stop. The FC aerial attack of Markus Grossman (40 catches, 551 yards, 5 TDs), DeAndre McNeal (36 catches, 616 yards, 6 TDs), Asante Wilder (28 catches, 457 yards, 5 TDs), Jerome Gross (25 catches, 298 yards, 2 TDs), and Justin Walker (19 catches, 358 yards, 7 TDs) is a dangerous as they come, and the MoneyTeam will be ready to go on game day.
Having one of the toughest schedules in 2016, the Hornet defense has been consistent all season coming up with key stops and big plays when needed. The unit has held opposing teams to 23.5 points a game. They have allowed 245 yards a game in the air and have been quite stingy on the ground holding their opponents to an average of 86.3 yards. Freshman linebacker Justin Parcells leads the team with 61 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. Sophomore DB Tim Gordon follows with 48 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 15 pass breakups. Linebacker Jamal Scott has 45 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 1 interception. Tyler Stepney has 43 tackles and Montre Bonner has 30. Stepney and Bonner lead the team in sacks with 10.5 each. In fact, the FC defense has 48 total team sacks, which leads the state.
The CCCAA State Championship game between American River College and Fullerton College will take place at Yorba Linda High School's Nathan Shapell Stadium on Saturday, December 10th. Kickoff is at 1:00 pm.
Buy your tickets early and get cool FC swag!! Presale tickets will be available for sale in the FC Student Activities Office on the second floor of Building 200 starting Wednesday, Dec. 7. Cash and credit are accepted for pre-sale tickets.
On game day – there will be cash-only sales at the gate.