Win streak continues
The Santa Monica College football team won their 16th straight Pacific Conference matchup on Saturday night as they routed Los Angeles Southwest College, 27-2.
Notonly did the win preserve the Corsairs' conference win streak, but it also resulted in SMC's first extended win streak of the season. Behind an impressive defense, the Corsairs managed to keep their pristine conference record intact going into next week’s homecoming game against Los Angeles Valley College, who boasts the top-rated passing offense in the conference.
“I thought our defense really started to find itself in the second half," said head coach Gifford Lindheim. "I thought as the game progressed, we got more and more dominant, and by the end of the game, we hand a handle on them completely. I thought the second half was much more indicative of how we play.”
In what has become a bit customary this season, since starting quarterback Steven Hamm's injury, another quarterback change was made after the first quarter. Brad Hunt, who was elevated to starter following his impressive performance against Glendale College, was replaced by freshman Jerry McConnico.
The move ended up being exactly what SMC needed as LA Southwest's defense made it difficult to pass the ball, which is Hunt’s specialty. In the face of a softer run defense, the Corsairs elected to try out McConnico’s read option style of play. The call ended up paying off as it led to numerous big running plays and helped the Corsairs get into a more rhythmic offense.
“It was very fun, just getting out there with the guys, having them instill confidence in me," said McConnico. "It was just fun getting back out there again. I’m very comfortable running the ball. When I played at Crenshaw [High School], I had to use my legs; I’m not so tall, so that’s my best bet. I feel comfortable doing whatever is asked of me. I’m trying to do anything to win.”
Though McConnico came through and delivered when called upon, the coaching staff is a bit apprehensive about alternating quarterbacks each week, especially with top-ranked teams like LA Valley and Santa Barbara College remaining on the schedule.
“We would really like someone to grab the QB spot by the horns and take it," said Lindheim. "Tonight we just felt like Jerry had the hot hand. Two weeks ago, Brad had the hot hand. We’d prefer not to be like that, but we’ve got to find the best opportunity to win each game. Each game has its own energy, its own feeling to it. Tonight we made the move to go with Jerry, and I think it paid off.”
Helping secure the victory in the second half was standout running back Melvin Davis. Davis scored multiple touchdowns on the night as he helped lead the Corsairs to victory. With his latest touchdowns, Davis is leading the Pacific Conference in rushing touchdowns with nine.
“It means a lot; it means I’m progressing not only as a player, but an individual also, and it just shows we’re playing as a team," said Davis. "Southwest was a good opponent. It’s like you keep running into a brick wall and then you break it down. It’s a relief. It shows us what we need to work on so we’ll be ready for next week.”
The Corsairs will attempt to add to their win streak in their annual homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 26 against LA Valley. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.