Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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Archives

    High-flying Eagles are №1 team in State!

    Laney College defeats Ventura College 40–35 to win California Championship

    Laney College quarterback Jordon Brookshire (4) gets ready to run against Ventura College in the California Community College Athletic Association state championship game on Dec. 8 at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium. Brookshire ran for two touchdowns. Photo by Michelle Snider, Laney Tower co-editor.

    SACRAMENTO — Big defensive plays propelled Laney College to a 23–0 first quarter lead, and the Eagles held off Ventura College 40–35 to claim their first California Community College Athletic Association football championship on Dec. 8 at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium.

    Laney running back John McDonald rushed for 217 yards on 38 carries and was voted game MVP as the Eagles finished the season with an 11–2 record. Quarterback Jordon Brookshire threw three TD passes and ran for two scores.

    Ventura (11–2) tallied the game’s final touchdown with 6:18 left in the game and then had to wait for one final chance to score, which they failed to do in the final minute of the game.

    Runs by McDonald and Brookshire ran off more than five minutes on the ensuing Laney drive before the Eagles turned the ball back to the Pirates with just 58 seconds remaining.

    Ventura was able to advance 48 yards to the Laney 13 — where time expired after a 17-yard scamper by quarterback Brock Domann, who was knocked down by linebacker Cameron Nathan.

    More than half a century has passed before the Laney Eagles earned an official state football championship. The Eagles won a mythical state and national title in 1966, the year before the first CCCAA championship game, defeating an O.J. Simpson-led City College of San Francisco team 35–13 in the Prune Bowl at San Jose State’s Spartan Stadium before 12,000 spectators to complete an unbeaten (10–0) season.

    Laney College wide receiver Jared Smart (1) reaches for a pass in the end zone during the CCCAA state championship game. Ventura’s Cail Jackson (4) is the defender. Photo by Michelle Snider, Laney Tower co-editor.

    This is the first time that two at-large teams — both second-place finishers in their conferences (Laney in the National Bay 6 and Ventura in the National Northern) — qualified for the state finals.

    Laney opened the first quarter quickly with back-to-back defensive plays for a 9–0 lead that it never lost. Ventura netted one yard on its first offensive series before punting from its own 28, where it was blocked by Laney’s Balewa Byrd. The Eagles’ Barasa Kamateh of Laney fell on the ball on the Ventura 9-yard line.

    Brookshire took only one play to connect with Quintus Hall for the 9-yard score.

    The ensuing kickoff was bobbled, forcing the Pirates to start from their own three. On the first play, Laney lineman Jordan Whittley pushed Ventura running back Thomas Duckett into his own end zone for a safety.

    Following the free kick and Byrd’s 21-yard return to the Ventura 40, Laney went on a seven-play drive to score on Brookshire’s a 6-yard keeper and the Eagles had a 16–0 lead.

    They extended that first quarter margin to 23–0 on their next possession with another successful drive that culminated with a 15-yard TD pass from Brookshire to Angelo Garrett.

    Ventura got back into it, however, with two second-period touchdown passes to close within 23–14. A 29-yard field goal by Laney’s Isaak Parada with four seconds left made the halftime cushion slightly better at 26–14 at the half.

    The teams continued to trade scores the rest of the way without a punt in the second half.

    Ventura took the second half kickoff and came within five points at 26–21. Laney then used nearly eight minutes before scoring on Brookshire’s 1-yard plunge. Ventura scored again to make it 33–28 going into the fourth quarter.

    Laney chewed up nearly seven minutes before getting the eventual winning points with 10:28 left on an 11-yard pass from Brookshire to Garrett.

    Sophomore lineman Tanner Robinson (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) was selected offensive player of the game, helping the Eagles roll-up 415 yards of offense, with 288 on the ground.

    Brookshire was 14 of 21 with 127 yards passing, and he rushed for 50 yards on 18 carries.

    Elated by their win, the Laney Eagles pose for a post victory photograph as a team. Photo by Michelle Snider, Laney Tower co-editor.

    There will be a celebration, free and open to the public, for the football team on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Fieldhouse starting at 3:30 p.m.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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