Herrera scores five touchdowns in shootout loss to San Francisco

Herrera running with ball looking for pass opportunity.

Sierra sophomore quarterback Cruz Herrera has had a fantastic season for the Wolverines with 14 total touchdowns in his first five games and 1,174 yards of offense.

Nearly 400 of those yards and five touchdowns came in a 49-35 loss to the City College of San Francisco on Saturday, a team that is currently ranked second in the JCAB football poll. 

"Our offensive line played really well from start to finish, it allowed our run game to get going and when you can get chunk plays on the ground and through the air, you're bound to have a pretty successful day as an offense, Herrera said. "As a newcomer to the program this season, I'm grateful for the opportunity that the staff here has provided me and the trust everyone has shown me."

Herrera began the day with two rushing touchdowns of five yards and 29 yards, respectively, in the first half before getting the job done in the air. The St. Mary's alumnus connected with Dontae Robinson for a three-yard score in the second quarter and it was 28-21 San Francisco at halftime. Despite being down in the third quarter, Herrera kept the Wolverines in the game with a 21-yard connection to Jayr Ramirez followed by a 91-yard pass to Robinson to make it 35-35 late in the third. 

"Our older guys have done a good job of doing what they need to do and leading the way and the young ones have done a good job of stepping up when their number is called," Herrera said. "We have a couple of vets, but overall we're a young group who have leaned on each other rather than trying to make it happen as individuals."

While Herrera played a great game for Sierra, The Rams' offense proved to be too much for the Wolverines with 499 total yards. San Francisco quarterback Dorian Hale ran for 130 yards and two scores and passed for four more touchdowns. Sierra still had players on defense that stepped up such as sophomore Jonathan Brown with eight tackles and a sack.

"My biggest key to success defensively is playing as fast as possible," Brown said. "I know I'm not the biggest guy on the field but my speed is a huge part of my game. As a defense, we were in the right positions, we just needed to make the tackle. We felt like we could play with SF, we just beat ourselves."

Freshman Skyler Lockard also played well with seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. The Wolverines have a lot of sophomore leadership on defense with Dezrynd Lewis, Jalen Bryant, Bradley Rankin and Brown amongst others, but Lockard is playing well with 29 tackles, second most on the team. TeElijah Holloway is another freshman stepping up with 24 tackles this season.

"It has been absolutely amazing having players step up big time, especially players with no college football experience who are making a difference in games," Brown said.  

Despite the loss, the Wolverines are playing well at 3-2 with wins over Fresno, Reedley and Delta. Sierra is ranked 11th in the JCAB football poll and enters their bye week before preparing to face Feather River at home on Oct. 14.

"We as a team understand what we need to do to be successful," Brown said. "Our coach likes to say we aren't playing SF or San Mateo but we are playing ourselves and it's 100% true. If we play complimentary football Sierra can be a huge problem coming into the conference."