Corsairs handed first loss, 53-27

The Santa Monica College Corsairs lost their first game this season Saturday against the Santa Ana Dons (1-2), with a final score of 53-27. Defense has been the main focus for the Corsairs this season, as they only allowed a combined 20 points in their first two victories but the Dons’ offense proved to be too much, netting a total of 414 yards on offense.

The Corsairs got an early lead with a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alfonso Medina to tight end Aaron Boesch.

Boesch finished the game with five receptions, 49 receiving yards and one touchdown. Medina had 267 yards passing and three touchdowns, while completing 27 of his 36 passes.

The Dons answered right back with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew McDonald to wide receiver Avery Williams. Williams finished the game with 18 receiving yards on two receptions and one touchdown.

The Dons used a similar offensive style to that of the Corsairs by rotating two quarterbacks, which worked in succession to confuse the Corsairs’ defense and get their pass offense in full gear. Defensive coordinator Steven Garcia was not pleased with his defensive unit this week. He stressed the importance of focusing on the game and knowing assignments.

“It was just a lack of focus on our part,” Garcia said.

The Dons eventually took the lead on a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Duke DeLancellotti to wide receiver Roger Mujica, for his only catch of the game.

On the next drive, the Corsairs tied the game at 14 with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Medina to wide receiver Kris Comass. Comass finished the game with one touchdown on 38 receiving yards and four receptions.

The tie would only be temporary, as the Dons scored on their next possession with an 11-yard touchdown rush by DeLancellotti and would go into the half with a 28-14 lead off a 53-yard touchdown pass from McDonald to wide receiver Joshua Webb.

At the beginning of the third quarter SMC marched downfield in position for an early score, but wide receiver Frank Murray fumbled and Dons linebacker Dylan Reda returned the fumble 77 yards for a touchdown. The Dons completed the two-point conversion and went up 36-14, a lead which the Corsairs would never be able to recover from.

“The best coverage is a pass rush, and the best pass rush is good coverage,” said SMC head coach Gifford Lindheim who was disappointed in the team’s defensive play. The Corsairs were unable to get any kind of pressure on the Dons quarterbacks, and allowed a total of five touchdown passes.

The Corsairs totaled nearly 400 yards of offense, and had more first downs and over double the possession time than the Dons had, but were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. On the defensive side, lineman Karl Buchanan led the Corsairs with 10 total tackles, three coming for a loss.

The Corsairs next game is at home against San Bernadino Valley at 1 p.m. this Saturday.

Editors Note: The fumble at the beginning of the third quarter was not SMC quaterback Alfonso Medina, it was SMC wide receiver Frank Murray.