MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — East Los Angeles College Huskies football team made a bold statement in their National Division Northern League opener with a 20-13 win over Long Beach City College, Oct. 13.
The Huskies have arrived and are here to play football.
In winning its first-ever Northern League game against a good Long Beach team, who is No. 14-ranked in the state (CCCSIA Oct. 1 Poll), the Huskies displayed bold, gutsy plays.
In fact, ELAC took a 10-0 lead before the Long Beach offense entered the field and were flat-out dominant in the first quarter. With a stingy defense and a quarterback Miguel Aguero (Schurr High School) led offense, the Huskies outgained Long Beach 107-17 in total yardage during the first 15 minutes.
Both teams had their ups and downs with mistakes dictating play throughout, four fumbles for Long Beach and 206 yards in penalties for ELAC, each the most in the state tonight.
As the game wound down to the waning seconds, Long Beach remained on the hunt.
The Huskies took a 20-13 lead with 1:32 left when freshman kicker Juan Rangel (Mendez HS) completed a 37-yard field goal. Long Beach marched to the red zone with 0:23 seconds left. Quarterback Drake Peabody (Torrance HS) was sacked for a four-yard loss. With 10 seconds left and pressured by the relentless Husky defense, Peabody overthrew two passes in the end zone, the latter just as time expired.
"We were going to be as aggressive as we could tonight,” said ELAC Assistant Coach Ronnie Castillo. “I’m proud of the team in taking it one play at a time and adjusting to overcome mistakes, which almost cost us the game.”
The game opened with the Huskies recovering their 22-yard on-side kickoff at the Long Beach 43-yard line enroute to a 32-yard field goal from Rangel.
The Huskies recovered their second-straight pooch on-side kickoff, this one at the Long Beach 47-yard line. On 4-and-2 on the 25-yard line, Aguero threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to freshman Cleo Session Jr. (Garfield HS). ELAC led 10-0 with 6:39 left in the first.
Long Beach scored a touchdown thirty-one seconds later from a 48-yard run by freshman running back Teshawn White (Inglewood HS) then tied it with 0:58 seconds left in the third from a 25-yard field goal by Agustin Delgadillo (Carson HS).
ELAC took back the lead 17-13 with a momentum changing quarterback Phillip Tran 19-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Tredious Thomas (Huntington Park HS) with 10:19 remaining in the game. Tran was 4-for-4 on the 5-play 62-yard drive.
“Tonight’s win was about doing the best by playing for the guy next to you,” said Redshirt freshman George Alvarez. “We locked it in, played for each other and ourselves and came through because we believed we could when it came down to it.”
ELAC rotates three quarterbacks who threw for a total of 227 yards. Aguero was 17-of-23 for 115 yards, an interception and a touchdown, Tran was 6-of-7 for 57 yards and a touchdown and Paul Herrera (Huntingtin Park HS), who threw a 40-yard touchdown pass that was called back because of an ELAC penalty, was 4-for-10 with 55 yards including a toss of 44 yards.
“Having three quarterbacks that can play at a high level is a good problem to have,” said ELAC Assistant Coach Art Hoomiratana. “They’re all good and we try each one when needed to give us a spark.”
Running back Cannan Chandler rushed for 114 yards from 12 carries including a 65-yarder. Garrett Rogers (Don Lugo HS) had six tackles, five of them solo, and two of ELAC’s four quarterback sacks.
In other league action, College of the Canyons (6-0, 1-0) and won 36-3 at Moorpark College (1-5, 0-1) and Ventura College (5-1, 1-0) won 23-10 against Bakersfield (3-3, 0-1).
Next Saturday’s action has ELAC at Canyons (6 p.m.), Bakersfield at Long Beach (5 p.m.) and Ventura hosting rival Moorpark (6 p.m.).
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
submitted by Tadzio Garcia