by Ed Gonzalez, Special to the Mirror
LaVaughn Macon ran for 121 yards and the Corsair defense forced four turnovers in the second half as Santa Monica College ended its three-game losing streak Saturday, Oct. 28 in a 21-10 victory over East Los Angeles College at Corsair Field.
Trailing 10-0 at halftime, Santa Monica head coach Robert Taylor decided to pull quarterback Colin Clancy who had only completed two passes for 12 yards in favor of freshman Brandon Howell.
While Howell finished five of nine passes for 56 yards and a touchdown pass, it was the play of Santa Monica’s defense and the challenge the defensive coordinator Rory Barnett placed on his players at halftime that help lead the Corsairs to a come from behind victory.
“I told them that in the first half they played well, but it was not good enough, we need to create more turnovers to give our offense an opportunity to put the ball in the end zone,” said Barnett.
The Corsairs got on the scoreboard for the first time as the third quarter ended as Jamal Bernard recovered a fumble for Santa Monica at East LA’s 47-yard line. Five plays later, Howell connected with Carlton Richard for a 17-yard touchdown to cut the Husky lead to 10-7.
Santa Monica forced another fumble on East LA’s next possession as quarterback Nicolas Acuna dropped the snap and linebacker Stephen Peterson recovered the ball at the Husky 19-yard line. The Corsairs took the lead for good on a Macon 15-yard touchdown run with 12:30 remaining in the game.
SMC head coach Robert Taylor was encouraged by the play of his defense.
“Our defense stepped up this entire football game,” he said. “They only allowed three points in this game. That’s a pretty good job in 60 minutes.”
Santa Monica (2-6, 2-3 Western State Conference) will celebrate homecoming festivities Saturday, Nov. 4 against Glendale College (7-1, 4-1 WSC) with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m.
An Athletic Hall of Fame banquet will precede the game at 2 p.m., with inductees to including Olympic Gold Medalist and former SMC track coach Tommie Smith.