Whiten Leads Cerritos to Victory

Freshman running back Jermaine Whiten (Cerritos) knew that he would be competing with six other players for a chance to be the Cerritos College running back this season.

Whiten, along with red-shirt freshman Josh Herrera (La Habra) have moved themselves ahead of the pack, after their performances in the Falcons 26-23 Mission Conference win last Saturday. Whiten rushed for 70 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns, while he also caught four passes for 109 yards and another score. Herrera busted through for 131 rushing yards on 19 carries, as Cerritos improved their record to 2-0 on the year, while the Hornets dropped to 2-1.

This week, Cerritos will host a much-improved Golden West team at 7:00 p.m. The Rustlers snapped a 34-game losing streak two weeks ago and are 1-2 on the year. The Falcons have won seven in a row against Golden West and 11 of the last 12 meetings. Cerritos posted a 45-7 win last season.

The win over Fullerton provided two storylines. In addition to both teams being undefeated, Falcon head coach Frank Mazzotta was facing his younger son, Casey, who serves as the Hornets defensive coordinator. Casey played for his father for two seasons and even served as an assistant coach after graduating from Brigham Young University.

Fullerton struck first, as they took the opening kickoff and drove 72 yards on five plays, with the big play being a 60-yard pass, which put the ball at the Falcon 11-yard line. Cerritos rebounded with a long drive of their own, but it stalled at the Hornet 23-yard line after the Falcons failed to convert a fourth down.

On their next possession, Herrera broke up the middle and scampered 68 yards, which put Cerritos at the Hornet 10-yard line. Three plays later, sophomore quarterback Mike Harrison (Mayfair) found red-shirt freshman Andrew Harris (Long Beach Poly) in the corner of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown. Freshman Adam Sonntag (Long Beach Millikan) converted the extra point and Cerritos led, 7-6.

Fullerton went on to score the next nine points, to take a 15-7 lead into the half. On their first possession of the second half, Whiten took a screen pass from Harrison and juked his way around five Hornets, two on 360-degree spins, and went in for a 66-yard touchdown. He gave the Falcons the lead with 3:03 left in the third quarter when he scored on a 20-yard run. He appeared to be tackled by Fullerton's Jacory Bradford, but he slipped away and broke to the outside, where he went into the end zone untouched. After Sonntag booted the extra point, Cerritos held a 20-15 lead.

However, Fullerton wasn't done, as they took over possession of the ball at the Falcon 48-yard line to start the fourth quarter. After two long runs, Hornet quarterback Brian Bartczak connected with Terrance Moore for a 13-yard touchdown. After a two-point conversion, Fullerton regained the lead, 23-20.

The Cerritos defense stiffened, and shut down the Hornets the rest of the way. As for Whiten, he wasn't done yet. On the seventh play of their next possession, Whiten capped off a 49-yard rive by scoring from nine yards out. The big play of the drive was a 22-yard pass from Harrison to Harris on third and five. After the touchdown, Whiten was called for excessive celebration after spinning the ball in the end zone. That moved the extra point back 15 yards, and Sonntag's attempt hit the left upright.

Fullerton was able to drive down the field after giving up the score, but sophomore free safety Charles Allgood (Washington) picked off Bartczak at the Falcon five-yard line and returned it 33 yards. Cerritos was unable to move the ball and was forced to punt the ball away. The Falcon defense once again held the Hornets, and forced them to punt with 2:52 left in the game.

The running attack of Herrera and Whiten alternated rushed to help run out the clock. The duo accounted for three first downs on the drive, which secured the team's win.

Harrison had a solid game, as he completed 21-of-33 passes for 290 yards and two scores. Harris caught seven of those passes for 81 yards, while Whiten and sophomore Chris Chatman (Tustin) each had four receptions.

Allgood turned in his best performance of the Falcon career against the Hornets. Along with his two interceptions, he added nine solo tackles and knocked down two passes. Sophomore linebacker Rajaee Barnett (Downey) added seven tackles, including two for loss, while sophomore defensive linemen Joe Oniwar (Bellflower) and Chris Eagen (Pacifica) combined for five tackles for loss.

FCC:  Justin Jones 13yd pass from Brian Bartczak (kick missed) -  13:03  1st             
CERR:  Andrew Harris 6yd pass from Mike Harrison (Adam Sonntag kick) - 2:57  2nd         
FCC:  Jeff Weber 33yd pass from Travis Blood (Pass failed) - 10:10  2nd
FCC:  Scott Lambert 40yd FG -   8:50  2nd       
CERR:  Jermaine Whiten 66yd pass from Mike Harrison (Pass failed) - 13:03  3rd        
CERR:  Jermaine Whiten 20yd run (Adam Sonntag kick)
-  4:06  3rd          
FCC:  Terrance Moore 13yd pass from Brian Bartczak -  13:27  4th       
    Conversion: (Justin Jones pass from Bartczak)                       
CERR:  Jermaine Whiten 9yd run (Kick failed) -   6:35  4th 

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