The Corsairs Walked the Plank
In the midst of a two game losing streak, the Santa Monica Corsairs took on the Orange Coast Pirates at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California on September 23, 2017. The Corsairs have entered this game with a coaching change after head coach Bill Laslett was relieved of his coaching duties earlier in the week. Defensive Coordinator Kelly Ledwith now serves as the interim head coach heading into this game. When asked about the team's state of mind regarding the coaching change, Ledwith said, "...their state of mind was good. They knew they had to come out and work. They knew we had a lot of things to work on to get there...now we gotta come out and start well on Monday with our practices and really adjust to some of the new things we're doing at practice."
The game started off with the OCC Pirates scoring on 3-yard rushing touchdown from Nico Jackson on the opening drive followed by a missed extra point to begin the game with a 6-0 lead. The Corsairs tried to respond, but went three and out after a couple of good looks on offense. OCC then scored on another rushing touchdown from Nico Jackson on the ensuing drive from one-yard out to make it 13-0.
The Corsairs went on another three and out on their ensuing drive, which lead to another touchdown run from OCC's Nico Jackson from 2-yards out, and the lead was 20-0 for the OCC Pirates. The Corsairs would ultimately respond after quarterback John Martinos made two big completions to both Eric Bey and Jordan Herrera for 39 and 33 yards respectively. The drive would be capped off with a one-yard touchdown run from Ricky Hambright to put the Corsairs on the board and make the score 20-7. The Corsairs defense forced a three and out to give the offense another chance to score, but the Corsair offense was unable to capitalize. The score was then 27-7 OCC after a 15-yard touchdown pass from Pete Mitchell to Rexford Demazeliere. The Corsair offense had a good drive going, only to be ended abruptly when Martinos' pass was intercepted by OCC's Andreux Smith. Neither team scored at the end of the half.
The OCC Pirates put the game out of reach in the third quarter with a Pete Mitchell 15-yard touchdown pass to James Rutledge, and a Ayden Auer 32-yard touchdown pass to Rexford Demazeliere, both to make the score 41-7 in favor of OCC. For the Corsairs, John Martinos was subbed in by Paul Davis at quarterback for the remainder of the game. The Corsairs took advantage on a fumble on a kick return, and capped off their drive on a one-yard touchdown run by Paul Davis to make it 41-14. OCC's kicker nailed a 39-yard field goal to make it 44-14. SMC responded with a one yard touchdown run by Ricky Hambright to make the score 44-21. The Corsair defense forced a three and out, and the offense took advantage on a seven play, 61 yard drive on a four-yard rushing touchdown by Paul Davis, and the score ended with 44-28 final.
That now makes it three straight losses for the Corsairs after a come from behind win in the season opener. When asked about the team's performance in the second half, Coach Ledwith said, "We talked about it during the week with the changes that have happened and the adversity we had as a team this week. We knew we had to come out and play well early, but we knew our game would be defined by 'do we get better as the game goes on'. That's what these guys stuck to and we showed that in the 4th quarter today." In regards to the quarterback position, Ledwith added, we'll have to watch film and evaluate. We'll have to see what the different factors were and why. We'll see all that on film and we'll make an evaluation based off that. It's just to early to tell without seeing the film and seeing the differences between the 4th quarter and the early quarters."
Now mired in a three game losing streak, the Corsairs will look to break out of this as they will take on the L.A. Harbor Wildcats at L.A. Harbor College in Wilmington, California on September 30, 2017. Ahead of this matchup, Ledwith stated, "they're another good football team that we gotta prepare for. Our focus this week is getting better at the things we do. What's hurt us is the lack of consistency, so we'll build the consistency into what we're trying to do, so that we can finish this game the right way."