September 27, 2022

By Nebai Esaias, Staff Writer

It was alumni night at Laney College on Friday, Sept. 23, as the Laney Eagles football team squared off against the Contra Costa Comets. The Eagles held an undefeated 3-0 record on the season coming into Friday’s contest, while Contra Costa was winless at 0-2, and desperately searching for their first win of the year. The Laney Eagles won the game with a final score of 21-7.

The Laney Eagles line up on offense in the first quarter vs. Contra Costa College | Source: Ken Lester

Laney’s defense flashed early, holding strong on two critical fourth down stops in the first quarter, the first of which came on Contra Costa’s opening drive when Comets running back Josh Jones ran the ball on a fourth-and-4 at the Laney 30-yard line, but was stuffed by Laney’s Karl Lachenmyer and Noah Iosefa short of the first down marker.

Laney’s offense picked up on their fourth offensive drive, as quarterback Demontre Thomas delivered a perfect deep pass to wide receiver Deven Franklin, who caught the ball in stride en route to an 86-yard touchdown that gave Laney a 7-0 lead with 1:35 left in the first quarter.

Laney WR Deven Franklin jogs into the end zone after an 86-yard reception for his first touchdown of the game. | Source: Ken Lester

Laney defensive lineman Jay Henry was impressive all night, finishing the game with 11 total tackles and 2½ sacks, including a play in the second quarter when he and fellow lineman Eric Moody tackled Comets quarterback Ubedei McGautha in the backfield, eventually forcing Contra Costa to punt.

Laney’s DL Jay Henry celebrates after a sack on Contra Costa QB Ubedei McGautha | Source: Ken Lester

Later in the second quarter, the Eagles’ QB Thomas forced a pass downfield that was intercepted and returned 41-yards for a touchdown by Contra Costa defensive back Jalen Henderson — tying the game 7-7 with 3:34 left in the first half.

Laney’s offense wasted no time responding. After driving down the field, the QB Thomas quickly found WR Deven Franklin in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown, his second of the game. The Laney Eagles led 14-7 at halftime.

Coming out of halftime, Laney’s defense forced Contra Costa to punt again. After a long return, Laney marched down the field, and running back Jacob Harris finished the drive strong, pounding through the defense for a 3-yard touchdown run, and extending Laney’s lead to 21-7.

Laney’s defense reaches the Comets’ QB moments after a pass, forcing an incompletion. | Source: Ken Lester

The start of the fourth quarter told the story of the game itself — Laney’s defense continued to dominate Contra Costa, finishing with seven sacks in the game that resulted in 62-yards lost for Contra Costa’s offense. 

After the game, head coach John Beam had high praise for his defense.

“I think our defense played extremely well,” Beam said, “and I don’t think it was just one player who stood out – it was more of a collective with them.”

The Laney Eagles improved to 4-0 on the season with the win. Their next game will be on Sept. 30, when the Eagles return home to face Fresno City.