Football's Tormented Tale of Two Halves

The Santa Monica College football team fell at home to the West Los Angeles Oilers 45-34. The Corsairs lost their third conference game, sixth overall, making them 1-6 for the season. West L.A. improved their record to 3-4 overall. The Corsairs' struggles in the second half continued as they had four interceptions in the game. Brady McManus threw for 183 yards, was 13-34 on completions. Josh Martin, who was a bright spot, played well with five catches for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Cedric Hayes contributed with 28 rushes for 198 yards and one touchdown. For West L.A., Ryan Rosenvall was the main offense for the Oilers. He chucked the ball 43 times with 23 completions for 282 and three touchdowns.

The Corsairs again started off hot when Jamal Bernard intercepted West L.A. quarterback Rosenvall. Running it back for the first score of the game. The Corsairs looked great once again, though Ronny Estrada missed the extra point. The defense held West L.A.'s very potent offense, first in the conference, to a field goal on their first drive of the game making the score 6 -3.

On the Corsairs first offensive position, McManus hooked up with receiver Martin for their first of three touchdowns together. This time back up quarterback Ryan Burns came out to kick the extra point and drilled it through the uprights. Not to be outdone the West L.A. offense suddenly woke up like a sleeping giant. Rosenvall, who was fantastic, threw a 36-yard strike to Robin Harris bumping the score to 13-10 in favor of the Corsairs. It started to look like a good old fashion shoot out. The key would be who could convert on third down and who would make the least amount of mistakes.

Second quarter was much of the same entertainment. First Corsairs possession of the second, McManus lead a four play 44-yard drive that ended in a Martin catch for a touchdown.

The Corsairs defense came right back on the field to hold the Oilers to another three points. This time you could sense the offense of West L.A. gaining momentum. With a little over four minutes left in the half and down 20-13, West L.A. held SMC to a three and out.

Rosenvall came on the field and ran all over the Corsair defense. He converted on a huge third down, putting them in a position to throw a touchdown pass to Armauni Johnson. The scoring drive took six plays, 49 yards and only one minute and 50 seconds. McManus must have taken it as a challenge. He came out with his offense, and a minute later the score was back in favor of the home team 27-20, with time left on the clock. This gave the Oilers one more chance to flex their offense.

The Corsairs defense must have thought that West L.A. did not have enough time to score, either that or they gave up. Rosenvall had his team going into the half down 26-27. The scorer was a 2-yard touchdown run by DeJuan Cofield.

"All we can do is try to get better. It's all we can do for a team that makes mistakes, is teach them to get better," said Coach Taylor going into the half.

There must be something about second halves for the Corsairs. They never seem to be the same first half team when they come out of the locker room. The offense can't seem to move the ball, and the defense is giving up the big plays over the top. West L.A. finally took the lead with seven minutes left in the game. Rosenvall tossed a 61-yard touchdown reception to Robert Ford. That was Rosenvall's third touchdown pass to his third different receiver. Santa Monica was faced with needing to score to keep up with the gun slinging Oilers, but they couldn't.

McManus threw a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown. West L.A. was in complete control 27-39 and not giving up the lead for the rest of the game.

The Corsairs displays flashes of brilliance. Hayes and Martin are two star players, who can make noise on the field. They just can't seem to get the second half right. It doesn't help their season with the next game on the road. The Corsairs have not won a road game all year. The season could be riding on their meeting with East L.A. next week. East L.A. is 0-4 in conference, 0-7 overall and currently residing in last place in the Pacific Conference.