Marcel Dancy

For The Kids

Marcel Dancy seems to do all the right things.
Since taking his first reps with the California football team during training camp, the running back from Oakland has been impressing coaches and teammates.
Dancy is also wise beyond his years. He learned at a young age how important it is to stay on the right path if he really wanted to find success playing football.
After earning his spot with the Golden Bears – his dream school since he was a youngster growing up in Oakland – Dancy is determined to take advantage of his opportunity to be an inspiration for Oakland youth. He hopes to instill the same mindset of working hard and staying on the right path that he learned when he was their age.
"My motivation is to play in the NFL, but along that journey, I want to show kids how important it is to make the right decisions, not only in football but in life," Dancy said. "It's cool to go to school and I try to lead by example with that."
Before he snapped on a Cal helmet for the first time, Dancy played two seasons at Laney College in Oakland. During his time at Laney, he met Thirland Ross, head coach of the Oakland Dynamites Pop Warner football team. They met through Ross' son, Mekhi, who played on a flag football team with Dancy. After chatting with Dancy for a bit, Ross was impressed with his football knowledge and asked him if he would like to meet the kids he coaches and teach them more about the game of football.
Dancy jumped at the opportunity.
"He's great with the kids," Ross said. "The kids can relate to him because he had the same upbringing. Growing up in Oakland, you don't see a lot of people who give back the way he does. He teaches them that there's more to football besides what you do on the field. He tells them to make sure they're a student first and to make sure their grades are good. He tells them to respect their parents and give back when you can."
Dancy considers himself to be a big brother to the Dynamites. They can call him whenever they need anything, and he frequently checks in with Ross to see on how the team is doing.
Growing up, Dancy's family was instrumental in showing him the right path, and now he's trying to return the favor to kids he considers to be his younger brothers.
"I was lucky enough to have a lot of people looking out after me when I was a kid," Dancy said. "They made sure I stayed out of trouble and stayed focused on what I was trying to do. I'm trying to pay my family back by guiding everybody who looks up to me now."
Dancy's father, Daryl, said that while he's proud of how much his son cares about the kids, he isn't surprised.
"He is a really good man," Daryl said. "He cares about everybody and everything. That's rare coming from some of the places that people come from. He truly cares about people. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from."
Growing up, Dancy attended a few Cal games and watched many more on TV. While he was attending West High School in Tracy, he participated in a Cal camp where he was coached by former Cal standout and current Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Not only did Goff and Dancy bond during that camp, but Goff was the one who told running backs coach Burl Toler III and the rest of the coaching staff that Dancy could be the real deal.

Toler remembers meeting Dancy at that camp and being very impressed with his talent and personality.
"It's funny because the guys who were at that camp in 2014 and are still here remember Marcel because he stood out that much," Toler said. "He was so determined and just got after it. He had the same mature personality back then and that also really stood out to me. I'm so happy to see things come to fruition for him with this opportunity and to see him take advantage of it."
Head coach Justin Wilcox has also taken notice of Dancy.
"He's a quick guy who makes powerful and decisive cuts," Wilcox said. "We're excited about what he's doing. He's got to continue to build off of what he's done so far. It's a competitive situation at running back, but he's going all-in on it. Every single day the guy brings it."

Dancy credits Kevin Parker – Cal's former director of player development – in being instrumental with him joining the Bears.  
A childhood inspiration on and off the field for Dancy was former Cal standout running back Marshawn Lynch. Dancy volunteers at Lynch's Fam1st camps and Lynch is a family friend of the Dancys.
Dancy shares the same goal as Lynch of trying to make positive change in as many lives as possible. He hopes to follow in his role model's footsteps into the NFL and earn the opportunity to teach and inspire on a larger scale.
"When you get a platform like that, you have two options – you can just worry about yourself and take care of yourself, or you can take as many people as you can with you, and that's what I'm trying to do," Dancy said. "I'm trying to help put as many of these kids as I can in a position to succeed."
While there will be a lot of kids rooting for Dancy on the football field, he will be rooting for them in life.

Cal QB Ross Bowers Sure to Start, but Backups Look Strong

After providing zero indication of a legitimate “open competition” for Cal’s starting quarterback spot during training camp’s first 13 practices, backups Brandon McIlwain and Chase Garbers made strong pitches in Saturday’s camp-closing scrimmage.

There’s still little doubt that incumbent Ross Bowers, who consistently shows the best command of the offense, will be the starter. However, the next two weeks could prove a little more interesting than expected.

Bowers completed 12 of 19 passes for 94 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the situational scrimmage. His most impressive series came during a two-minute drill, when he drove the Bears 66 yards in 90 seconds and found Kanawai Noa for a 12-yard score on a fourth down.

“For him, he was OK today,” head coach Justin Wilcox said of Bowers, a perfectionist who says he hasn’t consistently played “elite” for the past week. “… We expect him to play better and better, and I think he’ll take all of this and grow from it.”

Save for a period early in camp, when Bowers was disciplining himself for an errant fade pass by running the stadium steps, the junior had taken every first-team snap until Saturday.

After starting a drive from the 43-yard line midway through the scrimmage, Bowers was replaced for a few plays by McIlwain. Bowers returned to finish the series, which was capped with a 50-yard field goal by Greg Thomas.

When asked about the unique substitution, Wilcox offered only a refrain he’s repeated from time to time since declaring the quarterback competition open prior to spring drills: “Everything is kind of on the table.”

Cal will have 11 practices in the two weeks remaining before the season-opener against North Carolina on Sept. 1. The team’s workouts will be moved from the mornings to the afternoons after classes start Wednesday.

It’s unclear how many chances McIlwain or Garbers will get as training camp shifts into regular-season practices, so they made the most of Saturday’s repetitions. McIlwain completed 3 of 8 passes for 53 yards and ran five times for 62 yards and two scores. Garbers completed 13 of 22 passes for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and ran four times for 70 yards and a score.

McIlwain came up hobbling after being dragged down from behind at the tail end of a 30-yard touchdown run, but he stayed in to hold the extra-point attempt and didn’t appear to be limping after practice.

“He’s tough to tackle. That’s the thing that jumps out,” Wilcox said. “He can run some of the option game and can throw the football. Being comfortable in the offense and with his decision-making, all those things need to continue to improve. But he’s a really good athlete. I think you saw the burst that he has. When he has the ball in his hands, he’s a lot like a running back.

Dinner will honor football stars

Some people have it all — athleticism, brains, drive, and initiative. Student-athletes at Laney College are in this category.

From the 3.0 GPA and on-field achievements of current players, to acceptance at four-year institutions and life’s work of the alumni, it’s clear that playing for the Eagles helps many students be able to make the best choices for themselves.

In honor of these ongoing achievements for Laney football, the annual Wall of Fame dinner will be held from 4:30–8:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, in the Laney Athletic Field House.

Dinner will be served at 6:15 p.m. and the cost is $30. The date to RSVP is past, but anyone who would like to attend may purchase tickets at the door.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the honorary dinner for new inductees to the Wall of Fame, which is located in the Student Center.

The tradition began in 1998, with then-head coach Stan Peter’s idea to honor outstanding players, coaches, and support staff for their acheivements at Laney.

A $10,000 gift from former Washington Redskins linebacker and Laney alum Ken Harvey made the wall possible.

This year, former defensive back Tavis Campbell (1997–98), wide receiver Lester Gill (1998–99), running back Joe Cannon (1997–98), and longtime athletic trainer Greg Smith will be honored.

Former inductees can also provide inspiration to current athletes for their larger educational and life goals.

“You’re gonna be able to pursue your future,” said head football coach and Athletic Director John Beam, who was named the 2017 Bay Valley Conference Coach of the Year.

“Everybody’s goal is to keep playing and keep going to school,” he said. “They don’t come here unless they want to transfer.”

The Laney Athletics Department boasts a 90 percent transfer rate to four-year colleges and universities, and many of the students get opportunities to go to school for free on an athletic scholarship, he said.

“If you don’t get into the school of your choice out of high school,” Beam said, “you can come to Laney and have way better chances.”

In addition, many of the student-athletes will do so for free. The athletic department helps students find scholarships, although not always to a school they have heard of.

“There’s a place, somewhere in this country, that will pay you to go to school and play football. It may not be UCLA, but it’s free.”

Two Eagles players did commit to University of California schools this year. Running back Marcel Dancy is headed to Cal Berkeley, and defensive back Je’Vari Anderson will be attending UCLA this fall.

“Football is just a blip on the radar of life,” Beam said. “We tell them to find the school that’s got the major you want and will give you an opportunity to succeed academically.”

The inductees featured in this year’s ceremony represent some of the possibilities that are available to student-athletes after their time at Laney.

Smith worked as Laney’s athletic trainer for nearly 40 years and will be inducted as a “Cornerstone” to the Wall of Fame.

Campbell played for the University of Hawai’i after Laney and is now “very involved with the community,” Beam said.

Cannon is the author of several books about personal training, nutrition, and the dangers of over-exercising, and Lester Gill is “big in the IT business,” Beam said.

At the dinner, current players will get a chance to see and hear about former Laney athletes who went on to develop their skills and careers after football.

Thanks to the hard work of Beam and the other coaches, hundreds of student-athletes come to Laney every year to train and play for the Eagles for two seasons before they transfer or go on to other achievements.

“The bulk want to continue to play football,” Beam said, “but there are some that come to transfer because they want to be a firefighter or serve in law enforcement. One came and wanted to get into digital media.”

The ongoing health and safety of the players is a huge concern to the coaches as well.

“We’ve been really lucky,” Beam said. “The college has some funding that faculty can ask for. Every time we’ve asked for safety stuff, it’s been approved.”

Getting the funds to conduct the day-to-day-business of the football team can be a struggle, however.

“With all the funding cuts, it’s harder and harder to help these guys out,” Beam said. “When we have to play a game, they’re supposed to be fed, but we don’t always have the money. We’ve had to fight for the money to feed them.”

Eva Hannan is sports editor and writer for the Laney Tower

Running back takes his talent to Cal

Watching Marcel Dancy play running back for the Laney College Eagles is like following an object caught in a rushing stream as it careens down a mountainside.

In highlight film footage, the moments, just before he is seen running down the line to the end zone, are difficult to decipher. Like Harry Houdini escaping from a suit of locks and chains, the viewer cannot determine exactly how it is done, even after closely examining the motions.

He bobs. He weaves. He runs sideways or circles back, taunting the defensive line before him. He disappears for a moment in the crush of bodies, and the play seems finished until he emerges on the other side of the field, running down the line and nimbly evading the defensive players left standing.

Dancy had 1,033 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns, 22 receptions, and 241 receiving yards in the 2017 season. He was ranked seventh in the state with 6.8 yards per rush by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).

CCCAA also unanimously named him to the All-Academic and First All-State Teams this year for Laney.

Dancy will graduate from Laney with high honors on May 25. He graduated in 2016 from Merrill F. West High School in Tracy.

In two seasons at Laney, he had a combined 1,994 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns, 27 receptions, and 292 receiving yards in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Along with fellow All-American running back Ahmari Davis, Dancy helped the Eagles go 9–2 in both 2016 and 2017, and in 2017 they went 5–0 in the National Valley Conference to advance to the NorCal Regional for the first time.

That year, Dancy and Davis became the first two running backs in Eagle history to rush over 1,000 yards each.

Dancy received a scholarship to UC Berkeley and will start training with the Bears May 28.

Davis also received a scholarship, to play running back for the University of New Mexico.

Coming from East Oakland, Dancy said this opportunity fulfills a childhood dream that has been realized because of God and sacrifices his family made.

“My family always saw I had a gift to play the game,” he said. “They made sure I stayed out of trouble and just did the right things.”

Dancy played other sports, including baseball and basketball, before he started playing football as a running back.

At times, his zigzag style looks like it could be at home on the soccer field, and his multi-sport approach is no accident. He currently practices with the Eagles track team, working with coaches Kevin Craddock and Ray Stewart to improve his speed and overall game.

Craddock said Dancy’s “strong and aggressive” approach to a goal is “a recipe for greatness. He focuses on track as if he’s gonna step on and do a race this weekend.”

Stewart said that Dancy’s performance and stamina remind him of Khalfani Muhammad, a former Cal running back who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans.

Attention to detail and a commitment to fully learning his trade has made an impression on Eagles defensive coach Derrick Gardner.

“One thing I think that sets Marcel apart is his ability to see the landscape and understand a setup,” Gardner said. “He’s anticipating their reaction.”

For Dancy, it’s all about getting ahead and doing the unexpected on the football field. His versatility allows his success as an occasional receiver.

“What the game is actually about is like chess,” he said — and yes, he plays that too.

Dancy thinks about future moves for his education as well. His major is business, with a focus on sports and money management.

“I have a lot of different reasons for what I do,” he said. “Opportunity is all I need to handle my business.”

Dancy also makes a point to give back to the community. He currently serves as an assistant coach to the Oakland Dynamites, a Pop Warner football team comprised of youths ages 5–13.

Helping young players realize their dreams and stay out of trouble is important to Dancy. He said he hopes to have an impact, “not just by words, but by actions.”

Eva Hannan is the sports editor of the Laney Tower.

Laney Football All-America

The Laney College football team placed seven players on two community college All-America teams, including University of New Mexico commit running back Ahmari Davis (James Logan HS), University of Idaho commit offensive lineman Bruce Burns (Arroyo HS) and University of New Mexico commit defensive lineman Erin Austin (Heritage HS), who were named to both teams.

The three Eagles players were named to the 2017 All-America Community College Team and the 2017 All-California Community College Region I Team.

Also named to the Region I team were running back Marcel Dancy (West HS-Oakland); Texas A&M – Commerce commit linebackers Joseph Butler (Sam Houston HS-San Antonio), Cameron Nathan (Antioch HS) and defensive back Je’Vari Anderson (De La Salle HS)

Davis rushed for 1,359 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as Laney went 9-2, won the National Valley Conference championship and went to the Northern California playoffs.

Dancy rushed for 1,033 yards and scored 15 touchdowns, three of them on receptions. The one-two punch of Davis and Dancy gave the Eagles two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season for the first time in the school’s 52-year football history.

Butler led the NVC in sacks with eight and Nathan was fifth in the conference in tackles-per-game with 5.8.

All players, except for Nathan, are sophomores.

By Scott A. Strain

Laney College Sports Information

Laney College @ American River College

The Laney College football team scored four touchdowns in the second half but came up short in a 41-35 loss to No.2 American River College in Sacramento on Nov. 18 in the first round of the Northern California playoffs.

The Eagles the No.4 seed in NorCal and champions of the National Valley Conference finished the season 9-2.

Statistically Laney dominated the game, outgaining the Beavers (10-1) 365 yards to 180 and the defense held ARC to just five yards rushing. The Eagles also had twice as many first downs (24) as the Beavers (12). ARC had no first downs in the second half.

Laney tied the game at 6-6 when Ahmari Davis (James Logan HS) scored on a 17-yard run with 3:31 left to play in the first quarter. Davis’ score capped a 12-play, 87-yard drive that took almost six minutes off the clock.

Down 27-6 at half, Laney started its comeback in the third quarter when Davis scored his second touchdown, this one coming on an 8-yard run with 7:03 left in the period.

The Eagles got the benefit of a safety when defensive lineman Erin Austin (Heritage HS) sacked the ARC quarterback, who recovered his own fumble in his own end zone with 2:37 left in the third quarter.

Laney scored three times in the fourth quarter to make it close. Davis scored his third touchdown on a 5-yard run with 10:01 left and Marcel Dancy (Merrill F. West HS) scored 4-yard run with 4:02 remaining.

The Eagles closed out the scoring when quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz (Berkeley HS) threw a 9-yard scoring pass to Dancy with 1:09 left.

Davis and Susckiewicz were the two leading rushers for Laney, Davis gaining 96 yards on 18 carries and Susckiewicz 71 yards on 13 carries.

Susckiewicz was 23 for 34 for 182 yards passing. Jared Smart (Dublin HS) caught seven passes for 57 yards and Devond Blair Jr. (Bunche HS-Oakland) had six catches for 54 yards.

On defense, linebacker Armani Turner-Jenkins (Berkeley HS) had eight tackles (four solo) and linebacker Cameron Nathan (Antioch HS) finished with seven (five solo).

Jonathan Whittley (Castlemont HS) had five tackles, which included three sacks for 25 yards in losses. Nathan had the other sack.

By Scott A. Strain

Laney College Sports Information

The Laney College football team has won the National Valley Conference and qualified for the Northern California state playoffs for the first time.

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

The Laney College football team won the National Valley Conference championship with a 40-33 victory over Modesto Junior College on Nov. 3 in Oakland.

The Laney College football team won the National Valley Conference championship with a 40-33 victory over Modesto Junior College on Nov.  3 in Oakland.

The Eagles (8-1, 4-0 NVC) finish their regular season on Saturday, Nov.  11 against Chabot College in Hayward. Game time is 6 p.m.

The Northern California playoff pairings won’t be decided until after this weekend’s slate of games are concluded.

But Laney, for the first time, is included.

The Eagles currently ranked No. 5 in the JC Athletic Bureau Coaches poll, pulled away from the Pirates (2-2, 4-5) after leading only 21-20 at the end of the first half.

Laney was held to 58 yards rushing in the first two quarters, but finished with 236 yards on the ground and a total of 469 for the game.

Marcel Dancy (West-Oakland HS) took charge in the first half, scoring the Eagles’ first two touchdowns. He ran 28 yards for Laney’s first score, then caught a pass from quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz and went 84 yards for a 14-7 lead with 13:21 left in the second quarter.

Suszckiewicz threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Robert Stern (De Anza HS) that gave Laney that 21-20 halftime lead.

Then it was Ahmari Davis’ turn. Davis (James Logan HS) scored Laney’s next two touchdowns, the first coming on a 21-yard run in the third quarter ad then a 51-yarder to start the fourth quarter as the Eagles took a 35-20 lead.

Modesto score the next touchdown, but Joseph Butler (Houston HS-San Antonio) picked up a blocked PAT attempt and ran the length of the field to give the Eagles two points and a 37-26 lead with 12:36 left in the game.

Laney’s final points came on KC Onwuemeka’s (Hercules HS) 18-yard field goal with 7:02 left.

Davis finished with 147 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Dancy had 94 yards on 11 carries and one score. He also caught three passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.

Suszckiewicz completed nine of 18 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, linebacker Cameron Nathan (Antioch HS) had his best game of the season with 17 tackles (14 solo); Butler 10 tackles (8 solo); and Da’Meak Brandon (La Salle HS-Cincinnati) had an interception.

By Scott A. Strain

Laney College Sports Information

Laney Football Wins at Fresno City, Leads National Valley Conference

The Laney College football team scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to defeat Fresno City College 30-23 on Oct. 28 in Fresno and took the lead the National Valley Conference with a 3-0 record.

The Eagles, 7-1 overall, have won six straight games. They play host to Modesto Junior College (4-4, 2-1 NVC) on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

Ahmari Davis (James Logan HS) rushed for 193 yards and scored on a 41-yard run with 11:36 left in the fourth quarter. KC Onwuemeka (Hercules HS) kicked the extra point that tied the score at 23-23.

Andrew Ve'e (Encinal HS) threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Marcel Dancy (West HS-Oakland) with 10:09 left in the game for what proved to be the game-winniner.

The Laney defense forced three turnovers, with linebacker Joseph Butler (Sam Houston HS, San Antonio, TX) and Zach Zimmerman (Monroe HS, Monroe, LA) getting interceptions.  

The Eagles had no turnovers.

If it is anything, this Laney College football team is resilient

If it is anything, this Laney College football team is resilient.

The Eagles (6-1, 2-0 National Valley Conference) came from behind three times to finally defeat a stubborn College of the Sequoias team 34-17 on Oct. 20 in Oakland.

Laney was down 3-0, 10-6 and 17-13 before scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Ahmari Davis (James Logan HS) rushed for 90 yards and scored the Eagles’ first touchdown on a 25-yard run with 13:46 left in the second quarter. Laney’s other first-half score came with 44 seconds left when Noah Suszckiewicz (Berkeley HS) threw a 22-yard pass to Devond Blair Jr. (Bunche HS-Oakland) for a 13-10 lead.

After the Giants (2-5, 0-2) scored on the first play of the third quarter, the Eagles got back on top for good when Blair Jr. caught a 24-yard scoring pass from Suszckiewicz with 5:31 reaming in the third quarter.

Quarterback Andrew Ve’e (Encinal HS) scored on a 3-yard run 44 seconds into the fourth quarter and Marcel Dancy (West HS-Oakland) added a 13-yard scoring run with 8:39 left in the game.

Laney took advantage of three turnovers and had eight sacks on defense. Defensive back Zach Zimmerman (Monroe HS-Monroe, LA) returned an interception 31 yards.

Linebackers Joseph Butler (Houston HS-San Antonio) and Bishop Apodaka (Fremont HS-Oakland) each finished with seven tackles. Butler had four solo tackles; Apodaka had four.

Butler also had three sacks and three tackles for losses (TFL). Apodaka had two sacks and two TFL.

Armani Turner-Jenkins (Berkeley HS) and Erin Austin (Heritage HS-Brentwood each had six tackles. Turner-Jenkins had five solo tackles; Austin had four solo tackles and two sacks; Turner-Jenkins had one sack.

Austin was credited with 3.5 TFL and Turner-Jenkins had 1.5 TFL.

The Eagles’ next game is at Fresno City College on Saturday, Oct. 28. Game time is 6 p.m.

By Scott Strain

Laney College Sports Information

Laney College’s football winning streak reached four in a row after the Eagles dumped San Joaquin Delta College 40-7 on Oct. 14 in Stockton.

Laney College’s football winning streak reached four in a row after the Eagles dumped San Joaquin Delta College 40-7 on Oct. 14 in Stockton.

Running back Ahmari Davis (James Logan HS) rushed for 146 yards on 17 carries and Marcel Dancy (West HS-Oakland) had 83 yards on 15 carries as the Eagles (5-1, 1-0 NVC) piled up 504 yards of total offense. The stout Laney defense allowed the Mustangs only 168 yards.

It was the National Valley Conference opener for both teams. With the victory, Laney moved up to No. 7 in the JC Athletic Bureau coaches poll.

After the Mustangs (1-5, 0-1) took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Eagles quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz (Berkeley HS) threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Beejay Byrd (John Swett HS) with 4:48 left in the first quarter. Isaak Prada (Arroyo HS) kicked the extra point and the game was tied at 7-7.

But then it was all Laney. Davis scored his first touchdown on a 59-yard run with 12:17 left in the second quarter then added a 10-yard scoring run with 3:25 left as the Eagles drove 98 yards in 13 plays.

Laney led 19-7 at the half.

The Eagles added three more scores in the second half. Suszckiewicz threw a 45-yard TD pass to Robert Stern (DeAnza HS) and Dancy scored on a 1-yard run. Both came in the third quarter.

The Eagles’ final score came when quarterback Andrew Ve’e (Encinal HS) threw one yard to Keith Tracy (Antioch HS) for a touchdown with nine minutes left in the game.

Linebacker Joseph Butler (Houston HS-San Antonio) had his best game statistically with 12 tackles (eight solo), two sacks and five tackles for losses (TFL). Armani Turner-Jenkins (Berkeley HS) was right behind Butler with 11 tackles (eight solo) and three TFL.

The Eagles had four sacks for 27 yards lost.

By Scott Strain

Laney College Sports Information

The Laney College football team continues to pound it on the ground

The Laney College football team continues to pound it on the ground.

The Eagles rushed for 323 yards in a 34-6 grinding of visiting Contra Costa College on Sept. 28 in Oakland.

Laney finished the non-conference portion of its season with a 4-1 record. The Eagles have a bye week Oct. 6-7 and then start National Valley Conference play against San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton on Saturday, Oct. 14.

The Eagles’ next home game is Friday, Oct. 20 against College of the Sequoias.

Ahmari Davis (James Logan HS) rushed for 153 yards on 16 carries and Marcel Dancy (West HS-Oakland) had 21 carries for 136 yards. Each player scored a touchdown.

Laney took the opening kickoff and drove 67 yards in eight plays with Andrew Ve’e (Encinal HS) scoring on a 1-yard run. The Eagles took a 20-6 lead at the half when quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz (Berkeley HS) threw a 36-yard scoring pass to Devond Blair (Bunche HS-Oakland) and Davis went 20 yards for a TD. Both scores came in the second quarter.

Dancy scored on an 11-yard run with 47 seconds left in the third quarter and Zach Zimmerman (Monroe HS-Monroe, Wash.) returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown with 2:23 left in the game.

 Ronnie Van set the Laney record with a 95-yard interception return in in 1968.

Defensively, the Eagles held Contra Costa (0-5) to 208 yards of total offense. The Comets ran 76 plays, but averaged just 2.7 yards on each one.

Cameron Nathan (Antioch HS) had 11 tackles, seven solo.  Joseph Butler (Sam Houston HS-San Antonio) had 9 tackles, 8 solo; and Erin Austin (Heritage HS) had six solo, including three for losses. Jonathan Whittley (Castlemont) had two of Laney’s three sacks; Butler had the other.

By Scott Strain

Laney College Sports Information

The Laney College Eagles continued on their offensive roll, pummeling De Anza College 60-7 on Sept. 22 in Oakland

The Laney College Eagles continued on their offensive roll, pummeling De Anza College 60-7 on Sept. 22 in Oakland.

It was the fourth time in Eagles’ football history that the team has scored 60 or more points in a game.

The victory moved Laney up five spots to ninth in the JC Athletic Bureau of California Community College poll.

Ahmari Davis (16, carries, 77 yards) scored three touchdowns and Marcel Dancy (10 carries, 131 yards) scored twice as Laney piled up 300 yards on the ground. The Eagles gained 481 yards of total offense.

Laney took the lead on its opening drive, driving 64 yards in 10 plays and finished when Noah Suszckiewicz threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Keith Tracy with 11:53 left.

Dancy caped off the Eagles’ second series when he bolted 65 yards for a score to make it 12-0.

Laney scored three times in the second quarter to put the game away. Quarterback Andrew Ve’e ran 4 yards for one score, Suszckiewcz threw 27 yards to Devond Blair Jr., for another, and Dancy ran 4 yards to cap off the 39-7 halftime lead.

The Eagles scored three more times in the second half, with Davis scoring on runs of 9 and 11 yards and Kendall Prater going 1 yard for the final touchdown.

Defensively, Laney held De Anza to 186 yards and just 22 yards rushing. The Eagles had four sacks, resulting in 18 yards in losses. Leo Rodriguez was credited with 1.5 sacks; Vili Paea one; Cameron Nathan one; and Jordan Whittley had a half.

Zach Zimmerman recovered fumble and Erin Austin blocked a punt.

Laney’s next game is at home against Contra Costa College on Friday, Sept. 29. The Eagles defeated the Comets 21-20 in 2016 and are 5-0 against the San Pablo team.

Game time is 7 p.m.

NOTES: Laney’s other 60+ point games:

Nov. 11, 1965—Laney 60, Gavilan College 0

Oct. 24, 2008—Laney 66, Los Medanos College 17

Nov. 15, 2013—Laney 68, Sacramento City College 0

By Scott A. Strain

Laney College Sports Information

The Laney College Eagles football team continues to roll on both offense and defense.

The Laney College Eagles football team continues to roll on both offense and defense.

The Eagles’ latest victim: The Feather River Golden Eagles, who were blasted by Laney 47-13 on Sept. 18 in Quincy.

For the Laney fans who made the four-plus hour trip up a winding Highway 70, they were treated to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter when quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz (Berkeley High School) threw touchdown passes of 50 yards to Keith Tracy (Antioch HS) and 31 yards t o Ronald Thomas (San Leandro HS).

The Eagles extended the lead to 20-0 when Ahmari Davis (12 carries, 68 yards, James Logan HS) scored on a 3-yard run with 12:29 left in the second quarter. Marcel Dancy (12 carries, 94 yards, West HS-Oakland) scored on a 3-yard run with 2:40 left in the first half.

Laney led 27-13 at the half.

The second half was all Eagles. Armani Turner-Jenkins (Berkeley HS) picked off a pass and raced 35 yards for a touchdown just 15 seconds into the third quarter.

Laney made it 40-13 when quarterback Andrew Ve’e (Encinal HS) threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Devond Blair, Jr. (Bunche HS-Oakland) with 5:11 left in the third quarter. Dancy capped off the Eagles’ scoring when he ran 34 yards for a touchdown with 3:22 remaining in the third period.

Suszckiewicz completed 9 of 16 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns as Laney rolled up 451 yards in total offense.

The Laney defense was sterling, especially in the second half when it held Feather River scoreless. Imani Moore (Dublin HS) led the effort with six solo tackles and two assists. Armani-Turner, besides his interception, had three solo tackles and four assists.

Joseph Butler (Sam Houston HS, San Antonio) and Cameron Nathan (Antioch HS) each had two solo tackles and three assists. The Eagles intercepted three passes—Turner-Jenkins, Da’Meak Brandon (La Salle HS-Cincinnati) and Zach Zimmerman (Monroe HS-Monroe, WA). Thomas was also credited with a blocked punt.

The Eagles’ ‘D’ held Feather River to 263 yards of total offense with just 74 coming in the second half.

Laney’s next game is Friday, Sept. 22, when it plays host to DeAnza College. It is Laney Alumni Night.

By Scott Strain

Laney College Sports Information

Eagles open season at CCSF on Saturday, Sept. 2

Is the third time a charm for the Laney College football team?

The Eagles open their season on Saturday, Sept. 2, at City College of San Francisco and are looking to defeat the Rams for a third consecutive time. Game time is 1 p.m.

Last season, en route to a, 9-2 finish Laney, for the first (and only) time, defeated CCSF twice in one season. The Eagles stunned the Rams 18-13 in Oakland on Sept. 2, and then knocked them off again on their home field, 49-35, on Dec. 3 in the San Francisco Community College Bowl.

“Wining lets everybody know they can be beat. (Beating them twice) took a little luster off them,” Laney head coach John Beam said. “They can be beat. The coaches are confident, the players are confident and our fans are confident.”

It was a fitting end to a fine season. Question is: Can Laney do it again in a hostile environment against a team thirsting for revenge?

The answer is yes, probably. Despite losing six players to Division I schools, the Eagles return both quarterbacks from last season and the top two running backs from an offense that led the state in rushing yards per game.

Quarterback Noah Suszckiewicz threw for 257 yards and four touchdowns in the bowl victory over CCSF and Andrew Ve’e provided a dual threat at QB with his running and passing ability.

“He has really matured and is throwing the ball very well,” Beam said of Suszckiewicz. “Andrew has really been steady.” Both quarterbacks could see action against CCSF.

In 2016, Suszckiewicz completed 65 of 166 passes for 1,076 yards and nine touchdowns. Ve’e was 53 for 99, 778 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Also returning are running backs Marcel Dancy (162 carries, 961 yards, four touchdowns) and Ahmari Davis (95-684, seven touchdowns). 

The top return receiver is Devond Blair Jr. (12 receptions, 232 yards, two touchdowns). Beam is evaluating a group of talented freshmen to fill the other spots. Jared Smart (5-11, 170) from Dublin High School and Angelo Garrett (5-9, 155) from McClymonds are two of the prospects.

Returning linebacker Joe Butler (6-foot-4, 215) leads the defense. Butler made the game-saving interception in the end zone in the first CCSF game.  Erin Austin (6-3, 280, Heritage HS) anchors the defensive line. “He is as good as anybody in Northern California,” Beam said of Austin.

Defensive back Je’Vari Anderson (6-0, 220, De La Salle) comes from a wining program and is a “tremendous player,” Beam said.

“But this is community college football and you worry about depth, injuries and how life experiences affect players.”

NOTES—Laney is ranked 12th in the preseason JC Athletic Bureau poll, CCSF is 10th…The Eagles play three of the Top 25 schools: CCSF (10th), Butte (3rd) and Modesto Junior College (11th), the latter two at home…the last time Laney defeated CCSF two years in a row was in 1984-1985.

By Scott Strain

Laney College Sports Information