The fate of the Yuba City High football team again came down to the final seconds at home Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs against visiting Patterson.
This time, YC would fall short after a double reverse pass attempt to quarterback Nick Afato failed near the back pylon on the home sideline, sealing the win for No. 5 Patterson over No. 4 Yuba City, 52-48 at Honker Field.
“We had time left on the clock (when) they stormed the field so we were trying to clear that mess up (so) it was one untimed down and we had our shot,” YC coach Willie Burns said. “I thought he had it, but once it cleared I saw the ball rolling.”
Patterson (10-2) advances to the D-III semifinals to take on No. 1 Oakdale -- a 40-0 winner No. 9 Roseville -- on Nov. 19.
YC’s season comes to a close at 7-4.
“We took every punch and we fought back,” Burns said. “I know they are surprised we wouldn't go away but that’s not what we do. You can’t ask for more than that.”
The Honkers battled for over 48 minutes, if you include the untimed down that Burns said came about because YC receiver Kaleb Banez was called for offensive pass interference after he appeared to haul in a pass from Afato in the end zone with about 10 seconds left on the clock.
“It was (pass interference),” Burns said. “Two guys going for the ball, I can't blame him.”
Banez was on the wrong end of multiple tough plays on the outside, including one earlier in the fourth quarter where it looked like he also initially made the catch but had the ball ripped away by Patterson’s Damien Rosado as the two were falling to the ground.
It was ruled an interception, giving Patterson the ball back with about 6 minutes left and ahead, 52-42. The Honkers fought back again when they forced a Patterson punt on the ensuing drive, and then returned the kick about 45 yards through the dense fog that hovered over the YC sideline nearly all night.
The punt return trimmed the deficit to 52-48. The PAT attempt would be botched at around the hold to keep the game a touchdown margin.
YC made a valiant effort to overcome its special teams miscue with numerous first down runs on its final drive. The Honkers were also helped by a couple Patterson penalties to get inside the Tiger 2-yard line for first-and-goal. But a YC fumble that was recovered by the hosts at the 6, followed by the Banez interference penalty pushed YC back to the 15-yard line to attempt that gimmick play with zeros on the clock.
Pierce 42, Colusa 0
The No. 2 Bears advanced to a semifinal date with East Nicolaus next week following a 42-0 rout of No. 7 Colusa in the Northern Section D-IV quarterfinals Friday night in Arbuckle.
Manuel Lopez had 23 carries for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Iain Kalfsbeek added 4 carries for 41 yards and a score for Pierce (8-3). Daniel Gonzalez chipped in 4 carries for 40 yards and a TD.
Defensively Tristan Flores led the team in tackles and had a sack. Brandon Saavedra had 6 tackles with 2 sacks, while Kalfsbeek had an interception.
Pierce will host No. 6 East Nicolaus, which upset No. 3 Williams, 27-6 on the road Friday.
For East Nic, Ty Grigsby rushed for three scores, while Jayden Bendure added a touchdown to preserve the road playoff win.
The Spartans improved to 4-6 on the year. Williams ended at 8-3.
Semifinals are set for Nov. 19.