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Sophomore defensive lineman Sione Vea is air bound trying to block a punt in a 49-7 win against ECC Compton. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)
Sophomore defensive lineman Sione Vea is air bound trying to block a punt in a 49-7 win against ECC Compton. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

Huskies bounce back with a 49-7 win

Monterey Park CA — The East Los Angeles College football team defeated ECC Compton 49-7 in a Metro League game a week after losing 75-61 in the Santa Ana College showdown.

The Huskies improved to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Metro League.

“It’s always good to win, especially when you feel the morale of the team,” said ELAC Head Coach Bobby Godinez. “The guys got their swagger back and the best thing is that we played everyone on the team.”

One of the highlights of the game included the home crowd’s reaction when freshman defensive back Antoinette Harris (MI / Redford Union HS) entered the field of play.

When Harris walked on the field in the fourth quarter, the student body cheered for her with chants such as “Let’s Go Toni,” and “To-ni, To-ni, To-ni.”

The University of Notre Dame may have their Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, which was made into a movie (Rudy), but ELAC has their “Toni.”

The lights went out in the almost four-hour marathon game. The Huskies lit up the stadium afterwards with electrifying touchdowns.

ELAC continued its rhythm on offense (492 total offense last week) and outgained Compton 398 yards to 85 with the Husky defense holding the Tartars to an average of 1.5 yards per play.

The ELAC defense had four quarterback sacks adding to its season total of 18, fifth-most in the state.

The game had its moments, but all in all, it wasn’t too pretty. ELAC was playing a winless team yet still put forward a mistake-ridden game.

ELAC had 22 penalties for 203 yards and lost three fumbles, but their solace was that the defense stopped Compton from taking advantage of the Husky miscues, while the offense cashed in on Compton’s giveaways.

ELAC continues to be one of the top two penalized teams in the state. There comes a time when the ELAC sideline should stop blaming the referees and work on their on-field conduct.

The first half

In the first quarter, Compton punted after their first series was stopped and the Huskies fumbled the return at their 45-yard line.

The Huskies got the momentum back three plays later when sophomore defensive lineman Trestan Kueneman (Chino High School) intercepted a Tartar pass and returned it 10 yards.

Two minutes and 29 seconds later ELAC got another interception, this one from freshman linebacker Garrett Rogers (Don Lugo HS) who ran it for 54 yards to the Compton 2-yard line.

“I dropped back in the coverage,” said Rogers. “I saw the quarterback move in and picked it off.” Rogers scrambled out of traffic and raced down the sideline.

One play later, sophomore running back Nicholas Hutson (Paramount HS) scored and ELAC led 7-0 with 5:32 left in the first quarter.

The next score belonged to ELAC from two standout plays, the first a season-high 62-yard punt from ELAC freshman kicker Kevin Bravo (Montebello HS) to the Compton 1-yard line.

On the next play ELAC sophomore linebacker Elijah Quarles (Pasadena HS) forced a Compton fumble, which Rogers recovered for a Husky touchdown. The crowd acknowledged Rogers after the score.

ELAC led 14-0 with 12:39 left in the half.

A Husky miscue with 9:52 left in the half, gave Compton a first down at the ELAC 40-yard line. Compton cashed in on the next play with a Da'jon Dinkins pass to Jordan Kelly for 40 yards and a touchdown.

ELAC led 14-7 with 9:44 remaining in the half.

ELAC sophomore defensive back Toure Wallace (Chicago Vocational HS) returned Tartar Gabino Barrera’s 61-yard kickoff, 46 yards to the 50-yard line and the stadium noise moved over to the ELAC side.

ELAC followed with a 13-play, 50-yard drive. The Huskies were stopped on a 4th-and-goal at the 4-yard line, but a Compton encroachment penalty kept the drive alive.

ELAC cashed in two plays later and scored a 1-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Marquis Arnold (South Carolina / Seneca HS) and led 21-7 at the 2:56 mark.

Following a Compton 18-yard punt at 1:31, the Huskies were set at the Compton 47-yard line with 1:19 left in the half.

Four plays later, freshman quarterback Phillip Tran (San Jose / Archbishop Mitty HS) scored with a 33-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Kenny Allen (Fairfax HS) with 00:28 seconds left until the half and. ELAC led 28-7.

The second half

The fireworks continued in the third quarter for ELAC, which began with a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback freshman Paul Herrera (Aspire Pacific Academy) to sophomore wide receiver Garrison Harris.

ELAC led 35-7 with less than two minutes into the third quarter.

The play of the game for the Huskies followed a little more than three minutes later.

On 2nd-and-17 Herrera scrambled the width of the field from one sideline to the other, almost 50 yards, and completed a touchdown pass to Allen for 47 yards, which brought the house down.

“First, I was looking downfield waiting for my teammates to get open and had to move towards the left (sideline),” said Herrera. “I had to scramble a little more because I saw the end who grabbed onto my arm, so I ran back the opposite way and saw Kenny (Allen) waving his hand wide open.”

The Huskies led 42-7 after the 2-play drive with 9:48 left in the third quarter.

ELAC scored from a 10-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Lavell Thompson (South Gate HS).

Thompson accounted for 42 yards on the ground in the 3-play, 68-yard drive. Compton added the other yards, 26, in penalties.

Husky stats

Tran went 11-of-21 for 170 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half. Herrera was 6-of-13 passing for 86 yards and two touchdowns, all in the second half.

Sophomore defensive back Sherrod Crayton (Manual Arts HS) hauled in a third Husky interception.

Allen led the Huskies in reception yardage for the fourth time this season with four catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Harris added 46 yards from four receptions with one touchdown.

On the ground, Hutson led ELAC with 45 yards rushing in 12 carries, Thompson carried the ball four times for 43 yards and Arnold rushed five times for 32 yards, each with a touchdown.

Special teams had a season-best night.

Three Huskies electrified the crowd with long returns. Sophomore defensive back Raeshawn Roland (Arcadia HS) returned a punt for 54 yards; Wallace and Arnold returned kickoffs for 46 and 33 yards, respectively.

Freshman kicker Hector Gomez (Roosevelt HS) hit 7-of-7 PATs and has connected on 16 straight in three games; Bravo punted four times for an average of 42.8 yards per punt and freshman kicker Daniel Hoefferle (Monrovia Mountain Park HS) averaged 55.6 yards on eight kickoffs with one touchback.

Sophomore defensive lineman Ahmad Diallo (NC / Southern Guilford HS) led the Huskies in tackles with five, Rogers had four and freshman linebacker Alexander Guerra (Brea HS) was one of seven Huskies with three.

Three Husky sacks were from (one each) sophomore linebacker Brentton Hill (Tracy HS), sophomore defensive lineman Tysean Brown (Monrovia HS) and sophomore defensive lineman Joshua Roy (El Rancho HS).

Two ELAC freshman defensive linemen shared the other Compton sack, Jordan Strong (Las Vegas / Ed Clark HS) and Jeremiah Jones (Pasadena HS).

Other Metro League results from tonight included Pasadena City College (3-3, 2-0) winning 58-22 vs. West LA College and Santa Ana College (3-3, 2-0) with a 44-14 win against LA Southwest College.

Glendale Community College (0-5, 0-1) had a bye.

The Huskies play at Southwest (0-5, 0-1) next Saturday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. Southwest has played four ranked teams and is tougher than their record indicates.

“We have to focus on us and make sure we clean up our mistakes, the tale of the year,” said Godinez.

The college is located at 1600 West imperial Hwy, LA, CA 90047.

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submitted by Tadzio Garcia