College of San Mateo offensive coordinator Bret Pollack has long abided by a simple philosophy in utilizing quarterbacks — it doesn’t matter what you’ve done; it only matters what you’re ready to do on that given day.
The philosophy proved as true as it ever has Saturday as the Bulldogs improved to 2-0 with a 31-12 victory at San Joaquin Delta (0-2 overall).
The CSM offense has utilized three quarterbacks in two weeks. In a Week 1 blowout of College of the Siskiyous, starting sophomore Kamalii Akina (3 for 4) and transfer sophomore Matt Adamkiewicz (13 for 19) combined to complete 69.6 percent of their passes.
But that was last week.
This week, after a middling start by Adamkiewicz, the Bulldogs turned to freshman quarterback Terrell Carter near the end of the first half. The result? The newest Bulldog — who transferred out of San Jose State in late August after a redshirt season in 2017, only to be added to CSM’s roster last week — responded to a faint 10-6 lead by firing three straight second-half touchdown passes while going for 244 total yards in his college debut.
The 6-2, 195-pound dual-threat was 8-of-18 passing for 149 yards and three scoring passes, and added 11 rushes for 95 yards.
The Bulldogs outgained Delta 438-137 in total offense. Through two weeks, they have dominated in total yards to the tune of 940-253.
As impressive as Pollack’s offense has been thus far, ranking 11th in the state in points scored, first-year defensive coordinator Hansen Sekona’s defense rates even better. The Bulldogs rank third in the state in yards allowed, and are first in averaging 6.0 points allowed.
The CSM defense pressured Delta quarterbacks Shad Nordhal and Joshua Drucker all afternoon, cashing in six sacks. Sophomore defensive end Nathan Talakai (Sequoia) led the attack with two sacks, matching his total from all of last season. Sophomore linebacker Bubba Palu (Burlingame) added one sack, and totaled 2 1/2 tackles for losses.
While the Bulldogs defense held Delta to just one first-down in the first quarter, the offense scuffled to move the ball. CSM turned a Jalen Lampley interception four minutes into the game into favorable field position. But after the Bulldogs moved just eight yards upfield to the Delta 28, place kicker Cesar Silva missed a 45-yard field-goal try.
Silva got a reprieve to start the second quarter, as he capped CSM’s next possession with a 41-yard field goal.
CSM got the ball back at its own 36 after freshman defensive tackle Logahulu Ahoia produced a fourth-down sack to force a turnover on downs. Adamkiewicz then led the charge with completions of 11, 12 and 6 yards before sophomore running back Cam Taylor (Hillsdale) scored on an 11-yard run to up the lead to 10-0.
Then, after a Delta touchdown early in the second half — running back Prinston Fontenberry scored on a 2-yard run — to make it 10-6, the Carter era began with a bang.
With CSM taking over at its own 14, Carter danced upfield with runs of 6 and 18 yards — Taylor also went runs of 14 and 3, while Jalen Lampley added a 17-yard rush — before Carter connected with sophomore receiver Osai Elicker for a 29-yard touchdown.
CSM’s defense produced two straight three-and-out possessions to get the ball back to Carter. And the freshman opened the fourth quarter near midfield and promptly drummed up gains on a 23-yard run, and a 10-yard pass to sophomore receiver Rajae Johnson to the Delta 25. Then Carter hit sophomore receiver Rory Uniacke (Serra) for a 25-yard score, making it 24-6.
Carter went large on his last scoring pass of the day, hitting Elicker midway through the fourth quarter for a 49-yard score.
Delta went on to score on the last play of the game on a 34-yard pass from Nordhal to De’von King.
Elicker (McNair-Stockton) finished with six catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor ranked second in rushing on the day, totaling 16 carries for 77 yards and a score.
Freshman receiver Isiah Cozzolino (Hillsdale) made the first reception of his college career, a 6-yard catch from Carter in the third quarter to pick up a first-down.
The Bulldogs are on the road again this Saturday, travelling to American River College for a 1 p.m. kickoff. CSM returns home Saturday, Sept. 22 to host Fresno City College at 2 p.m.