SMC slays the Pierce Brahmas

The Santa Monica College Corsairs finished their regular season off with a bang Saturday, blowing out the Pierce College Brahmas 68-34.

Even the final score is a little misleading as to how close the actual game was. Pierce added a couple of late garbage touchdowns in the fourth quarter, after the stout SMC defense held them scoreless in the third.

Pierce did make it as close as 13 points, scoring a touchdown with only seconds left in the first half. But the Corsairs received the ball to start the third, and from there on, they never looked back.

“I was nervous about today. Pierce has good players, and I was concerned about making sure that we went through the process, and that we came out here and played right, and we did, we played right tonight,” SMC head coach Gifford Lindheim said.

Saturday’s victory secures sole possession of the American Pacific Conference Championship. A loss could have left the door open for Glendale Community College or Santa Barbara City College to sneak in and share this year’s title.

“I’m really proud of the guys, they’ve done everything we asked. That’s 27 straight conference games, that’s four straight conference championships," Lindheim said.

Although players and coaches probably would have played it cool if they had let Saturday’s game get away some how, it’s safe to say that sharing something so desired is not in the competitive nature of a team like the Corsairs.

But thanks to the utter dominance of the 2014 SMC football team, the idea of sharing the conference title is moot.

“If you’re a competitor, you’re trying to win every game, and you’re trying to show everybody that you’re the undisputed champion. I think we did that tonight,” said Lindheim. “I don’t think there’s any question in our conference of who the best team is, and now it’s time to take on a bowl.”

A bowl game victory is the one thing missing from the Corsairs four consecutive conference championship seasons.

Despite dominating the American Pacific Conference the past four seasons, this team wants to prove they can dominate outside of the conference as well.

As satisfying as a bowl game victory would be, this coaching staff knows better than to build up such an important game to the point where the pressure is insurmountable. So in classic Corsairs style, the looming, biggest undertaking of the past four years, is of course, just another game.

“Right now, [the bowl game] is our next game, so it’s the most important thing. It’s really the one thing we haven’t done here yet, so I’m really serious about it, I talked to our guys about it right now. It’s just about getting there, we have to try to win this thing, and we have a tall task,” said Lindheim. “If Victor Valley [College] won today, then they’re 10-0, and knocking off a 10-0 team is no small task, but I think that we’ll be ready for the challenge.”

Not only do the coaches know better than to hype such a big game, but the players also know better than to underestimate a team like Victor Valley College.

They know that if they’re going to leave Victor Valley with their first bowl game in their four consecutive conference championship dynasty, they’re going to have to stick to their routine. The same routine that has produced such impressive results during their historical run.

“It starts Monday through Thursday in practice. They work us real hard, we stay after practice, and do extra stuff, we’re a team. It’s everybody on the team doing their job, and taking on that responsibility,” said SMC linebacker Kendrick Nelson. “We have to come back Monday, put this victory behind us, celebrate tonight, but come Monday, go hit it hard, and get ready for Victor Valley [College]. This is a tough team, 9-0, but we’re not going to take any slack from ‘em, we just have to be on our toes.”

Check back for the time and place of the Corsairs upcoming bowl game.