Picture by Wendy Shumate Gilfoy
Picture by Wendy Shumate Gilfoy

After two gut-wrenching losses, the Diablo Valley College football team is eager to get another crack at that elusive third victory.

The Vikings (2-2) will visit Sierra-Rocklin (1-3) on Saturday afternoon to complete nonconference play heading into a bye week.

A big key this week in the secondary, is Kory Lamberts is back and ready for liftoff.

The chiseled 6-foot-2 and 215-pound Alhambra High graduate with a motor that never quits has returned from an extended absence after suffering a knee injury last season against Chabot, which required surgery.

"He's really the heart and soul of the defense," DVC coach Mike Darr said of Lamberts. "He just has a motor going, 24-7. He's coming back off a knee injury last year. ... It’s really pretty miraculous the comeback here. He did some pretty good damage to that knee."

Despite their struggles and frustrations the past two weeks, the Vikings are not that far away from being unbeaten. They just need to clean it up a bit, after falling by a combined seven points to two quality opponents -- Modesto (35-34) and College of Siskiyous (48-42, three overtimes).

"Mentally, I think the team is looking forward to getting back out and getting another crack at it," Darr said. "We've played very well in parts of the game, but really on both sides of the ball it's just been sporadic -- blowing a coverage or missing a tackle at a key time; dropping a ball at a key time."

Sierra's record doesn't look like much, but the Wolverines are coming off 47-13 win over Foothill and only lost by a point to City College of San Francisco.

DVC quarterback Drew Anderson, a Miramonte High graduate, continues to ring up the stats in his debut season. He leads the state in passing yardage a game, with 362.5, and in touchdown passes, with 16. Darr describes Anderson as the best quarterback he's had in the program, which is saying a lot considering the talented signal-callers that have preceded him

CJ Cornwell, a sophomore out of California, leads the state in several categories, averaging 161.5 yards receiving a game with eight touchdown catches. Cornwell had a monster game against COS with 17 catches for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Running back D'Amora Cooper of Freedom had a breakout performance with 202 yards rushing, including a 59-yard scoring run on a beautifully blocked play.

Even with the gaudy statistics, the Vikings felt they let one slip away against COS for the second straight week after opening up a significant lead. Darr said they've had lulls in back-to-back third quarters.

Improving health could be key for the Vikings, who were missing 15 guys last week. Returning from injury is sophomore fullback Ammon Green, a rugby guy from New Zealand who has been out two weeks with a shoulder injury.

Darr said Green, who gives the offense a lot more variety, improved with each game last year as a football newbie trying to figure things out.

"This year he's a football player, one of the most physical guys on the team," Darr said.

Also back is top defensive back Shane Morris (Clayton Valley), who banged-up his shoulder against Chabot and sat out the Modesto game. He saw limited action against Siskiyous.

-- Matt Schwab