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Photo by Ben Wheeler
Photo by Ben Wheeler

Defense Shines in No. 7 Football's Upset of Top-Ranked San Mateo

Oroville, Calif. - The No. 7 Butte football team upset No. 1 San Mateo, 30-28, on Saturday afternoon behind a huge defensive effort.

The Roadrunners forced six turnovers, led by sophomore defensive back Malcolm Dewalt's two picks and fumble recoveries by sophomore linebacker Aiden Sullivan and freshman linebacker Dylan Labarbera.

Labarbera led the defense with 12 total tackles, six solo, including 2.5 tackles for loss for 14 yards, a quarterback hurry, and an interception. Sullivan backed him up with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss for eight yards and a quarterback hurry. Sophomore Ousmane Doumbia counted the team's fourth interception.

Offensively, sophomore running back Christian Vaughn proved last week's performance wasn't a one-off event, rushing for 162 yards on 27 attempts for four touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Rieger Sayre added 90 yards on 20 attempts, also going 7-for-16 for 44 yards.

Vaughn was also the top target in the air game, with a pair of receptions for 19 yards.

The Roadrunners outscored the Bulldogs 30-to-7 through nearly three full quarters, taking a 16-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. Vaughn tallied two of his scores coming out of the half on back-to-back possessions on 50 and 26 yard runs. San Mateo had an opportunity with 22 seconds remaining to get within field goal range before Labarbera recovered the game-ending fumble as time ran out.

Butte (4-1) heads into bye week before opening NorCal League play. The Roadrunners head to Santa Rosa first on Saturday, Oct. 14 for a 5 p.m. kickoff.