by Larry Ham
The Reedley College Tigers saw their chances for post-season play go down in a shower of long passes Saturday afternoon, as they lost to Modesto Junior College 49-28 at Reedley High School Stadium.
The loss to the Pirates mean the best the Tigers can finish is 5-5 on the season, and that won’t make them bowl eligible.
Modesto Quarterback Devin Combs was terrific, completing 16 passes in 22 attempts for 335 yards and three-second half touchdowns. The Tiger secondary simply had no answer for Modesto’s tall wide receivers, as Combs repeatedly threw into double and triple coverage and still found his target. Donavan Wallace was especially effective, catching a 56-yard touchdown pass and also scoring on a 42-yard end around for the Pirates’ first points.
Obviously, giving up 49 points means the defense was not too good, but offensively, the Tigers showed some pretty good punch. Quarterback Jeff Kidd threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns, both to the Tigers best receiver this season, Alphonse Coleman. However, Kidd also threw two interceptions. One was run back for a score, and the other, just a few plays later, led to a Modesto touchdown and a swift change in momentum that the Tigers never recovered from.
So where do the Tigers go from here? They have two games left – against COS and Fresno City. They have a chance to finish 5-5 on the season. They also have the chance to build some momentum heading into next season. Remember, this is an extremely young team, and many of the Tiger starters on both offense and defense will be back next year. Two wins against the Tigers’ biggest rivals would go a long way toward erasing the memories of a league title that slipped away.
Weekly Report Card:
Special Teams: A (The Tigers’ first score came courtesy of Chris Kelly’s 36 yard punt return touchdown)
Player of the Week: Chris Kelly