The Santa Monica College (SMC) Corsair defense came through in a pinch, winning their second straight game 26-20 in two overtimes against the East LA College (ELAC) Huskies on Saturday night.
Following a 26-yard run by SMC running back Myles Johnson in the second overtime, ELAC had the chance to win the game after blocking the extra point.
The Huskies were threatening with first-and-goal from the nine-yard line. In three plays, the Huskies pushed their way to the two.
But Brian Hawthorne stuffed ELAC’s Marquel Booker five yards behind the line of scrimmage to secure the victory.
“We played well enough to win,” said SMC Head Football Coach Gifford Lindheim. “The defense was able to have a big-time stop to win the game in overtime.”
SMC quarterback Alfonso Medina was 12 for 24 for 152 yards with one interception and one touchdown pass to Aaron Jones. Alonzo Frederick led all backs with 66 rushing yards, but Johnson and Daniel Pipkin were the heroes of overtime. Pipkin plunged in from a yard out in the first overtime to send it to the second, where Johnson’s scamper was enough to hold off the Huskies.
“Myles Johnson played a very good game,” said Lindheim. “He was the difference-maker out there.”
SMC almost lost this game with 10 penalties pushing them back 90 yards.
Fortunately for SMC, ELAC had 99 yards in penalties.
“We can’t be a highly penalized team and win,” said Lindheim. The Corsairs can consider themselves lucky that they had a good, “cumulative group effort on defense,” according to Lindheim.
ELAC’s Mike Oliver terrorized the Corsair secondary for 218 yards on 17-of-37 passing and three touchdowns, including two to Chris Clark. But Oliver’s pass on third down in the second overtime to Carlos Portillo was two yards short of being the difference. That set up the turnover on downs that won the game for SMC.
“We need to continue to get better week to week,” said Lindheim. “There are things we need to improve. We will have our hands full next week.”
The Corsairs are playing Santa Ana at Santa Ana College next Saturday at 1 p.m.
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