A blocked punt and a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes of the second quarter provided the margin of victory for the Warriors, who entered the game ranked 6th in the JC Grid-Wire rankings.
As the second quarter wound down, Long Beach trailed by just three points at 10-7 and held the ball. But on 4th and 6 from their own 28, the Vikings lined up to punt. Thomas Padian's kick, however, never had a chance as El Camino's Alphonso Bruton broke through the middle of the line and blocked the kick. Bruton then picked up the bouncing ball at the Viking 7 and carried it into the end zone to make it 17-7.
And then things got worse for Long Beach later in the quarter. On the next series, Josh Powell threw the ball to Darren Tubbs, who was unable to make the catch. But the whistle never sounded, and finally El Camino's Michael Harris picked up the ball (correctly ruled a backwards pass) and carried it into the end zone. A penalty during the run gave the Warriors the ball at the Long Beach 35, but after a short 7-play drive, Andre Harris scored from 5 yards out to increase El Camino's lead to 24-7.
Just 50 seconds remained in the first half, but that proved enough time for Long Beach to continue its self-destruction. Two plays later, Tubbs lost control of the ball as he crossed the line of scrimmage. Jerrell Gavins picked up the ball and headed towards the Long Beach end zone. Powell managed to catch Gavins and drag him down at the Viking 5 to momentarily save the touchdown, but three plays later Coy passed to a wide-open William Bullock in the end zone to give El Camino a 31-7 lead at halftime.
At that point, the outcome of the game was basically decided. Long Beach's Bryan Braman blocked a Brett Fournier punt early in the third quarter to set up a Viking touchdown on a 1-yard scoring run by Tubbs. But Coy passed to Bullock from 38 yards out on El Camino's next possession to restore the Warrior lead to 24 points at 38-14. Then early in the fourth quarter Steven Locke kicked a 45-yard field goal for El Camino to make it 41-14. Long Beach's Stephen Burton scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 8:57 left to make it 41-21 and close out the scoring.
The game had begun well enough for Long Beach, which put together a 10-play, 74-yard drive on its opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. Burton scored from 3 yards out to put the home team in the lead 4:56 into the first quarter. And the Viking defense forced El Camino to punt the ball away moments later.
But on that punt, El Camino lined up as if to go for the first down, only to have Coy quick-kick the ball. His punt bounced down the right side of the field some 37 yards to the Long Beach 9. Three plays - and a false start penalty - netted a loss of one yard, forcing a Viking punt. That gave El Camino the ball in excellent field position at the Long Beach 38. Six plays later, Coy threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Ken McRoyal to tie the game 7-7 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Then on Long Beach's next possession, El Camino created a turnover when Michael Harris stripped the ball from receiver Brandon Joseph. Ray Chapman recovered the fumble for the Warriors and returned it 23 yards to the 47. After a pass interference penalty and a 19-yard run by Isaac Williams, the Warriors were in scoring position. And though the drive stopped without another first down, Brian Blumberg came on and booted a 23-yard field goal to give El Camino a 10-7 lead. They led the rest of the game, opening the 24-point margin later in the second quarter.
For El Camino, Coy completed 17 of 27 passes for 184 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Bullock and McRoyal each caught 5 passes for 67 yards; Bullock had two touchdown receptions and McRoyal had one. Though the Warriors amassed 126 yards rushing, Williams was the leader with just 28 yards though he had just 4 carries. Remarkably, ten different Warriors caught a pass and eleven different Warriors carried the ball at least once.
For Long Beach, Powell completed 17 of 36 passes for 184 yards and no interceptions. Burton led all receivers with 6 catches, good for 55 yards. He also scored a pair of touchdowns on short runs. Tubbs, though he had two fumbles lost, also had a game-high 30 yards rushing on 11 carries.
With the win, El Camino improves to 2-0 entering its game next week against nearby rival Compton. Long Beach falls to 1-1 and will travel just up the 605 freeway to take on Cerritos next Saturday.
El Camino Warriors 41
Long Beach Vikings 21
Saturday, September 13, 2008 - 6 pm - Veterans Stadium - Long Beach
LB - Burton 3 yd run (Heinze kick) 10:04 (0-7)
EC - McRoyal 11 yd pass from Coy (Blumberg kick) 0:36 (7-7)
EC - FG Blumberg 23 yds 11:25 (10-7)
EC - Bruton 7 yd return of blocked punt (Blumberg kick) 4:34 (17-7)
EC - A.Harris 5 yd run (Blumberg kick) 0:50 (24-7)
EC - Bullock 5 yd pass from Coy (Blumberg kick) 0:03 (31-7)
LB - Tubbs 1 yd run (Heinze kick) 11:04 (31-14)
EC - Bullock 38 yd pass from Coy (Locke kick) 8:38 (38-14)
EC - FG Locke 45 yds 12:46 (41-14)
LB - Burton 1 yd run (Heinze kick) 8:57 (41-21)
First Downs: Long Beach 17 (3 rush, 11 pass, 3 penalty), El Camino 16 (9 rush, 6 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Long Beach 29-89, El Camino 33-126
Passing Yds: Long Beach 184, El Camino 204
Comp-Att-Int: Long Beach 17-36-0, El Camino 20-32-0
Return Yds: Long Beach 198, El Camino 165
Sacks-Yds: Long Beach 2-9, El Camino 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: Long Beach 3-3, El Camino 0-0
Penalties-Yds: Long Beach 6-49, El Camino 11-91
Time of Possession: Long Beach 27:40, El Camino 32:20
Rushing: Long Beach 9-Tubbs 11-30, 7-Powell 4-27, 15-Washington 10-26, 1-Burton 3-7, 27-Franklin 1-(-1); El Camino 26-I.Williams 4-28, 6-A.Harris 6-22, 9-Easterling 4-20, 22-Hokama 2-18, 20-Brooks 3-17, 35-Sekona 2-9, 33-Areyan 1-7, 32-Hazelton 1-3, 7-Ragland 1-2, 11-Coy 4-1, 29-R.Smith 2-(-2)
Passing: Long Beach 7-Powell 17-36-0-184; El Camino 11-Coy 17-27-0-184, 3 TDs; 7-Ragland 3-5-0-20
Receiving: Long Beach 1-Burton 6-55, 85-Joseph 3-47, 80-Perkins 3-42, 9-Tubbs 2-19, 8-C.Williams 1-19, 21-Richardson 1-6, 15-Washington 1-(-4); El Camino 1-Bullock 5-67, 3-McRoyal 5-67, 85-K.Smith 2-11, 6-A.Harris 2-9, 2-Thompkins 1-14, 10-Tuli 1-11, 83-Ford 1-9, 4-Adams 1-8, 22-Hokama 1-7, 26-I.Williams 1-1
Interceptions-Ret Yds: none
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: El Camino 25-Gavins 1-29, 21-Chapman 1-23, 23-M.Harris 1-11
Sacks-Yds: Long Beach 23-Barnes 2-9; El Camino none
Punters: Long Beach 39-Padian 4-28.0 avg + 1 blk; El Camino 11-Coy 2-25.5 avg; 19-Fournier 1-49 + 1 blk; 88-Wadsworth 1-32
Kick Returns: Long Beach 15-Washington 4-85, 1-Burton 2-51, 23-Barnes 1-17; El Camino 10-Tuli 2-22, 3-McRoyal 1-27, 6-A.Harris 1-15
Punt Returns: Long Beach 87-Braman 1-32, 2-Cohn 1-13; El Camino 8-Bruton 1-28, 3-McRoyal 3-10
Missed FG: El Camino 84-Locke 28 yds (wide right)
Notes: Both teams entered 1-0. El Camino was ranked #4 in California (JCAB) and #6 in the nation (JC Grid-Wire). Coy quick-kicked for ECC's 1st punt and pinned LBCC at its 9; that field position set up ECC's 1st TD. ECC took advantage of LBCC mistakes to build the lead. M.Harris forced a Joseph fumble that Chapman recovered; that set up the first FG. Then Bruton blocked a Padian punt to make it 17-7. A backwards pass from Powell to Tubbs fell to the turf and M.Harris picked it up and carried it into the end zone; a penalty negated the TD but A.Harris scored moments later. Another Tubbs fumble was recovered by Gavins and returned to the LBCC 5; Bullock scored three plays later. Braman blocked a Fournier punt to set up LBCC's 2nd TD.