MONTEREY PARK, CA — The No. 22 preseason state-ranked East Los Angeles College football team defeated Orange Coast College, 31-22, in its season opener.
ELAC led the entire game and outgained Orange Coast in total yardage 462-348.
“We executed the style of play we wanted to and our staff did a phenomenal job of preparing these guys (ELAC),” said ELAC head coach Bobby Godinez. “The kids worked really, really hard. Based on that, we dominated in our own right against a great football team.”
ELAC opened the game with a 47 yard, 6-play drive that ended on a 4th-and-six gamble at the Orange Coast 43-yard line. The OCC line stopped ELAC after a two-yard gain.
“They were very physical up front and in between the tackles they hit us with a blow early, but we adjusted and made corrections, (which) will definitely benefit us going forward,” said sophomore defensive lineman Amarray Jay (North Carolina / Northern Durham HS).
ELAC scored on its second series, a one play drive that lit up the vocal home crowd. Freshman quarterback Phillip Tran (San Jose / Archbishop Mitty High School) threw an 80-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Kenny Allen (Fairfax HS) three minutes into the game.
Orange Coast closed the gap to 7-6, which was the score after the first quarter.
The Huskies put together a nine play, 82-yard drive and scored with 6:29 left in the half, a two-yard run from sophomore running back Nicholas Hutson (Paramount HS). ELAC led at the half, 14-6.
After Orange Coast added a two-yard touchdown run from Nico Jackson, ELAC added a field goal. Freshman kicker Hector Gomez (Roosevelt HS) kicked a 42-yarder with 00:37 seconds left in the third quarter.
After an Orange Coast 37-yard field goal by Corey Lewis, ELAC scored two straight touchdowns on the ground in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore running back Lavell Thompson (South Gate HS) scored a 14-yard run with 9:02 remaining in the game. Freshman running back Kameron Johnson (Monrovia HS) added a touchdown with a five-yard run. The Huskies led 31-16 with 4:15 left in the game.
The Huskies had to fight off their miscues, 143 yards in penalties.
“A lot of the times the penalties were a result of how aggressive we teach our guys and how aggressive we want our guys to be,” said Godinez. “Now we need to learn to modify that aggression into smart aggression. I’d rather pull them back on being overly aggressive than to tell them they need to be aggressive.”
“We need to fix those penalties and when we do it’s going to be a smart football team,” said Godinez.
Tran completed 18-of-30 passes for 293 yards and one touchdown. Although four Huskies scored six points each, Gomez led the Huskies in scoring today with seven points that included four PATs.
Orange Coast Nico Jackson rushed for a game-high 103 yards and teammate Pete Mitchell ran for 97 yards.
ELAC freshman running back Kameron Johnson (Monrovia HS) rushed for 41 yards. Sophomore running back Marquis Arnold (South Carolina / Seneca HS) had a 36-yard run, the longest of the night for the Huskies.
Allen caught two passes for a game-high 84 yards. Sophomore wide reliever Jamal Tate (Victor Valley HS) hauled in four passes for 73 yards with a long of 36.
Freshman kicker Kevin Bravo (Montebello HS) averaged 39.2 yards per punt (six) with a long of 55 yards. Freshman kicker Daniel Hoefferle (Mountain Park HS) kicked a kickoff for 56 yards.
Defensive standouts included freshman Garrett Rogers (Don Lugo HS) and Trestan Kueneman (Chino HS) who had 10 and nine tackles, respectively.
Kueneman had five unassisted tackles.
Sophomore defensive back Aubrey Mosley-Laughlin (Monrovia HS) had seven tackles. Three Husky sophomores each had six tackles, Sione Vea (Honolulu, HI / Kalani HS) who had four unassisted, Trevon Bordrick (Wilmington, DE / Howard HS of Technology) and Elijah Quarles (Pasadena HS).
Vea had three quarterback sacks and Kueneman had two.
“The (ELAC) defensive backs did well across the board. Speaking about everybody, we did well in a lot of areas but there’s still a lot to fix,” said assistant coach Andrew Tree. “We have a long way to go in a lot of areas, but I think that says how talented this team is. Orange Coast is a very, very good football team. The probably feel they didn’t bring their ‘A’ game either.”
ELAC (1-0) is on the road vs. Allan Hancock College (0-1) in Santa Maria on Saturday, Sept. 9 starting at 2 p.m.
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submitted by Tadzio Garcia