Santa Monica (4-1, 2-0) won its fourth straight game after dropping its opener to still-unbeaten Mt. San Jacinto. But the Corsairs saw most of a 35-20 second-half lead disappear, and had to withstand one final threat by Glendale (2-3, 0-2) after a botched fake punt gave the Vaqueros the ball at the Santa Monica 32 with 3:26 left in the game.
Glendale took advantage of the first of four Santa Monica turnovers to score the game's first touchdown. Anthony Carter recovered a missed lateral and returned it 30 yards to the Corsair 29 less than five minutes into the game, and big Collin Keoshian scored on a 1-yard run to give the Vaqueros a 7-0 lead with 3:56 left in the first quarter.
It took Santa Monica just two plays to even the game, however. Myles Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff to the 41, and on the next play Medina threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Gordon down the right sideline to tie the game 7-7 with 3:37 left in the first quarter.
Santa Monica took a 14-7 lead thanks to defense and special teams. Glendale started at its own 20 but a holding penalty pushed the Vaqueros back to the 10. Then SMC defensive tackle Marcus Manley threw Glendale's Elijah Gutierrez for a 5-yard loss. Glendale ended up punting out of its own end zone, and Gordon took the kick on the run and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to give Santa Monica a 14-7 lead with 1:07 left in the quarter.
Neither team scored again until Keoshian scored his second touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run with 3:24 left in the second quarter. But Santa Monica's Rico Wright blocked the extra point try to keep the Corsairs in the lead, 14-13. And Gordon struck again before the end of the half when he caught a pass from Medina over the middle and deked past the Glendale secondary for a 52-yard scoring pass with 1:38 left, making it 21-13 at halftime.
Glendale again pulled within a point when, after taking the second half kickoff, the Vaqueros put together a 6-play, 73-yard drive. D'Angelo Blake caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Nick Blackmon on a 4th down play to make it 21-20 just 2:47 into the second half.
But Santa Monica scored the game's next two touchdowns to extend its lead to 35-20. Medina scored on a 1-yard sneak to cap a 6-play, 66-yard drive with 9:41 left in the quarter. Then, after a Glendale punt, Medina threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Carzell Vickers to make it 35-20 midway through the third quarter.
Glendale answered with a touchdown on its next possession, putting together a 9-play, 74-yard drive that chewed up five minutes on the clock. The 240-pound Keoshian scored his third touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run on which he leaped high over the pile at the goal line on a 4th and goal play. The Vaqueros pulled closer midway through the fourth quarter when Blackmon threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Darren Morrow with 6:24 left to make it 35-32.
Santa Monica tried to run more time off the clock, but faced a 4th and 6 at the Glendale 45 with just under four minutes left. The Corsairs lined up to punt, but went with a trick play that had reserve quarterback Michael Miller, lined up as one of the personal protectors, take the snap and try an option play. But Miller's pitch fell to the turf and bounced towards the Corsair end of the field until Glendale's Davion Holloway finally recovered it at the Santa Monica 32 with 3:26 to play.
But the Corsair defense came up big when it mattered most, stopping Glendale on downs to hold on for the win. Keoshian carried the ball four times, but totaled just nine yards in those four carries, and was stopped for no gain on 4th and 1 from the 23. That turned the ball back to the Corsairs, who ran out the clock to hold on for the victory.
For Santa Monica, Medina completed 11 of 21 passes for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, and he also ran for a touchdown. Gordon had 3 catches for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also returned the punt for a score. Myles Johnson rushed 19 times for 132 yards.
For Glendale, Blackmon was 11 for 22 passing for 140 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Keoshian carried the ball 38 times for 193 yards and 3 scores, and also had a highlight-reel one-handed catch just before Glendale's last touchdown. And he also handled kicking duties on kickoffs.
Santa Monica won despite five fumbles, four of which were recovered by Glendale. On the other hand, Glendale had an astounding total of 12 penalties for 118 yards, but it all came in the first half. The Vaqueros were not penalized even once in the second half, not even a potential penalty that was refused by Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Corsairs 35, Glendale Vaqueros 32
Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 6 pm - Sartoris Field, Glendale
American Division - Pacific Conference
G - Keoshian 1 yd run (Guerra kick) 3:56 (0-7)
SM - Gordon 59 yd pass from Medina (Esquivel kick) 3:37 (7-7)
SM - Gordon 35 yd punt return (Esquivel kick) 1:07 (14-7)
G - Keoshian 15 yd run (kick blocked) 3:24 (14-13)
SM - Gordon 52 yd pass from Medina (Esquivel kick) 1:38 (21-13)
G - Blake 33 yd pass from Blackmon (Guerra kick) 12:13 (21-20)
SM - Medina 1 yd run (Esquivel kick) 9:41 (28-20)
SM - Vickers 35 yd pass from Medina (Esquivel kick) 7:38 (35-20)
G - Keoshian 1 yd run (pass failed - bad snap on kick) 2:38 (35-26)
G - Morrow 22 yd pass from Blackmon (pass failed) 6:24 (35-32)
First Downs: Glendale 18 (10 rush, 7 pass, 1 penalty), Santa Monica 15 (6 rush, 8 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Glendale 48-238, Santa Monica 32-102
Passing Yds: Glendale 140, Santa Monica 270
Comp-Att-Int: Glendale 11-22-1, Santa Monica 11-21-0
Return Yds: Glendale 210, Santa Monica 127
Sacks-Yds: Glendale 2-11, Santa Monica 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: Glendale 0-0, Santa Monica 5-4
Penalties-Yds: Glendale 12-118, Santa Monica 6-65
Time of Possession: Glendale 37:36, Santa Monica 22:24
Rushing: G: 22-Keoshian 38-193, 33-Moctezuma 7-53, 9-Gutierrez 3-(-8); SM 21-Johnson 19-132, 28-Kyle 1-13, 10-Gordon 1-8, 3-A.Jones 2-3, 11-Miller 1-(-23), 12-Medina 5-(-27), team 3-(-4)
Passing: G 12-Blackmon 11-22-1-140, 2 TDs; SM 12-Medina 11-21-0-270, 3 TDs
Receiving: G 18-Gandara 3-24, 4-Blake 2-41, 8-Morrow 2-29, 22-Keoshian 1-18, 47-Reed 1-13, 33-Moctezuma 1-12, 44-Stochi 1-3; 85-Bierria 4-65, 10-Gordon 3-119, 21-Johnson 2-44, 5-Vickers 2-42
Interceptions-Ret Yds: G none; SM 9-Floyd 1-19
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: G 25-Carter 1-30, 11-Weston 1-3, 2-Baker 1-0, 30-Holloway 1-0; SM none
Sacks: G 5-Bell 1-10, 34-Slaughter 1-1; SM none
Punters: G 47-Reed 7-33.6 avg; SM 48-Tillman 4-24.8 avg
Kick Returns: G 11-Weston 3-74, 18-Gandara 2-54; SM 28-Kyle 1-19, 6-Rankins 1-15, 10-Gordon 1-13, 21-Johnson 1-7, 33-Hampton 1-1
Punt Returns: G 11-Weston 1-49; SM 10-Gordon 3-53
Missed FG: none
Notes: Santa Monica improves to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference; Glendale falls to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in conference. Carter recovered a missed lateral and returned it to the SMC 29 to set up Glendale's 1st TD. 2-Wright blocked the Glendale extra point attempt. 92-Bonner forced the fumble that Weston recovered. 46-Cuadra forced the fumble that Baker recovered. On Glendale's last conversion attempt Blackmon threw the ball to Blake, who was tackled well short of the end zone. Glendale had one last chance after Holloway recovered a botched fake punt at the SMC 32 with 3:26 left, but the SMC defense stopped Keoshian on 4th down at the 23 with 1:34 left and SMC ran out the clock.