College of the Redwoods

CR looks to build on strong defensive effort

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Photo by Sarah Quist – CR running back Elijah Hicks

By Ray Hamill — The Corsairs will try to get their season back on track and end a three-game losing skid when they travel to Foothill on Saturday.

Redwoods is coming off a tough 21-18 loss at home to Los Medanos last weekend, and is now 2-5 on the season (1-2 in the American Pacific-7 Conference) after seeing a promising start to the season fade in recent weeks.

Foothill, meanwhile, comes into the game at 3-3 (0-1 in conference).

The Owls have been solid defensively, allowing just 14.8 points a game, while scoring just 17.8 a game when they have the ball.

“They’re a real stout defensive team,” CR head coach Frank Borba said of Foothill. 

Foothill, which has had some injuries to deal with, is coming off a bye week, and Borba expects the Owls to be “full force.”

The Corsairs, on the other hand, have struggled offensively in recent weeks, scoring just 35 points combined the past two games after averaging 34 a game through the first five weeks of the season.

“You know, we’re just missing things by a little bit,” Borba said. “We’ve been moving the ball, but last week against Los Medanos, we just made too many uncharacteristic mistakes, things that if we eliminate them from the day, we walk away with a victory. We just have to clean up the mistakes.”

Adams to start at QB

Freshman quarterback Alex Adams will get the start at quarterback against Foothill, although Moise Francois is also likely to see some time.

In six appearances this season, Adams has completed 59-of-122 passes for 876 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.

“The guy who’s playing the best is going to play,” Borba said. “Right now, Alex has separated himself a little bit.”

While the offense has struggled to put points on the board the past two weeks, freshman running back Elijah Hicks continues to establish himself as a big threat.

The Las Vegas native now has 612 yards rushing at an average of 5.7 a carry, and six TDs. He also has 166 yards receiving.

But Hicks has been contributing in more ways than that.

“Elijah is doing a great job,” Borba said. “He’s a hard working kid, and he does the little things that the average fan doesn’t see.”

In particular his pass blocking has been impressive.

“He’s dealt out some devastating blocks,” the head coach said. 

His 87.4 yards a game average and his six rushing TDs both lead the conference.

Big defensive performance

Defensively, the Corsairs are coming off their best performance of the season, and a unit that has struggled for much of the season appears to be finding its collective feet.

“I think it starts with the attention to detail,” Borba said. “(Defensive coordinator Esteban) Avila has them playing hard … we challenged them to really take the next step (against Los Medanos), and they did.”

Freshman defensive lineman Dakota Moore was particularly impressive against Los Medanos, with a first half that Borba described as “one of the best halves I’ve ever seen by a Redwoods player at that position.”

Moore leads a balanced defense with 48 tackles this year, and has five sacks, while teammate Tome has a conference-leading eight sacks.

Saturday’s game is set for 1 p.m.

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