Corsair Football Loses Season Opener 44-28 in "Battle of the Pirates"

Classes are back in session and the Santa Monica College fall sports season has officially begun.

Kicking off what students, players, and coaches hoped will be a season to remember for the SMC Football team, ultimately hit a speed bump on Saturday night's season opener against the Orange Coast College Pirates.

SMC lost to OCC 44-28 in what was nothing short of an interesting game.

The Corsairs opened up the game scoring a touch down with seven minutes left in the first quarter, only to see a comeback touchdown from the Pirates by quarter's end.

A miscall by the announcers left SMC football fans thinking that the Corsairs had scored another touchdown, which wasn't the case, thus allowing the Pirates the opportunity to dominate the first half. Eventually, the Corsairs were left heading into the halftime break searching for some answers and in a desperate need of a comeback.

The second half of the match was slow paced, with OCC taking a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter.

Eventually the pace of the game started to pick up as the Pirates scored another touchdown with 6:44 left in the fourth, followed by a desperation touchdown from the Corsairs with 1:44 remaining in the game that just wasn't enough to give them a win at home.

SMC faithfulls are not too concerned with the loss as they have nine games to go in the regular season and a strong chance to complete the season in winning form.

With a grip of new talent that played a big factor in the 28 points that SMC scored in Saturday's game, it's no doubt that the SMC Corsairs football team can hold their own against their conference opponents.

One thing that should be noted is the amount of fan support the Corsair football team has this season. From extended families, to fellow classmates and mentors, the stands were filled with people who cheered on the Corsairs for the entire game.

There was even an appearance from former Lakers star Trevor Ariza at the game. The Los Angeles native arrived late in the second half to watch the Corsairs with some of his own family and friends.

"It's cool that even though Santa Monica is not known for how amazing the football team is, all these people came out to watch the games," said Kelly Withers, a second year student at SMC. "It's packed here, always, and there are never this many people at any other sporting event that Santa Monica has. Besides watching the game, its fun to see who's going to show up and what's going to happen during the game!"

The Corsair football team has been noted to have some promising talent on their team.
Sophomore defensive end, Byron Rutherford, has been preparing for this season all summer long and it was evident on the field.

"He has worked so hard to make sure that the team goes as far as they possibly can," said Ladiona Marshall, a close friend of Rutherford. "He and the rest of his teammates are extremely driven this year, and promise the fans a season to remember."

This feeling was echoed by first-year student and first-time SMC football attendee, Chris James: "This is my first football game here at SMC and it was so much fun! I didn't think that it would be, but the score going so back and fourth made it really entertaining. I'm for sure going to come back for the other home games this season!"

The Corsairs' next game will be at Cerritos College on Saturday , September 12 at 7 p.m.