Cerritos Edges Long Beach

In a game that had a little bit of everything, Cerritos edged Long Beach, 28-23, November 3rd at Falcon Stadium to move to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the Mission Conference. QB Mike Harrison went 20 of 33 for 240 yards and 3 TDs, including a 10-yard strike to Randy Raphiel with 4:27 that proved to be the winning score. That was set up by an interception by Burnell Jordan, the Falcons' 4th interception of the game.

The game got off to a spectacular start.  On the first play from scrimmage, Long Beach QB Jason Baughman's first pass was intercepted by Carchell Wright.  Then on Cerritos' first play from scrimmage, Harrison looked deep and threw towards Chris Chatman.  Long Beach's Rashon Brooks got a hand on the ball but ended up deflecting it right to Chatman, who was standing in the end zone.  So 21 seconds into the game, Cerritos was on the board.  But then Long Beach scored 2 points when the XPA was blocked, and Adam Nyssen picked up the ball and carried it the distance to make it 6-2.

Long Beach got the ball back and began to drive, but that ended abruptly when Baughman was intercepted again.  This time Charles Allgood did the deed, picking off the pass at his own 14.  By the time he stopped running, he had returned the interception some 86 yards and Cerritos had a 13-2 lead.

In came Brandon Fasavalu at QB for Long Beach.  With his running ability as well as 3 pass completions, Fasavalu led the Vikings on a 5-minute drive.  Fasavalu's 13-yard pass to Darren Ross closed the gap to 13-8.  The Vikings went for 2 on the conversion, but Fasavalu was sacked by Chris Eagen before he could pass so it stayed 13-8. 

This time the Long Beach defense forced a punt, and that nearly put Long Beach in front.  Clint Bingham took the punt some 41 yards and was prevented from scoring the TD by punter Mackay.  Long Beach's offense moved down the field, but Fasavalu fumbled near the 5 yard line.  The ball bounced into the end zone where Bingham pounced on it to give Long Beach a 14-13 lead.  This all happened in the first quarter.

The second quarter belonged to Cerritos.  A 31-yard FG by Adam Sonntag put the Falcons back ahead, 16-14.  On their next possession, Harrison threw his second TD pass of the night to Chatman, from 20 yards out, to make it 22-14.  The kick was wide left so the score stayed 22-14 at halftime.

The third quarter settled into a defensive struggle with neither team able to score a touchdown.  The only points came on a 47-yard FG by Keith Witt.  That closed the gap to 22-17 entering the 4th.

The Falcons were driving when Harrison completed a pass to Jerome Whiten.  However, Whiten fumbled, and Jerome Moss of the Vikings recovered.  That gave Long Beach a lift, and they drove for the go-ahead touchdown, which came on a 13-yard pass from Baughman to Hasan Mahone.  Again Long Beach went for 2 on the conversion, and again they were turned away.  On the night, the teams combined for 4 failed 2-point conversions and 2 failed 1-point attempts, one of which was returned for a 2-point tally the other way. 

Trailing 23-22 with 9:31 to play, Cerritos took the ensuing kickoff but was unable to move the ball.  But then they got the break they needed when Jordan made his key interception at the Long Beach 18 and returned it to the 9.  Two plays later, Harrison found Raphiel for the touchdown.  After yet another failed 2-point conversion attempt, the score was 28-23 Cerritos but 4:27 still remained.

Long Beach took the kickoff but was unable to move the ball.  After 3 plays they punted, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the ball back to the Vikings.  After 4 more plays and no first downs, they handed the ball back to Cerritos.  But the Falcons were unable to run out the clock.  Long Beach used their last timeouts to stop the clock and the strategy worked as they got the ball back at their own 30 with 1:11 to play.

The Vikings made it exciting.  A 40-yard pass from Fasavalu to Ross brought the ball to the Falcons' 35.  A 13-yard pass to Bingham brought Long Beach to the 22 though time was starting to run out.

Then Cerritos' defense closed the door.  On the next play, DE Chris Eagen caught Fasavalu from behind for the sack.  It only cost Long Beach 4 yards but the clock kept running.  Fasavalu tried to spike the ball with about 8 seconds left but it was ruled his knee hit the ground first.  Out of timeouts and unable to stop the clock, Long Beach watched helplessly as the final seconds ticked away.   Before they could run another play the game was over and Cerritos had the win.

Besides Harrison, key contributors for Cerritos included WR Chris Chatman, who had 8 catches for 129 yards and 2 TDs, and Jerome Whiten, who had 197 all-purpose yards including a team-high 79 on the ground.  Randy Raphiel had 7 catches including the winning TD.  And there was also Allgood's TD interception return.

For Long Beach, RB Craig Richardson pounded out 176 yards on 25 carries to lead all rushers.  WR Darren Ross hauled in 8 passes for 149 yards.  Clint Bingham had 3 excellent punt returns and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.  And Kevin Witt certainly did his part with a 47-yard field goal.  But the 4 interceptions were too much to overcome, particularly the one that led to Cerritos' winning touchdown.

1st Quarter:
C – Ch.Chatman 35 yd pass from Harrison (kick blocked) 14:396-0
LB – Nyssen ret of conversion attempt 14:396-2
C – Allgood 86 yd interception return (Sonntag kick) 11:48 - 13-2
LB – Ross 13 yd pass from Fasavalu (run failed) 6:46 - 13-8
LB – Bingham rec fumble on end zone (pass failed) 3:05 - 13-14

2nd Quarter:
C – FG Sonntag 31 yds 14:46 - 16-14
C – Ch.Chatman 20 yd pass from Harrison (kick wide left) 9:0422-14

3rd Quarter:
LB – FG Witt 47 yds 8:07 - 22-17

4th Quarter:
LB – Mahone 13 yd pass from Baughman (run failed) 9:31 22-23
C – Raphiel 10 yd pass from Harrison (pass failed) 4:27 - 28-23


Team Statistics:  Cerritos  Long Beach
First Downs  21 (11 pass; 9 run; 1 pen) 25 (14 pass; 9 run; 2 pen)
Rushes - Yards 27-127 34-169
Passing Yards 240 299
Comp - Att - Int  20-33-1 19-36-4
Return Yards  273 157
Sacks - Yards  4-30 3-23
Fumbles - Lost  2-2 1-0
Penalties - Yards  9-95 13-104
Time of Possession  27:33  32:27

Individual Statistics:

C:  30-Whiten 10-79, 40-Herrera 12-60, 2-Harrison 5-(-12) LB:  21-Richardson 25-176, 9-Fasavalu 6-19, 14-Baughman 3-(-26)

C:  2-Harrison 20-33-1-240, 3 TDs   LB:  14-Baughman 13-23-4-186, 1 TD; 9-Fasavalu 6-13-0-113, 1 TD

C:  4-Ch.Chatman 8-129, 7-Raphiel 7-64, 19-Martinez 2-16, 30-Whiten 1-18, 12-McMillan 1-10, 87-Gonzalez 1-3
  LB:  20-Ross 8-149, 8-Te.Marshall 5-67, 21-Richardson 2-28, 15-Mahone 2-26, 12-McCray 1-16, 6-Bingham 1-13

C:  39-Mackay 3-39.5 avg; 2-Harrison 1-39  LB:  47-Td.Marshall 3-38.0 avg

Kick Ret:
C:  30-Whiten 3-100, 4-Ch.Chatman 1-27 LB:  8-Te.Marshall 3-51, 97-Tamasoa 1-13, 11-Moss 1-11

Punt Ret:
C:  4-Ch.Chatman 1-8   LB:  6-Bingham 3-77  

Int-Ret Yds:
C:  20-Wright 1-3, 5-Allgood 1-86, 9-Perry 1-38, 24-Jordan 1-9 LB:  11-Moss 1-31

Fum Rec-Ret Yds:
LB:  11-Moss 1-0, 26-Flammang 1-0                                          

C:  6-Barnett 1-14, 45-Eagen 1-4, 58-Fletes 1-8, 98-Toliniu 1-4 LB:  93-Gibbs 2-16, 57-Mann 1-7

Both teams entered 5-2.  Cerritos was ranked #9 in South (COA), #23 in Nation (JCGW).  Long Beach was ranked #7 in South.  1st  play from scrimmage was int by Wright.  2nd play was TD pass which Brooks of LBCC defl. to Chatman, who was standing in the end zone.  Fasavalu repl. Baughman at QB for LBCC after the Allgood int (ret. for TD).  Fasavalu led the team to 2 TDs, the second of which happened when Fasavalu fumbled at the 5 into the end zone and Bingham covered it.  Fasavalu went back in after int #4 (by Jordan), which set up the winning TD.  LBCC had one last chance but ran out of time after Fasavalu was sacked by Eagen and failed in an attempt to spike the ball as the clock ran out.  Eagen also sacked Fasavalu on LBCC's 1st 2-point conversion attempt.

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