Corsairs lose pivotal matchup
As the game came to an end, the cheers and roars from the opposing sideline sounded more like a jovial celebration of a bunch of pirates, while the Corsairs' sideline resembled that of a plundered ship.
The Santa Monica College football team took to their home field Saturday afternoon in an earlyseason matchup against the San Bernardino Valley College Wolverines.
The Corsairs were attempting to put together back-to-back wins, but things did not go as planned as they came up short, 42-21. The Wolverines led wire-to-wire, opening the game on a 14-0 run and finishing the first half up, 27-7.
Adding to SMC’s misfortunes was an apparent knee injury to starting quarterback, Steven Hamm, with only minutes left in the first half.
“It’s rough leaving my team out there, but I’m glad it’s nothing serious with my ACL or anything,” said Hamm. “I’m looking forward to getting back, and I’m going to do everything I can to get back as soon as possible.”
Taking the reins for the Corsairs was backup quarterback Jerry McConnico. The young quarterback had surprising control of the offense, going 11-20 for 94 yards as he led the Corsairs into the red zone on multiple occasions.
“It was good getting out there, but at the end of the day, we need to execute at all costs and get the ball in the end zone to win games," said McConnico. “It’s always terrible when someone as important to this team as [Steven] Hamm goes out, but I’ve been preparing to play since day one so I’ll be ready to go if I have to.”
As the third quarter winded down, the Corsairs still trailed 27-7 with a huge 4th and 4 coming up on the Wolverines' 16-yard line.
Enter Melvin Davis.
Following his blocker toward the weak-side pylon, Davis broke off multiple defenders on his way to an impressive 16-yard touchdown, cutting San Bernardino’s lead to 13.
After the touchdown run, SMC head coach Gifford Lindheim elected to attempt an on-side kick, hoping to take the Wolverines by surprise. Though the kick was well executed, the Corsairs could not get to it in time giving the Wolverines excellent field position.
Though Davis would add his second touchdown of the game to start the fourth quarter, the Corsairs' defense could not stop the Wolverines rushing attack, surrendering over 200 rushing yards on the day as well as a third rushing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter extending the Wolverine’s lead to 42-21.
The early turnovers and a potent rushing attack from SBVC proved too much for the Corsairs to overcome. Not to mention the Wolverines' kicker,who was perfect on the day, hitting impressively from 43 and 52 yards, while SMC had their lone attempt blocked from 27 yards.
“Today we were not as good in the plus-minus column," said Lindheim. "We can’t win games when we lose the turnover battle. We have to improve the kicking game. We have to convert those opportunities and be better in conference play.”
The Corsairs will attempt to get back on track at West LA College next Saturday at 1 p.m. in their first Pacific Conference matchup of the season.