By game's end, the Corsairs would have 644 yds of total offense.
And the conditions weren't exactly optimal. With a heavy fog throughout
the stadium, holding onto the ball was often difficult. The two teams
combined for 9 fumbles, several dropped passes and numerous instances of
slipping on the misty ground. Yet Koral was virtually flawless. He
completed 26 of 36 passes on the night, and his only interception came when a
receiver was unable to hang onto the ball and deflected it high into the air.
And by that time, SMC had a comfortable lead.
As the game began, the fog began to roll in, and its effect on the game was
immediate. Citrus took the opening kickoff, but had trouble handling the
ball. Then on their first play from scrimmage, RB Quinton Ganther lost the
ball (though an Owl recovered to retain possession). And 3 plays later,
when Citrus punted, Santa Monica muffed the punt (though Ornette Jones recovered
to retain possession for Santa Monica). In all, the teams would combine
for 9 fumbles on the night.
Following Jones' recovery at the SMC 15, the Corsairs got the night's scoring
started. On their first play from scrimmage, the handoff went to RB
Maurice Little, who stopped and pitched the ball back to Koral, who found Rogers
behind the defense along the right hash marks. Koral's perfect spiral hit
Rogers in stride, and he had no trouble holding onto the ball. That put
Santa Monica ahead, 7-0.
But the Citrus offense was able to keep pace, at least for a while. A long
drive was capped by Marcus Nolan's 1-yd run, evening the score at 7. Santa
Monica responded with a long drive of their own the next time they got the ball,
with Chris Myrick taking it in from the 1, to take a 13-7 lead. The XPA
went wide, keeping it 13-7, and that gave Citrus the chance to take the lead the
next time they got the ball. A 30-yd pass from Steve Payne to Daniel
Ulrich did the trick, and Luis Rosales' kick gave the Owls a 14-13 lead.
Then it was Santa Monica's turn, and Koral teamed up with Bryant Thompson on a
55-yd TD pass to make it 20-14. And as the first quarter came to a close,
Citrus was driving yet again.
The Owls' third touchdown was a Quinton Ganther highlight play. Running
wide on the right side, Ganther was suddenly faced with 2 Corsair defenders and
no blockers in sight. But using his explosive acceleration, Ganther sped
towards the sideline and into the corner of the end zone! It was a
remarkable bit of running, and with Rosales' extra point gave Citrus a 21-20
But it was also Citrus' final score of the night.
It looked like Santa Monica was about to re-take the lead on the next
possession, but the slippery football had other ideas. Kenneth Franklin
took a short pass from Koral, burst through the defense and appeared to be
headed down the left sideline for a TD. And then suddenly, the ball was
loose! As Franklin had tried to switch hands, the ball popped out, and
Citrus' Lawrence Guynes recovered at the Owl 43. But moments later the
Owls returned the favor with a fumble of their own, and Santa Monica's Tim
Poseda recovered, returning the ball to the Owl 18. The drive stalled
there, however, and SMC came away empty when Joel Rosenberg's 38-yd field goal
attempt was wide left.
Neither team was able to score again until Koral teamed with B.J. Vickers on
a 25-yd pass play with 2:11 left in the half. That was the first of 3 TDs
for the Koral-to-Vickers tandem, which allowed the Corsairs to put the game
away. On the conversion, SMC tried a trick play to make up for the missed
XPA earlier, but it misfired badly, keeping the score 26-21. That's where
things stood at the break.
The second half, however, was all Santa Monica. The opening drive ended
with a 2-yd TD pass from Koral to Vickers. And a missed handoff ended
Citrus' initial drive when SMC's Keith Green recovered the ball at the Citrus
19. On the next play, Koral hit Vickers with a 19-yd TD pass, extending
the lead to 40-21, and the Owls never threatened again. Little finished
the scoring on a 7-yd TD run with 4:34 left in the 3rd quarter. The final
quarter had no points, but a lot of fog.
In addition to Koral, Santa Monica standouts included WRs Rogers (6 catches,
145 yds, 1 TD), Vickers (3 TDs) and Franklin (6 catches, 110 yds) as well as LB
Poseda (2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception). Myrick (10 carries, 65 yds)
led the rushing attack. And special mention needs to be made of punter
Mike Haley, who kicked only once but boomed a high, spiraling kick up into the
fog. By the time it came down and stopped bouncing, it was lying on the
Citrus 4-yd line. It went about 50 yds in the air, but in all was good for
a whopping 72 yds!
Citrus was led by QB Payne, who finished 15 of 40 for 175 yds. Ganther
had good numbers with 104 yds on 17 carries plus 4 catches, but had a pair of
fumbles (and was part of another on a missed handoff) and really wasn't a factor
after his remarkable touchdown run. Emanuel Olayinka led Owl receivers
with 5 catches, good for 57 yds.
With the win, Santa Monica evens its record at 2-2 and has outscored the opposition 93-35 in the last 2 games. Meanwhile, Citrus falls to 3-1.
SM – Rogers 85 yd pass from
Koral (Rosenberg kick) 13:07 - 7-0
C – Nolan 1 yd run (Rosales kick) 9:10 - 7-7
SM – Myrick 1 yd run (kick wide right) 6:02 - 13-7
C – Ulrich 30 yd pass from Payne (Rosales kick) 4:32- 13-14
SM – B.Thompson 55 yd pass from Koral (Rosenberg kick) 2:02 - 20-14
C – Ganther 5 yd run (Rosales kick) 13:47 - 20-21
SM – Vickers 25 yd pass from Koral (run failed) 2:11 - 26-21
C – Vickers 2 yd pass from Koral (Rosenberg kick) 11:12 - 33-21
C – Vickers 19 yd pass from Koral (Rosenberg kick) 10:21 - 40-21
C – Little 7 yd run (pass run failed) 4:34 - 46-21
SM: 30-Myrick 10-65, 29-Wallace 4-48, 28-Little 10-35, 19-B.Thompson
1-12, 7-Koral 5-11, 38-Hughes 1-5, 15-Haley 2-5
C: 1-Ganther 17-104, 7-Nolan 4-9, 19-Olayinka 2-8, 22-Fields 1-4, 16-Payne 5-(-7), 11-Budzien 2-(-14)
SM: 7-Koral 26-36-1-463, 5 TDs
C: 16-Payne 15-40-2-175, 1 TD; 11-Budzien 3-6-1-60
SM: 12-Rogers 6-145, 16-Ken Franklin 6-110, 19-B.Thompson 5-78,
28-Little 4-55, 1-Vickers 4-53, 82-Porter 1-22
C: 19-Olayinka 5-57, 4-Ulrich 4-66, 1-Ganther 4-25, 8-Greenwade 3-51, 44-Kapturkiewicz 2-36
SM: 15-Haley 1-72
C: 82-Yost 5-39.8 avg
SM: 12-Rogers 2-39, 30-Myrick 1-12,
C: 10-Hamilton 3-41, 22-Fields 2-40, 28-Watkins 2-24
SM: 16-Ken Franklin
SM: 20-Green 1-0, 56-Poseda 1-30
C: 24-Guynes 1-0, 97-John Robles 1-0
SM: 56-Poseda 2-46, 35-B.Smith 1-11
C: 58-Josh Robles 1-0
SM: 20-Green, 91-B.Allen,
C: 2-Fuentes 1/2, 31-Jensen 1/2, 54-Seman 1/2, 90-J.Thompson 1/2
SM: Rosenberg 38 (wide left), 35 (wide left)
Citrus entered 3-0, #7 South, t-#25 JCGW; SMC ent. 1-2, #24 South. Foggy & Misty! And the ball was slippery, as one would expect. Ken Franklin's longest catch was a 50-yarder…he was in the clear, and just dropped the ball; Guynes recovered for the Owls. SMC's 1st TD came on a flea-flicker (pitch back to QB). Koral's int was a drop/deflection off Vickers that bounced to Robles.