Stormy debut for SMC football
The rolling thunder and occasional lightning were not the only ominous signs of things to come last Saturday, Sept. 7 at Mt. San Jacinto College. All it took was a handful of plays to see that the Santa Monica College Corsairs were going to have a hard time putting a formidable offensive attack together as they dropped their opening game, 31-15 to the Eagles.
“I thought we played very well after the [halftime] break," said head coach Gifford Lindheim. "We are trying to findo urselves right now with our freshman quarterback. I expect us to come out fast and strong next week."
The break Lindheim was referring to was the hour-long delay just after halftime. The delay was caused by a thunderstorm located within 12 miles of the field.
Though the Corsairs did seem to have more energy and focus after the storm delay, SMC gave up a kickoff return touchdown almost immediately, as well as a deep touchdown pass fall behind, 24-6.
When the teams did return to the field, the Corsairs responded with a three-yard touchdown run by Melvin Davis, his second of the day.
“We have a good effective system once we were in sync," said Davis. "We just have to go back to the drawing board."
Davis' touchdown cut the Eagles lead to 24-12 with over 10 minutes in the third quarter. But a successful two-point conversion was called back due to a holding penalty on the Corsairs, and the extra point attempt was blocked, the second such block of the game against SMC.
Mistakes like the blocked extra points and the holding call seemed like the theme of the game. The Corsairs were also called for a handful of personal fouls, each resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Once all the penalties and miscues piled up, it was just too deep of a hole for SMC to climb out.
“With so many new players, we have a great opportunity to see where we need to improve," said Lindheim. "We have all the talent necessary, we just need to grow as a football team."
If the Corsairs are going to exceed their expectations on the season, the passing game is definitely going to have to improve. The opportunities were there for the taking in the second half, but the offensive execution was shaky at best.
“Our chemistry is good in practice, today it just wasn’t as great," said starting quarterback Steven Hamm. "We can definitely turn the passing game around and complete some of those big plays."
Hamm completed 17 of 33 passes with no touchdowns and an interception.
“I know I messed up on a few throws, but I have to look forward to next week,” said Hamm.
The Corsairs bounced back from their season-opening loss by winning their home opener 30-27 on Saturday, Sept. 14,