Sierra College and Santa Rosa JC punched their tickets to the DII Sweet 16 Saturday with wins in the Pacific Coast semifinals.
Sierra advanced with a 33-7 win over Idaho State, and their Northern California rivals moved on after a rousing 22-17 overtime defeat of Utah Valley.
In the former, the Wolverines employed a territorial strategy, kicking over the physical Idaho State forwards often. The tactic appeared to wear out the large Bengal pack and contribute to the lopsided win.
In the latter, Santa Rosa and UVU played to a 17-17 tie at the end of regulation. Santa Rosa capitalized on some poor UVU tackling to take a 22-17 lead in overtime. The Wolverines thought they’d drawn level twice in extra time, but were twice called for a double movement at the goal line.
The Pacific Coast has three bids to Nationals, so UVU and Idaho State are still in the running. The winner of their game Sunday will advance.
Idaho State and UVU are old Utah union rivals. UVU reached the semis by sweeping Utah and ISU did so by winning their new league – the Pacific Northwest. UVU suffered game-ending, and potentially weekend-ending injuries to three starters, including standout scrumhalf Lopeti Ofa.