Long Beach outlasts Cerritos 28-24

The Long Beach City College football team outlasted host Cerritos College 28-24 for a non-conference win at Falcon Stadium on Saturday in Norwalk.

The Vikings (2-1) rallied for 14 points in the fourth quarter and turned three second-half Cerritos turnovers into 21 points.

The biggest play came from freshman safety Iosefo Mikaele with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter.

Facing fourth down and 19 yards to go, Cerritos was forced from its own 37 yard line. On the play, Cerritos punter Jared Hall couldn't handle the snap and Mikaele came in from the left side, scooped up the loose ball and rumbled in 21 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to give LBCC the 28-24 lead.

Cerritos had two more chances to come back late in the fourth quarter, but on their ensuing drive freshman defensive back Roderick Cohn forced and recovered a fumble at the LBCC 36 yards line to end that threat.

But Cerritos would get one final opportunity to take the game.

After a three and out, LBCC's punt was downed at their own 49-yard line giving the Falcons excellent field position with 3:41 left in the game.

But the Long Beach defense came up wth another big play when it had to. Facing fourth and three from the LBCC 10 yard, wide receiver Sheldon Smith was stopped short of the first-down marker at the Long Beach nine-yard line by freshman cornerback Curtis Johnson to preserve the win.

Sophomore quarterback Josh Powell threw for 291 yards on 24 of 43 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore wide receiver Leonard Willis led the Vikings with nine catches for 127 yards.

Sophomore wide receiver Stephen Burton added two more touchdowns to give him seven in three games. He ran in a one-yard TD at 14:57 in the fourth and added a 24-yard TD reception with 11 seconds left in the second quarter. He posted five receptions for 67 yards.

The loss dropped Cerritos to 2-1. With the win, Long Beach regains the Crosstown Cup, the perpetual trophy given to the winner of the rivalry game.

Long Beach returns to action next Saturday (Sept. 27) when it hosts West Los Angeles College in a 6 p.m. non-conference game at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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