COD Football falls in Challenge Trophy game with San Bernardino Valley, 35-33

COD Football falls in Challenge Trophy game with San Bernardino Valley, 35-33

COD (4-3; 1-1) went up 17-0, but then a nearly hour long 2nd quarter doomed the Roadrunners momentum, as the San Bernardino Valley Wolverines (4-3; 1-1) held onto the "Challenge Trophy" 35-33.

The Roadrunners received a fantastic performance from freshman wide receiver Kerrion Ringo (Evansville (IN) F.J. Reitz), who had 11 receptions for 213 yards and 2 scores and freshman quarterback Noah Shoeman (Murray, UT) went 28 of 50 for 378 yards and four scores on the night.

Sophomore linebacker Austin Holt (Palatka, FL) and freshman defensive end Levi Ross (Anza Hamilton) were all over the place as they combined for 13 total tackles and all three sacks for the Roadrunners defense, totaling a loss of 10 yards.

Freshman kicker and punter Luis Castellanos (Cathedral City H.S.) had two 40+ yard field goals on the night, nailing a 46 yarder and a 41 yarder, along with hitting all three extra point attempts, along with sending five of his seven kickoffs out for touchbacks.

The stands were packed as the Roadrunners celebrated Homecoming, with a coordinated effort on behalf of the Desert Student Life Office, the event was grand and fun for all who participated. The event even included a performance by the Palm Springs High School marching band, which played the National Anthem and did a halftime show, and the Palm Desert High School cheer team jazzed up the crowd.

Desert got out to a fast start as they took their first drive and turned it into a 46 yard field goal by Castellanos, helped along by a 35 yard pass from Shoeman to Ringo on the third play of the drive, giving the home side a 3-0 lead.

On the next possession, the Roadrunners took a turnover-on-downs and capitalized, as Shoeman and Ringo again connected on a big gain, this time for 27 yards and sophomore wide receiver Idriss Ramky (Amiens (France) Louis Thuillier) found himself on the receiving end of a Shoeman 20-yard score, giving Desert a 10-0 lead.

The wheels appeared to be falling off for San Bernardino Valley as a 4th and 15 ended up being a punt attempt gone way wrong, as snap to the punter ended up flying over the head of the punter and covered up at the Wolverines own 14 yard line. On the very next play, Shoeman found Ringo again, this time for a score, giving the Homecoming crowd something to crow about and a 17-0 lead.

Just when it seemed every single thing was going the Roadrunners way, the Wolverines put together their first complete drive of the contest, eventually scoring on a 13 yard pass play, and getting on the scoreboard, 17-7.

The Roadrunners would end the first quarter and their very next drive on the San Bernardino Valley one yard line as the Wolverines stopped a fourth and goal push by Desert.

Then the second quarter started and completely changed the game. On the Desert turnover-on-downs, the Wolverines would drive to about midfield and be forced to punt. On the Roadrunners punt return, a Wolverines hard tackle, turned into a pushing a shoving match, which cleared half of the San Bernardino Valley sideline and had the potential to get explosive. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, as most of those that left the Wolverines sideline, along with Desert coaches, appeared to be actually trying to defuse the situation and pull guys away. Needless to say the officials attempted to determine all of the repercussions of what happened. Players from both sides were ejected, but the delay of nearly 25 minutes, absolutely killed any momentum Desert had going into that drive.

On the immediate next play from scrimmage for Desert, a shotgun snap to Shoeman sailed over his head, losing 28 yards as freshman running back Tony Williams (Indio Shadow Hills) recovered the fumbled snap. After that, nothing went the Roadrunners way for the rest of the quarter, which took about an hour to complete. By the time both teams went to their locker rooms at halftime, the 17-0 lead was dwindled to 17-14 and everyone had gone through quite an emotional roller-coaster.

The Roadrunners defense stopped the Wolverines to open the second half and Desert took full advantage as they found the end zone again, helped by a 40 yard scamper by Williams, when Shoeman tossed a nine yard score to freshman wide receiver Franklin Miller (Palm Springs H.S.), giving Desert a 24-14 lead.

Unfortunately, the Wolverines received a good kickoff return, followed by back-to-back runs of 35 yards to get back to within three points in a drive that took 38 seconds off of the clock.

On the next drive for San Bernardino Valley, they would score again, taking the lead for good, as they would find the end zone on a two yard run and on their next possession, a 53-yard pass play, giving the visitors a 35-24 lead with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

Desert would add a 41 yard field goal by Castellanos to open the fourth quarter, after an interception by the Wolverines was negated by a San Bernardino Valley encroachment call. And the Roadrunners would again find the end zone, with 8:57 left in the game, as Shoeman found Ringo again, this time for 21 yards, but a two-point conversion pass attempt failed after it was almost picked off.

Photo by Rodrigo Pena (
Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.