Terrance Polk made two spectacular touchdown receptions and the Los Medanos College football team held on for a wild 56-49 win over visiting Shasta on Saturday in the Bay Valley Conference opener for both teams.
Polk, a sophomore out of Pittsburg High, had five catches for 116 yards and three touchdowns overall. Mustangs quarterback Mike Behr (Deer Valley) was a crisp 20 for 27 passing for 298 yards and five touchdowns, also running for 66 yards and a 4-yard score.
Los Medanos freshman Matt Smith (Deer Valley), filling in for injured starter Shawn Vasquez, powered for 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Smith's 1-yard scoring run with 7:19 left in the game broke a 49-49 tie, and the Mustangs defense -- which had a rough time against Shasta quarterback Austin Schmeltzer (229 yards passing, 130 rushing) -- denied the Knights (2-4) on their final drive. Aaron Cole (Deer Valley) clinched the victory with an interception in the end zone with 2:49 left.
It was a sweet conference opener for the now 4-2 Mustangs, who went 0-10 in 2011.
"I think that was a motivation (for the players) in the offseason to work hard and not let that happen," Los Medanos coach Chris Shipe said. "It's a matter of winning some games. You take baby steps. You win some games, you get some recruits. It's a full circle every year."
Polk added, "We just weren't executing like we were supposed to (last season). We came back during spring ball and we were all focused in."
Polk and fellow receiver Terrence Brooks were in excellent form. Brooks had a 19-yard touchdown catch to give Los Medanos a 30-14 lead after setting up the score with a 66-yard kickoff return.
Polk scored the Mustangs' first two touchdowns; the second on a 32-yard play as he made a leaping fingertip grab in the end zone. He also broke a 42-42 tie with a dazzling 42-yard reception with 19 seconds left in the third quarter. Tightly covered, he retreated for an under-thrown ball and then dived and extended the ball across the goal line.
Polk credited the Mustangs offensive line for getting a good push. As for the polished passing game, it's all about the work ethic.
"We're all on the same page," said Polk, who is being recruited by Weber State, UTEP and Fresno State. "From me to the quarterback to all the receivers, we're all on the same page. We work constantly every day in practice, running certain routes. It's just execution, that's all it really is."