Alternating wins and losses was not the kind of consistency that Fresno City College football coach Tony Caviglia envisioned.
But that’s where the Northern California ninth-ranked Rams (3-3, 0-1 Valley Conference) sit as they host No. 6 Modesto (4-2, 1-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday in a homecoming game at Ratcliffe Stadium.
“The alternating thing is not frustrating; frustrating is preparing so hard and not playing well,” Caviglia said. “We’re backing ourselves into a corner here, and we need to come out and play good football.”
Already facing an uphill climb, the Rams know another loss virtually eliminates them from conference championship contention.
“Very important game,” running back Jamal Pickett said. “Need to execute. That’s the biggest thing – just executing and finish.”
Rams receiver Coltin Velasquez echoed Pickett.
“We just got to pull together each game,” he said. “Every guy has to do their assignment to get a win. We just have to win out. If we all buy in to the system on defense, offense, special teams, then I feel like we can come back and (win games).”
The Rams last week fell 27-13 to No. 13 Chabot in a heavy downpour in Hayward.
Fresno City defensive lineman Walter Segal believes his team “is getting closer to hitting our top form” and hopes to see that beginning Saturday.
“On defense, we have to fix; for some reason, there’s been that one mistake,” he said. “Of course, you can improve every game. I believe as a defense we can always improve and get better.”
The Rams are 1-2 at home, with the lone victory against still-winless Reedley before a bye week. The losses, though, came against No. 1 Santa Rosa (27-13) and No. 2 American River (38-35 in double overtime).
“We don’t control our destiny, but we do in a sense because we have to win,” Caviglia said. “We’re a good football team, and we have to find a way to come out on top.”
Rams win appeal – Fresno City running back Nate Jones, the team’s leading rusher with 361 yards on 72 carries, was ejected from the Chabot game after incurring an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. An ejection usually carries an automatic suspension for the next game, but the Rams successfully appealed – arguing Jones did nothing malicious – and he will be allowed to play against the Pirates.
Rose set to return – Rams wide receiver Marcus Rose, who suffered a shoulder injury against American River, will play against Modesto. He had been out the past two games.
Hello again, Modesto - Drew Brown was an assistant for Modesto the past 18 seasons. Now, he will be on the other sideline as the Rams’ defensive backs coach.
This week in JC football
Golden Gate Conference
Monterey (6-0, 3-0) at West Hills (4-2, 2-0), 7 p.m.
Modesto (4-2, 1-0) at Fresno City (3-3, 0-1), 1 p.m.
Chabot (2-4, 1-0) at San Joaquin Delta (1-5, 0-1), 1 p.m.
Laney (5-1, 1-0) at College of the Sequoias (3-3, 0-1), 2 p.m.
Golden Coast Conference
Reedley (0-6, 0-2) at Merced (3-3, 1-2), 6 p.m.