Homecoming football game
A three-game losing streak has transformed the Corsairs' football season into an outright proclamation for legitimacy, a battle that consistently portrays Santa Monica College as an underdog in a gritty trench fight.
SMC continued to take fire from all sides in their homecoming debut, falling victim to the L.A Southwest College Cougars 27-15.
Throughout the game, the Corsairs struggled to move the chains on third down, going an unbelievable three for 20 on third down conversions. This would lead to the Corsairs taking several ‘high risk/high reward' fourth down conversions, which they completed two times out of six.
"Going for it depends on where you are on the field and at the time of the game. I don't really have a preference but I think that games dictate when you go for it," said Gifford Lindheim, head coach of the Corsairs.
Despite the lack of consistency on the third and fourth down conversions, the Corsairs' offense would finish the day out-rushing their opponents for 167 yards on the ground and racking up over 200 yards passing on the night.
SMC's freshman quarterback Travis Williams showed great improvement from previous weeks by not throwing a single interception, finishing the night off going 24-40 in passing attempts and throwing for an impressive 241 yards passing. Williams would ultimately go scoreless due to a touchdown that was called back on a penalty.
"I think we moved the ball well, when we got in the red zone we just couldn't convert. When you have plays in the game that are critical plays, especially big play passes, you have to score touchdowns but instead we converted field goals. If we could convert touchdowns instead of field goals, it would be a whole different story," said Lindheim.
Freshman running back Benjamin Irwin-Crayton from Centennial High School would stand out once again this week, averaging nearly five yards on six carries and scoring the team's only touchdown of the night.
Regardless of the points given up late in the fourth quarter, the Corsairs defense would also put on an acceptable performance, forcing two fumbles on the night and snatching two interceptions that came from veteran sophomore A.J. Annelus and the young freshman Brian Hawthorne.
With only four games left in the regular season and riding a lingering four-game losing streak, the Corsairs are forced to make adjustments in order to stay in the playoff race as the season winds down.
"Anytime you're not winning football games, you have to assess where you are. We believe in our players so we just have to go ahead and look at things that can be better," said Lindheim. "We'll make changes, but who we are isn't going to change."
With the Corsairs taking on Pierce College next week, the number one ranked team in the Pacific Conference, SMC has a great opportunity to play spoiler and gain momentum with a potential win against the powerhouse.
"I'm looking forward to it, they're a formidable opponent. They're a team that we have defeated in the last two seasons so I know we're capable of winning this game and obviously we're going to have to play better to do that," said Lindheim. "I'm looking forward to the challenge and the preparation leading up to it."