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2011 junior college football profile: American River College
Last year, the Beavers went 10-1 and won their first Mid-Empire Championship and Central Division bowl game under Haflich. Overall, Haflich has posted a record of 30 -17 and has taken ARC to two straight bowl games.
The Beavers, who are 5-0 on the season, look like they will be a major player come playoff time in Northern California. ARC, which is located in Sacramento, is currently ranked fourth in the Northern portion of the California Community College Athletic Association poll and 19th in JCGridiron's "Dirty 30" national poll.
The reason for ARC's success is that it has been solid in all three phases of the game. The Beavers, who are among the top CCCAA teams in several categories, are second in the state in both points scored (49.9 points per game) and points allowed (12.5 points per game).
ARC, which is led by freshman quarterback Andy McAlindon, is also #2 in the CCCAA in total offense and passer rating. McAlindon, who threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns against San Joaquin Delta, leads the CCCAA in touchdown passes. Though McAlindon has been stellar, the Beavers are far from a one-man show as they possess a solid running game and a good crop of receivers.
ARC, which averages 155 yards on the ground, uses a three-man running back rotation that includes sophomores Joseph Ferguson and Bryce Pratt, along with freshman DeVonte Booker. Wide receivers Michael Lindsey, LaDon Hudson and Justin Collins lead the Beavers' pass catchers. Lindsey is also the Beavers' top punt returner. Six-foot-7 tackle Connor Rains heads an offensive line that has given up just seven sacks.
The key to the success for ARC, which is third in the state in tackles for losses and fourth in interceptions, on defense has been getting off the field on third down. The Beavers, who are led by linebacker Terry Easmon, have only permitted their opponents to convert 20 of their 84 third-down attempts (24 percent). In addition, ARC's opponents have only come away with points six out of the 10 times they reached the red zone 10 (60 percent).
Other key Beaver defenders include linebacker Samson Faifili, defensive lineman Houston Wilfley and defensive back Zane Petty. James Nunley has contributed as a defensive back as well as a kick returner.
Other team news:
- Last year, Haflich was named conference and region Coach of the Year.
- ARC had 19 players transfer to four-year institutions last year.
Slaka Benjamin has followed small college football for 14 years.
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