Coach Beam says that through oddities in the world of junior college football, technically, this win means that Laney is the National Champion. “It’s a tribute to the resilience and grit of Oakland. The city is a gem, and gets overlooked all the time. We like to say Laney Built, Oakland Proud.”
The Laney College football team has won the National Valley Conference and qualified for the Northern California state playoffs for the first time.
The Eagles (9-1, 5-0 NVC) won the title outright with a 34-8 victory over Chabot College in Hayward on Nov. 11.
Laney, fifth in the State Coaches poll and seeded No.4 in the NorCal playoffs, will travel to Sacramento to play top-seeded American River College (9-1) in a first-round game on Saturday, Nov. 18. Game time is 6 p.m.
If the Eagles prevail against the Beavers, they will play the winner of No. 3 College of the Siskiyous vs. No. 2 College of San Mateo the following weekend.
The current format for state playoffs has been in existence for four years and the Eagles have never qualified for it, but they have gone to bowl games, including last year’s 49-35 victory over City College of San Francisco in its own San Francisco Community College Bowl.
The victory over Chabot solidified Laney’s NVC championship. The Eagles defense turned in its best statistical performance of the season, holding the home Gladiators (2-8, 0-5) to just 57 yards of total offense.
Chabot had just three net yards rushing.
Noah Davis (Pleasant Valley HS) and Bishop Apodaka (Fremont HS-Oakland) each totaled had five tackles (Davis five solo; Apodaka four) and Jonathan Whittley (Castlemont HS) had three of Laney’s four sacks. Brandon Hill (Oakland Tech HS) had the other.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by running back Marcel Dancy, who had 142 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns.
Laney scored twice in the first quarter to take a 10-0 lead. Dancy scored on an 18-yard run and KC Onwuemeka (Hercules HS) kicked a 33-yard field goal.
The Eagles upped the lead to 24-0 when quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz scored on a 35-yard run and Dancy scored on a 10-yard run.
Laney capped an 11-play, 84-yard drive in the third quarter when Suszckiewicz threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Jake Ramsey (Dougherty Valley HS) with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
Onwuemeka’s 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter completed the Eagles’ scoring.
By Scott A. Strain
Laney College Sports Information