Merced College football rallies late, holds on for narrow win over De Anza

The Merced College football team rallied late to overcome a 14-point deficit to defeat De Anza 21-20 on Saturday to even the Blue Devils’ record at 1-1 this season.

Freshman Dasani Tate preserved the win by blocking an extra point late and the former Los Banos star intercepted a pass in the final minute for Merced College.

Jaylon Reed scored on a 24-yard touchdown run to give the Blue Devils their first lead at 21-14 after the two-point conversion with 3 minutes and 31 seconds left in the game.

De Anza pulled to within 21-20 when Terrence Sakyi hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Ausbie with 1:16 left in the game. However, Tate blocked the extra point.

After MC went three-and-out and punted back to De Anza, Tate intercepted an Ausbie pass with 48 seconds left in the game.

Blue Devils quarterback Darrion Cole passed for one touchdown and ran for another in the second half. He finished with 102 yards passing and 70 yards rushing.

Reed finished with 60 yards on 16 carries.

Former Stone Ridge Christian star Luke Jenkins came up big on defense with 3.5 sacks.

Merced College will host Yuba College on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Stadium ‘76.