Corsairs look to get back on track against West LA College

The Santa Monica College Corsair football team is coming off of one of their toughest losses of the season this past Saturday, losing a thriller in the waning moments of the fourth quarter to LA Harbor College 33-27.

Though SMC’s conference win streak is still intact at 23, the loss dropped their overall record to 2-3.

If the Corsairs are going to capture their fourth straight conference championship, they’re going to have to get back on the right track and fast.

This week SMC will battle it out against cross-town rival West LA College who are also currently 2-3, but 1-1 in conference, while the Corsairs are sitting at 2-0.

Although it may seem like a good time to draw a middle of the pack team within the conference, West LA has been known to be a handful for SMC. Just last year, the West LA Cougars were yards away from spoiling SMC's perfect conference run.

“We respect West LA, they’re talented, they have good players, they score a lot of points, and they always seem to rise to the occasion against us,” said head coach Gifford Lindheim.

The reason for the loss against LA Harbor was turnovers. But, just as surprising was the lack of big plays from the Corsairs defense that has become a sort of calling card for the three-time champs.

“I think our team is refocused, our coaching staff is refocused. We took a break from conference, and now we’re headed back into our conference schedule. I think that the [LA] Harbor loss was very humbling. We had opportunities to win the game, and we didn’t,” Lindheim said.

If SMC is going to continue their dominance against West LA, they’re going to need their trademark smash mouth defense to put their stamp on Saturday’s matchup.

“We’re going to get back to the basics. We’re going to work fundamentals, work the game plan. Play with speed, play with precision, be opportunistic, physical, and play with our hearts,” Lindheim said.

This Saturday the Corsairs are going to be tasked with stopping sophomore West LA quarterback Dallas Lopez. He’s completed 61 percent of his passes this season with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

If one thing is evident, it’s that Lopez is comfortable airing it out, which should bode well for the ball-hawking SMC defensive backfield, but he has no problem using his legs to get out of the pocket; totaling 272 rushing yards on the season with nine touchdowns.

But Lopez isn’t the only rushing threat for West LA. Running back Treviel Boone has totaled 517 rushing yards on the season with five touchdowns.

Although the SMC defensive backs might be licking their chops, the defensive line, and linebacking core are going to have their hands full trying to contain the Cougars rushing attack.

“West LA has some very good athletes, they score points in bunches, so we obviously can’t turn the ball over, and give them five extra chances like we did against [LA] Harbor,” said Lindheim. “We’re very prideful, and we don’t take losing lightly, so we can’t wait to get back out there on Saturday.”

The Corsairs will host the West LA Cougars this Saturday at 1p.m., here at Corsair Stadium.