SIXTH TIME'S THE CHARM
The Corsairs made a statement this past Saturday as they eked out a 16-13 victory over the Santa Barbara Vaqueros.
After the teams took turns punting the ball for the first three series, the Corsair offense took command and methodically drove 94 yards and held the ball for the final eight minutes of the first quarter
The fifteen-play drive was conducted by QB Breonathon Shelton who received the start. Shelton proved his worth, going 5-for-5 on the scoring drive, and rushing four times for 14 yards before scoring on a 1-yard run as the quarter ended, but a failed PAT resulted in a 6–0 Corsair lead, the first time the Corsairs have led another team all season.
Late in the second quarter, however, Shelton was intercepted on a 3rd-and-17. Though wide receiver Chase Fletcher did force a fumble on the return, it was recovered by Santa Barbara at the Corsair defense. The Corsair defense continued to play hard, holding them to just a field goal in spite of the great field position.
On the ensuing Vaqueros possession, Gerryl Benett, the team's wide receiver/rusher/punter showed off another talent: catching passes from the other team's quarterback. He intercepted a Santa Barbara pass late in the second quarter, killing their chance to score and preserving a tight 6 – 3 Corsair lead.
In the second half, the Corsairs got off to a rocky start, as a penalty followed by two incomplete passes was immediately followed up with another Shelton interception, giving the Vaqueros the ball at the Corsair 42-yard line. However, once again the defense stepped up and bailed the offense out, as Barrington Parsley recovered a fumble at the 50-yard line.
Shelton and the offense made up for their struggles the drive before by capitalizing on the short field, and Shelton threw a 20-yard TD to Gerryl Benett. The Vaqueros responded late in the third quarter, and the Corsairs were clinging to a 13 – 6 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was tense, as the Vaqueros defense clamped down on the Corsair offense early. On their first possession of the quarter, the Santa Barbara offense scored a clutch touchdown with 5 minutes left in the game.
However, Shelton and the offense could not be completely contained. They responded right back with a quick drive deep into Santa Barbara territory, but settling for a go-ahead field goal with 1:32 left in the game.
The Vaqueros were in position to at least tie the game up when a 17-yard pass gave them 1st-and-10 from the Corsair 24-yard line. However, a fumble recovered by Byron Rutherford on the next play gave the Corsairs the ball, and the game.
Though it was not a particularly high-scoring affair, the Corsairs deserve some credit for hanging tough and getting the victory. Particularly impressive was the Corsair defense, showing some much-awaited signs of life.
Roderick Benman, who has been having a very productive year, collected another sack, giving him 5.5 through six games which, combined with his 4 credited quarterback hurries show what a pass-rushing force he has been. He is also the team's leading tackler with 26 tackles.
Breonathon Shelton displayed some stability at the quarterback position, which had been really struggling this season. However, he was an economical 20-for-27 with a low 156 yards, one touchdown with two interceptions. He also had 1 rushing TD.