by Cerwin D. Haynes
(photo/thumb by Tadzio Garcia)
An evenly, hard-fought battle between two quality teams found the Huskies coming up short to the Mt. San Antonio College Mounties, 21-16.
ELAC was able to move the ball on the Mounties, and had opportunities in the red zone to put touchdowns on the board. Late in the first quarter with the Huskies up 3-0, QB Wesley Blazek threw an end-zone pass to the 6' 7", red-zone-specialist WR Darren Jones on first and ten from the Mountie 15-yd line. But DB Treshon Pickett got inside position on the pass and intercepted it in the end zone for the touchback. In the third quarter, now down 14-3, Blazek hits WR Bryan Jones on a 58-yd catch-and-run deep to set up first and goal at the Mt. SAC 9. But a sack of QB Jamaal Evans by Tyrone Taleni pushed the Huskies back, and they had to settle for a 33-yd field goal by Juan Rangel to cut the lead to 14-6.
Midway through the fourth quarter, defensive lineman Ben Key - now on offense as a running back - punched in a 1-yd touchdown run on fourth-and-goal, pulling the Huskies within five of the Mounities at 21-16. The East Los Angeles defense forces a three-and-out on the next series, and ELAC would then receive it's biggest gift of the game: on fourth-down, the Mountie punter fumbles the snap and is forced to fall on the ball. That gave the Huskies first and ten at the Mt. SAC 15.
Needing a touchdown to take the lead, the Huskies instead moved backwards thanks to a penalty and a key third-down sack of Blazek. Rangel's line drive 43-yd attempt would sail right of the goalposts, and ELAC came up empty-handed with six minutes to go in the game.
Mt. SAC would then use the running of Rachaad White to whittle down the clock to 11.6 seconds left. With once last chance on a fourth-and one from the ELAC 40, the Husky defense was flagged for encroachment. That gave the Mounties their final first down and the ballgame.
ELAC (2-2) now travels down to (near) the border to take on Southwestern College (3-1) in Chula Vista next Saturday October 5.. Gametime is 6pm.
Mt. San Antonio scored their three touchdowns on long plays: a 48-yd touchdown pass late in the 2nd quarter, a 56-yd touchdown run early in the third and a 66-yd touchdown pass in the fourth.
The second half saw standout defensive lineman Ben Key premiere as a running back when ELAC was in the red zone. He would score the Huskies' aforementioned lone touchdown in the 4th quarter. He also had a seven-yard tackle-for-loss in the first quarter
Georgia-native Emmanuel Cater recorded a key third-down sack in the third quarter.
DB Aaron Hill snuffed out a late second-quarter Mountie threat by picking off a pass in the endzone. It kept ELAC down only four (7-3) going into halftime.
During halftime, the undefeated 1974 Huskies' state championship team was honored with a special presentation. Current ELAC Wrestling head coach Ralph Valle was one of former players in attendance.