Contra Costa College running back Davonte Sapp-Lynch did a spot on impression of his famous older brother in the Comets' recent win over Yuba.
He picked a good time to do it, too, because Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, aka "Beast Mode," attended the game in San Pablo.
In the first quarter, the 5-foot-8 Sapp-Lynch took a handoff and disappeared into a mob. The scrum continued for 16 yards as players from both teams pushed and shoved. Somehow, he broke free and forged the final 10 yards for a stirring 26-yard touchdown run.
Beast Mode II.
"I ran into traffic and, as I was taught as a running back, you keep your feet going," Davonte recalled of the crazy play. "For a period of time, like 2 or 3 yards, my linemen picked me up. It was kind of weird to be pushing my legs but my feet ain't hitting the ground. They finally put me back down, and I just kept pushing, and they finally pushed me into the end zone."
Davonte wound up with 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns, tacking on two receptions for 31 yards, in the 47-21 rout on Oct. 19 in the Bay Valley Conference.
After the game, an emotional Marshawn, a former Oakland Tech and Cal star, came down from the bleachers, put his arm around his brother and offered encouragement. He tells CCC coach Alonzo Carter that Davonte is better than him because of his versatility in being able to run with speed and power, block, and make finesse plays.
On Oct. 26, Davonte gained 126 yards in a 25-14 win over Shasta. Last week he ran for 192 in a 48-19 win over Mendocino.
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Comets (6-2, 3-0) will host Redwoods on Saturday before hosting rival Los Medanos (5-3, 2-1) on Nov 16, in what could decide the BVC title.
Davonte, a former Sheldon High-Sacramento star who jumped around a bit in high school, is one of four locals ranked in the state's top 15 in average rushing yards per game. Shawn Vasquez of Los Medanos is No. 3 at 136.7, Valentino Miles of Laney is 10th at 112.4, Sapp-Lynch is 12th at 108.9, and Jayde Rowe of Chabot is 15th at 100.9.
Coach Carter compares Davonte favorably to former Berkeley High star Rickey Galvin, who, at 5-foot-8, thrived at Washington State as a shifty runner and game-breaker. Davonte also has 34 receptions for 341 yards this season.
Contra Costa quarterback Malik Watson of Pittsburg has also been turning heads this season. The highly recruited signal-caller is completing 58 percent of his passes, averaging 257.2 yards passing a game.
SETTING AN EXAMPLE: Vasquez, the Los Medanos sophomore, is a runner who keeps pounding defenses until he breaks a big one. But what truly makes Vasquez special is his work ethic.
"The good thing about Shawn is everything he's done is because of his hard work," Mustangs coach Chris Shipe said. "He works hard in the weight room, works extremely hard in practice, and it shows in the game. He's one of our leaders. He makes guys accountable."
Vasquez, a team captain, starred as a senior at Liberty in 2010 before redshirting at NAIA Campbellsville (Ky.). He returned to the East Bay in the spring of 2012, and then ran for 846 yards and 10 touchdowns as a Mustangs freshman. This season he has 11 touchdowns and 957 yards in seven games.
The Mustangs (5-3, 2-1 BVC) also feature defensive end Charles Alexander, who has been making clutch tackles for losses and quarterback sacks all season.
The Mustangs are seeking their third straight win at home against Yuba at 1 p.m. Saturday.