SMC football hosts block party
By Michael Mendoza and Daniel Laget
On a night where the beads of moisture on the end zone turf remained undisturbed, the rest of the playing field at Corsair Field was being torn up in the midst of a dogfight.The dust settled after the Corsairs' kicker Trevor Dionne drove home a field goal with 1.9 seconds left on the clock to steal one against the East L.A. Huskies in a thriller.
The entire game was a battle of defenses, as neither team scored until late into the third quarter. Some say defensive games are boring. For Santa Monica College, because of defense, this game will be remembered as one of the most exciting, even celebrated finishes in SMC football.With stellar defense came a stuttering offense, however. The ground game was stymied and only tallied up 27 carried for only 43 yards on Saturday night, while the passing game could only manage to compliment with a 15 for 33 effort through the air with one interception.
"We've got a lot of work to do, we've got to sit down and figure out what we can and can't do and find a way to put points on the board," said Gifford Lindheim, head coach of the Corsairs.
But the real story lied on other side of the pigskin, as the Corsairs' defense played like studs. The defensive linemen racked up four sacks as a group, suffocating the Huskies' quarterback all night long.Freshman Brian Hawthorne also shined for the second week in a row as he pulled down a stellar three interceptions for the night.
The defense played very well for a second straight week, they just rose to the challenge, and they kept giving our offense opportunities. They don't complain, they just continue to work, and they're a reflection of their defensive coordinator," said Lindheim. After holding the opposition to under 60 yards passing, the Corsairs' defense forced a three-and-out late in the fourth quarter that resulted in East L.A. having to punt with their backs against the end zone and a scoreboard reading 3-3.
"East L.A. called a timeout so we called in our punt return team to put something together. I told them let's get a block, recover it, and go home," said Lindheim. The Corsairs executed perfectly, as freshman Brian Hawthorne laid out to get the block and the ball was recovered by freshman Brandon Tillis. Giving the squad the ball at East L.A.'s three-yard line, it guaranteed the Corsairs a shot at ending the game with a field goal. With the victory, the Corsairs are in first place in the Southern California Football Association Pacific Conference.
Moreover, they are one of three undefeated teams in the conference. However, the team will meet their toughest rival of the year in Santa Ana at home this Saturday, in a matchup that is shaping up to be just as eventful as the first two spectacles.