Game ends on Hail Mary

The Santa Monica Corsairs came up short on their last possession of Saturday’s game, resulting in a 40-35 loss to San Bernardino Valley College at Corsair Field. Saturday’s contest went back and forth for four quarters, while neither team could take total control of the game.

The stalemate ended on a fourth down Hail Mary from the 50-yard line towards the end zone by SMC quarterback Alfonso Medina.

SBVC sealed the victory with an interception.

Before the game, SMC’s defensive coordinator Steven Garcia spoke about his team’s last performance against Santa Ana, saying that they were going to work on the “little mistakes” that cost them that game.

“We were thinking too much and not reacting,” Garcia said “ We are working on cleaning that up.”

The Corsairs were playing sound defense and looked poised to blow out SBVC, forcing them to punt on their first three possessions.

After two early touchdown passes from Medina to wide receiver Chris Comass, the Corsairs took a 14-0 lead to end the first quarter.

SBVC responded to the early deficit by going on a 21-0 run to end the first half.

After a nine play 50-yard drive, SBVC scored on a seven-yard run by running back Damar Sowell.

Minutes later, SBVC‘s return man Dylan Schul returned an SMC punt 92 yards for the score, tying the game at 14.

With 25 seconds remaining in the first half, Sowell found the end zone again, this time scoring on a two-yard run to go into the locker room with a 21-14 lead.

SBVC came out and picked up where they left off, scoring on a 70-yard interception return by defensive back Anderson.

Minutes later, SBVC would score on an 18-yard touchdown pass. They would miss the extra point, however, giving SBVC a 20-point advantage.

“I challenged my team to find their heart,” SMC Head Coach Gifford Lindheim said. “They came back strong.”

Despite the deficit, SMC took the challenge and went on a 21-0 scoring run.

Medina and Comass hooked up on a late third-quarter touchdown pass that sparked the rally, ending the quarter with another Corsair touchdown on a two yard run by running back Daniel Pipkin. This brought the Corsairs within a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter.

The Corsairs appeared unstoppable, scoring in the early minutes of the fourth quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Medina to running back Myles Johnson to take the lead 35-34.

Both teams would stall until SBVC quarterback Ethan Hillyer scored on a 32-yard quarterback run, with 2:43 remaining. The Corsairs went into their two-minute offense, getting all the way down to their opponents’ 18-yard line.

The Corsairs were then pushed back after two critical penalties and allowing two sacks. On fourth and 42, Medina heaved a Hail Mary, but was intercepted at the seven-yard line. SBVC then took a kneel to run out the remaining 30 seconds from the clock.

Comass finished the game leading all receivers with 152 receiving yards, catching three touchdowns with six receptions. Medina finished the game completing 25 of his 33 passes for 299 passing yards with four touchdowns.

Running back Alonzo Frederick also contributed with 109 rushing yards on 13 carries. Defensive back, Brian Hawthorne, lead the Corsair defensive with eight tackles and one interception. The Corsairs have a bye this week, but come back to open up conference play on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in Santa Barbara.