Corsairs prepare for Pierce in search of outright conference championship

The 15th ranked Corsairs have already secured at least a share of the 2014 American Pacific Conference Championship, but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it as grabbing the crown all to themselves.

With Glendale, and Santa Barbara only one loss back in the win column, it will take a win at Pierce College this Saturday in the Corsairs regular season finale to guarantee SMC the outright conference championship.

Last week’s victory could be a hard one to forget about in just a week’s time. With Gatorade showers, and dog-pile celebrations, to go along with a team wide serenade of their unofficial theme song “We Ready” by Archie Eversole, who would want to forget such a satisfying victory?

But the Corsairs did not become four-time conference champions by resting on their laurels, and they don’t intend to start this Saturday.

“For us, it’s about going back to our process. We watched film on Monday and tried to see where we can get better,” said head coach Gifford Lindheim. “We just finished our Tuesday practice where we went through our install. Hopefully, we’ll have a great Wed and Thurs practice. And then on Saturday, we’ve got to execute the game plan and play with passion.”

Although Pierce College is only 2-4 in conference play, this is a rivalry game, and if there’s one type of game that’s always unpredictable, it’s a rivalry game.

Pierce College is similar to the Corsairs offensively, in that they have used two different quarterbacks throughout the season, and a stable of running backs.

Pierce has been able to average a respectable 28.9 points per game, but unfortunately for them, the Corsairs are averaging the fourth highest point total in the state at 45.3.

As far as the defenses are concerned, Pierce has had a hard time containing opposing offenses, allowing almost 40 points per game. Even though the Corsairs are allowing just a shade over 30, which isn’t mind blowing by comparison, the SMC defense has always had a way of answering the call when needed.

“Pierce has some very talented pieces. We’re very aware of their capabilities. We think this is going to be a battle. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make the plays we need to when it counts.” Lindheim.

To say that immortality is riding on Saturday’s game would be a little dramatic. The Corsairs are already the first four-time consecutive conference champs in SMC history, but not having to share that fourth championship would make it that much sweeter.

Despite securing his fourth conference championship in as many seasons as head coach, for Lindheim, there’s always something on the horizon. In this case it would be their conference win steak, and their impending bowl game.

That’s why if anyone thinks Coach Lindheim is ready to talk about his accomplishments before the final tick of that last game, they wouldn’t know the Corsairs head coach very well at all.

“We need to win because it’s our next game, and the most important play is the next one,” said Lindheim. “In terms of what this all means in the grand scheme of accomplishments, maybe after the season ends, we’ll be able to sit back and reflect. Right now, we’re still in the thick of the fight. We’re trying to win the conference championship outright and win a bowl game. Those are this teams goals.”

The Corsairs will attempt to finish the regular season off in style as they travel to Pierce College this Saturday for a 6 pm start.