Football Dons defeated by San Mateo 58-12 under poor air quality

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Conference season begins with a thud as De Anza College falls to San Mateo College, 58-12.

De Anza football started out hanging tough with San Mateo. By the end of the first quarter, the score was just 7-6 in favor of the Bulldogs.

By halftime, however, it was apparent why San Mateo (5-1, 1-0 Bay 6) is considered one of the top junior college teams in California, and how much work De Anza (1-5, 0-1) has to do to catch them.

A 35-point second quarter catalyzed a 58-12 win for San Mateo, who is projected to win the Bay 6 conference.

The Bulldogs did their damage with a balanced attack, earning 300 yards on the ground and 288 through the air.

Damani Sistena led San Mateo with 88 yards rushing on 10 attempts, while Bulldogs quarterback Miles Kendrick threw for 279 yards on 12-18 passing.

De Anza struggled on the ground, rushing for just 67 yards. They had more success passing the football, but still were held to only 175 yards.

Four De Anza players served the first game of two-game suspensions they received for their roles in the fight between De Anza and Chabot players.

De Anza head coach Anthony Santos said that while smoke from the various fires in Northern California forced the team to change its practice schedules, he doesn’t view that as an excuse.

“It was a tough week with all the air quality issues and the practice plan modifications that we made. We had several days that were in unhealthy zones, so we had to modify practice,” Santos said.

He added that while the team focused more on mental work this week, they had mental lapses against San Mateo.

“I think we played well at times, but the lack of overall discipline and mental focus for the entire 60 minutes was evident,” Santos said.

After the game, players from both teams did not form the standard handshake line in lieu of the Chabot/De Anza incident. Several coaches from both teams shook hands, but there was no uniform handshake line.

“I did that just to make sure the coaches and I, we agreed before the game that we didn’t want any antics whatsoever. And we decided we would shake hands in a show of sportsmanship. Several of their coaches came over and shook our hands,” Santos said.

De Anza will resume play at Diablo Valley College on Friday, October 20.

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