Cerritos Escapes with Win

The numbers stated that the Cerritos College football team was supposed to have their way with the Golden West Rustlers in their Mission Conference game last Saturday.

Not only were the Falcons 2-0 and rated #8 in the nation prior to the start, but the Rustlers were 1-2 and had just snapped a 34-game losing streak two weeks earlier. Cerritos also had won seven in a row and 11 of the last 12 in their series. But the final number was the score, a 17-3 win by the Falcons.

This Saturday at 1:00 p.m., the Falcons (3-0) will travel to face Santa Ana College at Santa Ana Bowl. The Dons (2-2) are coming off a 47-31 loss at the hands of Pasadena City. Last year, Cerritos defeated Santa Ana, 31-20, while the posted a 28-14 win against the Dons in the Strawberry Bowl two years ago. The all-time series against the two teams is deadlocked at 9-9-1, with Cerritos winning the last four meetings.

As difficult a time as the offense had moving the ball on a consistent basis, the defense was wrecking havoc all night against a pair of Golden West quarterbacks. Cerritos out gained the Rustlers, 289-84 on offense, while the defense posted a season-high 10 sacks. Sophomore defensive end Chris Eagen (Pacifica) led the way with 3 ½ sacks, while freshman linebacker Justin Burks (Bellflower) had three sacks – all in the fourth quarter. Also recording sacks were defensive linemen Shalom Tuimalealiifano (Waipahu, HI) and Joe Oniwar (Bellflower), along with freshman linebacker Marcus Miller (Artesia). Freshman defensive end Armando Calderon (Cerritos) recorded a half sack with Eagen.

Cerritos spotted Golden West a 3-0 lead in the first quarter after a high snap on a punt attempt gave the Rustlers first down on the Falcon 32-yard line. Sophomore quarterback Mike  Harrison (Mayfair) was back to punt, but was forced to throw the ball after the snap sailed over his head. His pass attempt was just out of the reach of freshman Rueben Lee (Mayfair).

Early in the second quarter, the Rustlers saw a bad snap on a punt attempt force punter Bryan New to scramble. His kick was partially blocked by freshman Amir Jessie (Paramount), and the ball rolled out of bounds at the Rustler 33-yard line. After a 17-yard run by freshman Jermaine Whiten (Cerritos), Harrison hit a streaking Chris Chatman (Tustin) for a 16-yard score. Freshman Adam Sonntag (Long Beach Millikan) booted the extra point for a 7-3 lead.

Prior to halftime, the Falcons went on a two-minute drill that resulted in a 37-yard field goal by Sonntag with :38 seconds left. The Cerritos drive was kept alive by a late hit call against the Rustlers as Faiseau Tarana was flagged for hitting tight end Fausto Gonzalez (St. Paul) after the whistle. Three plays later Sonntag kicked the field goal.

The Falcons defense exploded out of gates in the second half, as they posted eight of their 10 sacks in the third and fourth quarters. The Rustlers, who finished with 84 total yards, amassed 33 in the first half and 51 in the second half, six coming on the ground.

In the fourth quarter, Golden West had a golden opportunity to trim a 10-3 lead Cerritos held at the time. Another high snap on a punt attempt forced Falcon punter Scott Mackay (Kennedy) to fall on the ball at the Cerritos five-yard line. After a run for no yards, the Rustlers had a touchdown called back on an illegal procedure call. One play later, Eagen covered up Rustler quarterback Porter Lacey for an 11-yard loss. New then missed on a 35-yard field goal attempt.

With 9:28 left in the game, Cerritos went on their first sustained drive of the game, as they drove the ball 80 yards in nine plays. The duo of Whiten and freshman Josh Herrera (La Habra) alternated rushing attempts to account for most of the yardage. After Herrera opened with a 17-yard gain, Whiten came back with an 11-yard carry. The two switched off two more times before Harrison mixed in a 15-yard pass to Chatman. Herrera, who had 38 of the yards, took it the final five for a touchdown with 5:43 left in the game.

Herrera finished the night with 100 yards on 11 carries after sitting out the entire first quarter. Whiten concluded with 84 yards on 15 carries, while Harrison completed just 12-of-33 passes for 141 yards. Not all of his passes were his fault, as four were dropped and four others were just out of the reach of potential receivers. Chatman led the team with five catches for 99 yards and one score.

SEASON STATS

RUSHING

NO - Name - ATT- YDS- TD- LG

40  Herrera        43        293        1          68
30  Whiten         32        176        2          20
27  Denis              2         10        0            6
33  Bulrice            3           6        0            3
2    Harrison       20           4         1          14

PASSING           

NO - ATT-COM-HI - YDS TD LG - PASSING - ATT-COM-HI - YDS TD LG

2  Harrison       89      41    1        555     5              66

RECEIVING 

NO - YDS - TD - LG - RECEIVING                                

 4  Chatman       12        215        3          38
 8  Harris             8            96        1          22
30  Whiten           6          111        1          66
40  Herrera         5            36        0          21
87  Gonzalez      4            49        0          22
12  McMillan       3            20        0          10
19  Martinez        2            20        0          11
33  Bulrice           1              8        0            8                                                                           

PUNTING

NO - YDS - AVG - LG - PUNTING

39  Mackey          9            354            39.3            45
2  Harrison         7            275            39.3            48

Kick Scoring

XPM-A FGM-A  LG            PTS

88  Sonntag      4-7         2-3          37     10

 


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