Mitch Hood passed for four touchdowns and 371 yards while the Santa Rosa JC defense held the vaunted Modesto defense in check as the Bear Cubs captured the North State Bowl, 38-18, Saturday night at Bailey Field.
Hood, who played high school ball at Sonoma Valley, was selected the game’s most valuable player.
The Santa Rosa defense was equally impressive as Modesto came in averaging just under 40 points per game. The previous low for the Pirates was 31 in a win against Sacramento City on Sept. 26.
Leading the Bear Cubs’ defense with eight tackles was Kevin Brown. Taylor Biaggi had seven, one more than AJ Davison.
Also coming up big were Keilan Benjamin (three passes broken up) and Carlos Soto (an interception).
Santa Rosa caught a break when Modesto starting quarterback Trey Cooper saw limited playing time because of a hamstring injury. Cooper completed only 6 of 15 passes and threw an interception. He rushed five times for 21 yards.
The Bear Cubs began quickly and owned a 21-6 lead after one period. All three scores came on passes by Hood.
The freshman opened the scoring with a 9-yard toss to Kerr Johnson, Jr. That was less than two minutes into the game.
Hood then hooked up with Jordan Jackson on a 16-yard reception and finished the quarter with a 3-yard TD pass to Nick Reynolds.
“Mitch was awesome,” coach Lenny Wagner said. “He took quite a few hits stepping up in the pocket and still delivered the ball accurately.
“As for the defense, it was outstanding. Yes, we were helped when their starting quarterback was hurting but their offense doesn’t rely solely on him.
“Two guys that deserve mention are Giacomo Poggi and Jeremy Poyer. They did a heckuva job,” Wagner added.
It was the first bowl win in three years for the Bear Cubs and they finish the year with a 7-4 record.