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Caught the Tigers by the tail
Yuba City stuns Inderkum 49-42
SACRAMENTO — As the seconds waned off the game clock at Inderkum High on Friday night, the entire Yuba City sideline held their breath.
Six seconds separated them from one of the biggest wins in program history.
The Tigers' home turf was a house of horrors for Yuba City up until this point. A 37-32, gut-wrenching loss in 2008 was followed by a head-scratching, 23-20 loss in Natomas to the Tigers in 2010.
This time, it was the Honkers who came up clutch.
Yuba City made two incredible defensive stops over the final 90 seconds and overcame a 35-21 halftime deficit to knock off the five-time defending Tri-County Conference champions 49-42 on Friday night.
The victory snaps Inderkum's 27-game TCC winning streak and gives the Honkers a good start in pursuing their first conference title since 1987.
It's also Yuba City's first win over Inderkum in seven tries.
Coach John Ithurburn has coached in several big games throughout his coaching career. He called this victory "different" than any one he could remember.
"This is more nostalgic for me because it's my school," said Ithurburn, who's coaching his alma mater. "(Inderkum) came out and smacked us. We challenged our kids and told them to compete.
"They did it and we made some plays. I'm just so proud of them as a team."
The Honkers (5-1, 1-0) went on a 21-0 run to end the game and the biggest play came on fourth and about an inch at Inderkum's 17-yard line with 1:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Honker senior fullback Nate Van Dusen barreled through the Tigers' line and found paydirt from 17 yards out to extend Yuba City's lead to 49-42.
That drive was set up by a Yuba City onside kick after the Honkers pulled ahead 43-42.
Yuba City trailed 42-35 with 12 minutes left in regulation before quarterback Taylor Elkins orchestrated a 70-yard drive, culminating with his 1-yard scoring plunge. Out of the swinging gate formation, Elkins hit Cooper Goldby for the 2-point conversion to give YC a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"Ball security and running downhill were the priorities late in the game," Elkins said. "Both of our backs are studs."
Elkins and YC's veer offense gouged the Tigers all night as junior speedster Omar Herrera led the way with 182 yards rushing and a score. Van Dusen picked up 158 yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns.
Shifty junior Devin Pettengill added an impressive 22-yard score and even spelled Elkins at quarterback when he went down with a knee injury.
After Inderkum jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after its first possession, Herrera put YC on the board on the Honkers' first play from scrimmage with a 77-yard romp to tie it at 7-7.
Inderkum (4-2, 0-1) scored on five of its seven first-half possessions.
Van Dusen cut the Tigers' lead to 21-13 with his 1-yard run in the first quarter. He added an electric 55-yard touchdown run with 10:55 remaining in the first half to make it 28-21 Tigers.
Trailing 35-21 at the half, Van Dusen said nobody on the Yuba City sideline panicked. They made the right adjustments and outscored Inderkum 28-7.
"This is great to be the first varsity team to beat Inderkum," said an elated Van Dusen. "We pulled it together in the second half and we all played amazing. This couldn't have been done without any one of us."
Inderkum had 1:25 left on the clock to put together a game-tying drive, however junior defensive back Jamie Smith made a diving interception to send the Tiger offense back to the sideline.
The Tigers' final pass attempt with 6 seconds left was an emergency dump-off pass in the backfield, which Yuba City stopped to seal the win.
Now, the Honkers head home for the first time in about a month when they host Pioneer and Woodland in back-to-back TCC contests at Honker Stadium.
"We've got four more games," Ithurburn said. "We got past this one, now we go back to work."