PITTSBURG -- The Los Medanos College football team rode workhorse back Shawn Vasquez and game-breaker Jamal Lockett to a 34-17 nonconference win over visiting Monterey Peninsula on Saturday.
Lockett, a freshman out of Pittsburg High, bolted 97 yards for a touchdown on his first carry. He needed just four carries to gain 124 yards.
"I followed my blockers and I saw the hole, and I just broke loose," Lockett said of his first collegiate touchdown.
Vasquez, a sophomore out of Liberty, ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. His 35-yard scoring run upped the Mustangs' lead to 27-17 with 1:15 left in the third quarter. It came after he'd gained 25 yards on a fourth-and-1 play. Vasquez carried six times for 66 yards on the march.
For Vasquez, who has a team-high 586 yards and six touchdowns this season, patience is a virtue.
"I know it's gonna be a grind inside the tackles for a little bit," Vasquez said. "I just got to be patient until I get that big one, that's how it always is. You can't expect the big one every play, but my offensive line does a good job of grinding and pounding it."
Overall, the young Mustangs (2-2) started and finished strongly. After looking tentative early Monterey Peninsula (0-3) scored 17 unanswered points to trail 21-17 at halftime. But Los Medanos, which is 2-0 at home this year, wore the Lobos down on a warm day. The offensive line pushed the Lobos back and the defense made clutch plays. Los Medanos amassed 420 yards rushing and 56 passing.
Freshman Jamon Ward, one of 13 Pittsburg graduates on the Los Medanos' roster, intercepted the Lobos' Andrew Loudenback in late in the third quarter, setting up the Mustangs' final touchdown on a 10-yard run by Demetrius Williams. On the Lobos' next drive, they parlayed a fake punt and passing by Loudenback to march to the Mustangs' 18. But Enrique Salazar and Markie Beltram broke up consecutive pass plays to end the drive. On Monterey's final march, Robert Gray sacked Loudenback on fourth down from the Mustangs' 2.
Lockett looks to Vasquez for leadership.
"He's good," Lockett said. "He's always 100 percent all the time. I'm really learning from him too. As a freshman, I'm really learning."