A chip on their shoulder
The Santa Monica College football squad dug their cleats into the turf at Corsair Stadium last Saturday with every intention to wash the bad tastes from their mouths that lingered throughout the bye week after a blowout loss to San Bernardino on September 25th.
With the entire first week of October to prepare for Santa Barbara, the Corsairs lowered expectations of many by coming up short against the Vaqueros in a disappointing loss that ended with the opposition on top 35-28.
The Corsairs' struggles arrive early in the game, as their defense would allow three touchdowns through the air in the first half, one of them coming on SBC's very first play.
SMC's running game managed to momentarily break through with a 60-yard touchdown run by freshman Benjamin Irwin-Crayton, their only score of the half amidst a struggling offensive effort.
The Corsairs would begin to put their game plan into effect in the second half, courtesy of a fumbled snap by sophomore quarterback John Uribe from Santa Barbara. The gun-shy SMC freshman quarterback Travis Williams of the Corsairs would then get his own feet wet by connecting to freshman wide receiver Reggie Mitchell for a 16-yard touchdown, putting the team down by just one possession in a 21-14 game.
While the Corsairs' offense improved, their defensive secondary would continue to struggle, allowing Santa Barbara to respond by putting up a 21-yard touchdown pass from Quarterback John Uribe to freshman receiver Chris Kordakis.
"We had a few busted coverages that cost us 28 points, that's what killed us," said sophomore cornerback A.J. Annelus. This proved to be the case as the Corsairs' defense allowed another touchdown through the air in the third quarter, causing an all-too familiar lopsided point total to flash on the scoreboard with SMC on the receiving end.
Down 35-14, it was then that the Corsairs were forced to digress and evaluate their team strength, a melancholy affair for a team who has been blown out in every game since Sept. 25th.
True colors would emerge, however, as SMC drove down the field and pounded in a six-yard TD run by soph. running back Torrence Whalum.
"We have to step it up, this is conference play. We have to get these freshmen on the same page as the sophomores, and as sophomores we have to be leaders because you can only go so far with only sophomores," said Annelus.
The second score would ignite sparks of life in the fourth quarter as Williams would connect with soph. Chase Fletcher on a three-yard touchdown reception to put SMC down by one touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
The Corsairs would get multiple opportunities to tie the game due to miscommunication by the Santa Barbara offense, which had several three-and-out possessions.
However, freshman QB Williams fired several inaccurate throws and the Vaqueros escaped with a victory.
"We need to play four quarters of good football. It's not good enough to play two or three quarters in spots, we have to play for four quarters and the ‘W' will come," said head coach Gifford Lindheim.
In spite of the decent last-ditch effort, SMC football cannot be satisfied with their third straight loss. Anticipate a performance in their homecoming game this Saturday that will wipe out any trace of the slightest after-taste. The Corsairs look to snap out of their current funk as they head into their homecoming game against LA Southwest College on Saturday, Sept. 16.