Needing a win to keep their bowl possibilities alive, the Cerritos College football team dropped a 42-24 decision to visiting Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday. The loss, the Falcons second in a row, drops them to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in National Conference Central Division play. They host Palomar College next Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in their final regular season home game.
Trailing 16-3 late in the second quarter, the Falcons surrendered a 51-yard touchdown pass with :03 seconds left on the clock. The defense had blocked a Mountie field goal attempt on their last possession and proceeded to drive to the Mt. SAC 37-yard line with time running out. But after failing on fourth down, Mt. SAC took over possession and scored on their second play.
It was a 30-3 game before the Falcons started to generate more offense and cut into the Mountie lead. Freshman quarterback TJ McMahon (Servite HS) was picked off in the end zone on the team's ensuing possession but got the ball back after a Mountie punt. They went on an 11-play, 81-yard drive that included a 19-yard run by sophomore running back Carl Odom (West Jordan, UT HS) on third down, as well as a 23-yard pass reception by sophomore C.J. Parks (Mater Dei HS) to bring the ball to the Mt. SAC 27-yard line. Six plays later, Odom rushed in from a yard out.
The Mounties responded with a touchdown of their own, while the Falcons started their next drive at the 40-yard line after a nice 24-yard return by sophomore Jacobi Hardy (Long Beach Wilson HS/El Camino College). He opened the drive with a 19-yard run and accounted for all 45 yards on the ground, including the last nine for a touchdown with 10:24 left in the game.
The defense created another scoring chance for the Falcons when freshman Bijon Harris (Bellflower HS) stripped the ball from Marcus Brown, with freshman Omari Okeke (Bellflower HS) recovering the ball at the Cerritos 43-yard line. Freshman Hinckley Ropati (Downey HS) ripped off a 20-yard run on the first play and then kept the drive alive with an 8-yard run on third-and-three. McMahon, who was limited to 152 passing yards, carried the ball the final seven yards for a touchdown. The extra point by sophomore Paul Rodriguez (Troy HS) made it a 36-24 score with 2:06 remaining.
Cerritos did get the ball one more time and drove deep into Mountie territory. But on the last play of the game, Mt. SAC's Levon Barnett stepped in front of the pass in the end zone and raced 96 yards for a touchdown.
The Falcon rushing game did produce 254 yards, with Ropati (89 yards) and Odom (87 yards) leading the way, while Hardy added 62 yards on eight carries.
Defensively, freshman linebacker MichaelAllen Reddy (Los Alamitos HS) led the team with seven stops, with the duo of freshmen Logan Applewhite (Cathedral HS) and Cameron Minor (Mayfair HS) both finishing with six stops. Applewhite also had 3 1/2 tackles for loss and a sack.
Photos by Daryl Peterson
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