The Merced College football team found a way to get it done as the Blue Devils returned from their second long road trip of the season with a 21-7 win over Shasta College on Saturday night.
Merced College is now 3-0 for the first time since 1995.
The Blue Devils defense led the way, limiting the Knights (0-2) to just one touchdown. Merced College pressured Shasta quarterback Trent Darms all game, sacking him five times.
Darms completed just 21 of 43 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown.
Blue Devils outside linebacker David Perales continued his torrid start with two more sacks, eight tackles and a forced fumble. The former Merced High star has 5 and 1/2 sacks in his first three game.
Soane Vaohea, Terris Evans and Terrell McLain all added one sack with Evans also forcing a fumble. Kalauga Laloulu led the defense with nine tackles.
The Blue Devils defense has surrendered just 32 points in three games.
The special teams started the scoring for Merced College against the Knights as Demarkus Jones returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown with 2 minutes and 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
It was rough game for both offenses as the two teams combined for 17 punts.
Quarterback Frank Cocio struggled at times, completing just 10 of 29 passes for 194 yards. Cocio managed to throw two touchdowns and now has thrown 72 passes this season without throwing an interception.
Cocio hooked up with Elijah Macklin for a 27-yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter to extend the lead to 14-0.
After the Knights cut the lead to 14-7 with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Darms to Karnell Calloway with 10:18 left in the game, Merced College responded with a big touchdown drive.
Cocio connected with Nick Cook for a 43-yard touchdown to give the Blue Devils a 21-7 lead with 8:09 remaining. Cook caught three passes for 68 yards.
Running back Hanisi Lotulelei finished with 121 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Merced College hosts West Hills of Coalinga on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Stadium ’76.