Corsairs round up Vaqueros
Homecoming win sets stage for conference showdown
In the end, it was just too much Alfonso Medina, too much Myles Johnson, too much of Santa Monica College.
Despite getting off to a slow start, the Corsairs battled back and grinded their way to a 41-27 victory over the visiting Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros in SMC's annual homecoming game. Adding to the already emotionally charged atmosphere was the fact that it was Medina's birthday.
The Vaqueros striked early, taking a 14-7 lead by the midway point of the second quarter, dampering the mood of the home crowd.
"We got off to a sluggish start," said head coach Gifford Lindheim. "We just needed to settle down, play with emotion, and play our brand of football."
The spark came late in the second quarter when Medina found sophomore running back Myles Johnson for a touchdown. Johnson scored again near the end of the half, giving SMC the lead at 21-14. Johnson rushed for a total of 65 yards.
At that point, it would seem that the Corsairs became an unstoppable force.
Prior to the game, Lindheim was apprehensive about his team's mindset and the possibility of a slow start after a few relatively easy wins, which included a drubbing of L.A. Southwest 68-0. "I was worried after the Southwest win. It came too easy," said Lindheim. He added that he was pleased with the team's refocused effort coming out of halftime. "Football is a game of desire and physicality—whoever wants it more. We made some big plays, and we feed off that."
In the second half, the Corsairs continued to bombard the Vaqueros; Medina finding his wide receivers, sophomores Ralph Gordon II and Reggie Mitchell each scored touchdowns. Medina completed 14 of his 24 attempted passes for a total of 257 yards. Lindheim also had praise for Gordon, stating, "Ralph is really good on offense. He made some dynamic plays." Gordon had five receptions with a total of 118 yards. "We feed off each other's energy, we know someone will step up and we all follow that," said Medina.
The big win puts SMC in a tie for first place along with L.A. Pierce in the Pacific Conference. L.A. Pierce defeated Antelope Valley on Saturday night, who were also vying for the conference crown.
The Corsairs next opponent is L.A. Pierce. Both teams sport 7-1 records, and show fierce determination for a conference championship.
"We're getting ready for the big showdown," said Lindheim.
"We're just taking it one game at a time," added Medina.
The Corsairs will take to the field against their top rival on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.