Santa Rosa JC built a comfortable lead in the first half and then held on for a 23-20 nonconference victory over Butte in Oroville Saturday afternoon.

The Bears Cubs led 23-0 at halftime.

“We started out doing well but then shot ourselves in the foot plenty of times,” SRJC coach Lenny Wagner said.

“Still, it was good to come out with a win,” Wagner added. “It’s tough to win on Butte’s home field.”

Kerr Johnson Jr., an All-Empire player while at Analy High School, caught two touchdown passes.

The first came three minutes into the game when he pulled down a 7-yard pass from Mitch Hood. Then, in the second quarter, he was on the receiving end of a 27-yard toss from Vince Jefferies.

Ja’Narrick James, also from Analy, was the Bear Cubs’ leading rusher with 35 yards on 16 carries.

Santa Rosa couldn’t establish a ground game against Butte and finished with only 33 net yards.

The Bear Cubs’ defense got a lift with the return of six players who missed the Delta game.

Ethan Rosselli, a former Santa Rosa High player, was one of the returnees. He led the team with 10 tackles, one more than Keith Maurice Benjamin.

SRJC will be home next Saturday to host Sacramento City.