Bowl Game Aspirations: WHCC at Fresno in Regular Season Finale

Bowl Game Aspirations: WHCC at Fresno in Regular Season Finale

Following a second straight Valley League victory, the West Hills College Coalinga Falcons have plenty riding on Game 10.

The Falcons (4-5) will need a win at first-place Fresno (7-2) on Saturday afternoon to become eligible for California Community College Athletic Association bowl consideration. A victory also secures a 3-2 season in the Valley League for WHCC - an impressive mark for its first season in the state's top playoff tier.

WHCC enters the final week at No. 13 in the Northern California Football Conference power rankings, while the Rams (4-0 in the Valley League) are at No. 5.

Last Saturday, WHCC posted a 42-19 home win against San Joaquin Delta College, as the Falcons supassed its season-high for points in 2018 (40 in Week 2). The game was scoreless in the final quarter, as WHCC head coach Justin Berna was able to rest most of the starters on Sophomore Day.

Sophomore QB Jamal Salaam continued his stellar season, finishing 20-of-30 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Salaam enters the final week of the regular season ranked fifth in state passing yards with 2,477, along with 20 TDs - both believed to be WHCC single-season records.

Sophomore WR Imoni Donadelle had 140 all-purpose yards (107 rec). The state leader in receiving TDs (12) added to his overall total of 14 with a rushing TD in the first quarter. He has scored (TD and/or 2PT cnv) in all nine games.

Running backs Stevon Beason (Photo, 66 yds, 2 TDs), Kahlil Harshaw (49 yds), and Dwan James (33 yds, TD) combined for 148 of the team's 176 yards on the ground.

Wide receivers Deharrius Smedley (68 yds, TD), Jameel Salaam (23 yds, TD) and Jamel Hyatt (52 yds) led the Falcons' air attack

Defensive end Keyshawn Gist (team-high eight tackles, one sack), LB Enrique Valdez (seven tackles, two for loss), and DB Orion Evans (five tackles, forced fumble) were among the standouts on defense. Evans also blocked a PAT that was returned for a two-point conversion by Doniaj Smelker (six tackles).

UP NEXT: WHCC will play at Fresno City College at 1:00 p.m.

Photo by: Ariel Berna