Jon Osterhout wanted another shot at the only team to beat his squad.
It didn’t matter when or where.
So here it is. Osterhout, in his first season as American River College’s head football coach, will lead the Beavers onto a soft, muddy field at home today at 1 p.m. against defending state and national co-champion Butte College in a Northern California Regional playoff game.
The showdown comes two weeks after ARC (9-1) lost to Butte 31-28 in a NorCal Football Conference game, losing its state No. 1 ranking by the JC Athletic Bureau and national No. 3 standing by JCgridwire.com. The NorCal Regional selection committee initially had ARC playing at City College of San Francisco (9-1) but adjusted the bracket in order not to have league foes meet in a playoff opener.
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San Francisco, which will instead play Chabot, is eager for a rematch with ARC after the Beavers handed the Rams their only loss earlier in the season, 13-0.
“We’re ready to go, and we’ll play anyone, anywhere – parking lot, a grass lot, gravel. We’ll be there,” Osterhout said. “We’re ecstatic to have another game and to play Butte.”
ARC was seething after the first Butte encounter. The Beavers outgained the Roadrunners 464-184 and had 24 first downs to Butte’s 11. But ARC gave up a touchdown on an interception return and another on special teams as the Beavers committed six turnovers.
Both teams are led by former scholarship quarterbacks: Butte with Zach Kline, who played last season at Cal, and ARC with Folsom High School graduate Tanner Trosin, who was at Cal Poly last season. A free spirit, Trosin has long hair snaking out of the back of his helmet. Teammates tease Trosin that he is trying to look Polynesian and match his long-haired linemen and linebackers.
“Isn’t that hair unbelievable?” joked Osterhout. “He needs more pH balance in his hair, more conditioner. It’s looking a little ragtag. The guys call him ‘Sunshine.’”
Trosin’s game isn’t ragtag, however. The sophomore has played hurt yet is still able to burn defenses by throwing with touch or scrambling for first downs. ARC running back Deon Ransom of Elk Grove is coming off of a 273-yard rushing performance in a 44-23 win over Sacramento City College, and defensive lineman Jordan Carrell of Roseville has played at an All-America level, Osterhout said.
Former Sacramento State coach Steve Mooshagian is coaching Ventura, which plays at Riverside City in a Southern California Regional playoff. Mooshagian said it would be a “dream” to play ARC, perhaps for the state championship. He knows former and current ARC coaches well.
Lahey vs. Linfield
Quarterback Michael Lahey (Christian Brothers) helped lead the Chapman University football team in Orange to a breakthrough season. The Panthers (8-1) won their first conference championship in earning their first playoff berth.
Chapman plays at Linfield of McMinnville, Ore., today at noon in an NCAA Division III opener. A three-year captain and a preseason All-America candidate, Lahey has passed for 1,536 yards and 16 touchdowns. The team’s only loss was 21-14 in the season opener to Linfield (8-1), which has produced 59 consecutive winning seasons – a record on all collegiate levels.
Linfield’s roster includes running back Tavon Willis (Cosumnes Oaks), who rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns in seven games – six starts. Linfield is dealing with last Saturday’s stabbing death of linebacker Parker Moore.
Mayle a Biletnikoff finalist
Washington State senior Vince Mayle (Inderkum, Sierra College) is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award that recognizes the nation’s top receiver. Mayle has a school-record 86 receptions for 1,152 yards, fifth best in the country. He had 263 receiving yards against Cal. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Mayle is an NFL prospect.
Nigel Brady (McClatchy) played a role in Pomona-Pitzer reaching the NCAA D-III men’s soccer tournament for the first time since 1980 with a 1-0 victory over Redlands in a regular-season finale. Brady, a senior goalie, posted five shutouts. Brady is also eligible for Academic All-America honors. In the D-III playoff opener, however, Pomona-Pitzer lost to UT Dallas 2-0 in a freezing rain.