De Anza College football team wins championship


Yasmin Pando

Cortlandt Brooks, 19, engineering major, running for the touchdown during the game that took the team to the state championship on Nov. 10 at De Anza College against Yuba College.

Brenna White, Staff Reporter

Yasmin Pando
Bruce Jones, 22. liberal arts major and Cortlandt Brooks celebrating the touchdown.

The De Anza College football team triumphantly overcame all hardships and doubt during the American Conference Championship Bowl in a nail-biting 42-41 win against Reedley College on Saturday, Nov. 17.

This victory wraps up an incredible season for the team with a 10-1 record.

The success came as a surprise given the team’s 2-8 record in 2017. In yet another dramatic twist, this game served as a conclusive rematch after the Reedley Tigers defeated the Dons in the season opener.

Both teams put up impressive stats by the end of the game. Reedley was superior in passing yards with 366 over De Anza with 263. However, the Don’s ultimately came up on top with 260 rushing yards and forcing 3 turnovers from the Tigers.

By halftime the game was nearly neck and neck with the Tigers leading only by one touchdown. In the following half Reedley pulled ahead 41-28 by the final quarter.

“A lot of us thought it was going to be over at that point,” said wide receiver Bruce Jones, 22, liberal arts major. “But we just kept battling it out. In the last two minutes of the game that’s when we came back and won.”

This win is not taken lightly for the team given De Anza’s strong consideration for eliminating the football team in efforts to resolve an $8.8 million dollar district deficient.

Assistant head coach Aidan Campion hopes the program will be considered as a stronger asset to De Anza given the team’s success. He felt their sensational season was owed to increased discipline and the emphasis on creating a stronger fraternity between players.

“Everyone had to wear black shorts, every day, if you didn’t everyone ran for it. Everyone had to be at practice every day, if someone didn’t everyone ran for it,” said Campion. “This made everyone step up their game.”

Players such as Nicolas Mesmer, 21, massage therapy major, believed this focus made all the difference.

“We grew together as a big family,” said Mesmer. “At the end, everybody played for his brother and not for himself.”

Yasmin Pando
Cortlandt Brooks and Bruce Jones running to celebrate the touchdown.