Andrew Zimmerman might’ve felt he was Derek Carr for a day Friday, wearing the quarterback Oakland Raiders No. 4 jersey at the team’s walk-through.
He performed liked the three-year pro on Saturday.
In his first career start, Zimmerman found Coltin Velasquez for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 remaining as the state No. 14-ranked Rams held off host No. 17 San Mateo 34-31 in a nonconference game.
“I love Derek Carr. I think he’s great,” Zimmerman said of the quarterback who led the Raiders to a 35-34 come-from-behind win last Sunday against the Saints. “Great human on and off the field and his work ethic. Everything is glory to God. I totally respect that as well."
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In his first start for the Rams (2-1), Zimmerman completed 22 of 39 for 291 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a 12-yard touchdown run for Fresno City in the first quarter.
The Rams trailed 31-21 and it looked bleak early in the fourth quarter.
Fresno City was driving before Khai Williams rushed for 10 yards to the San Mateo 4-yard line and fumbled.
The Rams, however, found life and got the ball back when Cody James recovered a fumble at their own 44 with 7:41 remaining. Fresno City marched down, capped by Elgin Austin’s 1-yard touchdown run to trail 31-28 before the game-winning touchdown.
“Offensive coordinator Vince Branstetter was expecting pressure, and (called) a little double move by our receiver and Andrew hit it,” Fresno City coach Tony Caviglia said. “It was a tremendous football game against a tremendous football team. Football players make mistakes and look for ways to redeem themselves and we had a number of those today. There’s a lot of fight in this team.”
On the game-winning drive, Velasquez trusted his quarterback.
“Zim played really good and handled a lot of things that were thrown at him,” he said. “He kept his composure the whole game and led us to that victory. On the play, we went trips to the right and they went cover 0, so the out-and-up was wide open.”
Zimmerman saw the same thing in Velasquez.
“We just had a play called up for Coltin,” he said. “Coltin is a great freshman and I trusted him to get in the middle and I knew he was going to be open and it was great. We’re having a bunch of fun, but we understand Monday is a new week. Always thankful but dissatisfied.”
Et cetera – Sequoias fell to Diablo Valley 44-28 on Friday. The Giants (2-1) led 7-0 in the first quarter on Elijah Porchia’s 54-yard touchdown reception from Thomas Wilson.
Reedley (0-3) fell to Redwoods 26-22 and West Hills (1-2) outlasted Yuba 35-21.
Fresno City 34, San Mateo 31
Fresno City (2-1)
San Mateo (1-2)
F: Andrew Zimmerman 12 run (Hugo Mendez kick)
F: Marquese Livers 19 pass from Zimmerman (Mendez kick)
SM: Ramiah Marshall 49 pass from Ryan Brand (Jose Elizondo kick)
SM: Line Latu 96 pass from Ryan Brand (Elizondo kick)
SM: Sione Finefeuiaki 24 pass from Brand (Elizondo kick)
SM: FG Jose Elizondo 29
F: Terry Toler 45 pass from Zimmerman (Mendez kick)
SM: Rahsaan Fontenette 97 kickoff return (Elizondo kick)
F: Elgin Austin 1 run (Erik Zamora kick)
F: Coltin Velasquez 12 pass from Zimmerman (kick failed)
Time of Possession
RUSHING: Fresno City, Nate Jones 19-94, Ian Charles 1-43, Khai Williams 3-19, Brique Alvies 7-17, Zimmerman 6-10, Marcus Rose 2-6, Elgin Austin 2-5, Team 1-(-2). San Mateo, Keenan Smith 16-72, Rahsaan Fontenette 6-25, Ramiah Marshall 2-1, Isaiah Williams 1-1, Sione Finefeuiaki 1-(-1), Team 1-(-2), Bobby Calmeyn 1-(-9), Brand 6-(-12), Joey Wood 2-(-15).
PASSING: Fresno City, Zimmerman 22-39-0-291. San Mateo, Brand 8-9-1-299, Bobby Calmeyn 5-13-1-52.
RECEIVING: Fresno City, Toler 3-87, Rose 6-73, Jones 3-33, Livers 3-32, Charles 2-26, Velasquez 2-18, Brett Stelling 1-15, Ontario Johnson 1-9, Adam Becker 1-(-1). San Mateo, Marshall 5-121, Latu 2-106, Finefeuiaki 3-60, Tasi Teu 1-39, Smith 1-21, Adam Hernandez 1-4.
Fresno City, Tamarcus Russell 7 tackles, Tashan Finley 6 (1 INT, 1 TFL), Cody James 5, (1 fumble recovery, 1 TFL), Lagarious Varner 5 (1 sack, 1 TFL), DJ Moran 4, Cody Watts (1 fumble recovery), Adrian Perez (1 interception), Lavell Smith (1 sack, 1 TFL), Walter Segal (0.5 TFL). San Mateo, Colt Doughty 9 tackles, Kava Maka 7, Josh Clarke 5 (3 TFL), Dorzel Hicks (1 TFL), Kwami Jones (2 sacks, 2 TFL), Tukua Ahoia 1 (TFL), Keenan Johnson (1 fumble recovery).