Defense powers Corsairs to victory over rival West L.A.
It was the strong arm of Alfonso Medina combined with their stellar defense that helped power Santa Monica College to a 31-21 victory over their cross town rival West LA College. It was the Pacific conference opener for the Corsairs. Head Coach Gifford Lindheim was pleased with how his team performed. “It’s a home game, it’s our first conference game, it’s a rival game. So you have to take all those things into consideration and we’re just happy to have won and we look forward to week two of conference [play].”
SMC came out strong to start the game by marching down the field and ending the drive with a four yard touchdown pass from Alfonso Medina who connected with Dominique Bierria to put SMC up 7-0. Medina would build off the early success by going 18 for 30 for 230 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Two of those touchdowns came with Bierria on the receiving end.
The Corsair defense would match the same intensity level of the offense displayed, keying in on WLA quarterback Dallas Lopez, sacking him four times and forcing him into three interceptions, two of which came from freshman defensive back Qujuan Floyd.
“I was really pleased. This is an offense that is high powered and we were able to make plays when they counted especially in the red zone,” said Lindheim. “We never quit playing. If it was our end or their end we just kept on bringing it.”
SMC would also suffer through a series of injuries to a couple of players. Freshman linebacker De-Jon Mitchell would leave the game with a concussion injury in the second quarter. Sophomore wide receiver Donnie Duncan would also not return to the game after injuring his knee. Speculation after the game was that it may have been a season ending one.
Despite those injuries, SMC continued to pound WLA, scoring seventeen unanswered points in the second and third quarters, increasing the lead to 24-7.
SMC did have trouble with holding on to the football, fumbling three times, and losing two of them. “That’s uncharacteristic of us. We’ve been pretty good with taking care of the ball as a program so that wasn’t like us to turn the ball over the way we did,” said Lindheim. “We were able to get those turnovers on the other side but we have to take care of the ball.”
SMC will take their three game winning streak on the road against Glendale next Saturday at 6 p.m.