Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

TM Digital Newsletter

TM TikTok

Offensive lineman Palafox ejected from home opener

Offensive tackle Joel Palafox.
Offensive tackle Joel Palafox.

Offensive tackle Joel Palafox.

Cerritos College football Offensive Lineman Joel Palafox was involved in a physical altercation with two Cerritos College defensive backs and was ejected during the Falcons’ 41-27 loss against Palomar College on Saturday.

“My teammate pushed me and I [punched] him. They made me look like the bad guy,” Palafox said. “All I did was defend myself.”

The 325-pound lineman said the conflict started because he was sitting on the Cerritos College defensive player bench and his teammates wanted the spot where he was sitting.

Palafox was the only player removed from the game and while walking to the field house, he threw his shoulder pads to the ground.

Athletic Director Dan Clauss, who followed Palafox to the locker room, declined to provide any additional details immediately after the game.

Head Football Coach Frank Mazzotta believes that the conflict started because of Palafox’s frustration of not playing.

Mazzotta argued that Palafox turned the story around and that the defensive backs were actually sitting and that Palafox was the one that approached them.

During the game, Falcons’ Defensive Coordinator Tom Caines was overheard saying, “That guy is not a Falcon, you guys are,” attempting to help his team regain focus on the game.

After leaving the locker room, Palafox met with members of his family who refused to leave the campus until they spoke with Mazzotta.

Along with wanting to clear up what happened, Palafox’s mother, Leticia, wanted the other players involved with the altercation to also be dismissed from the game like he was.

She also claimed that his ejection from the game was a form of discrimination and that he was ejected because he is of Native American descent.

Defensive end Dominic Tiapula talked to Palafox after the incident began to die down.

He said he gave his teammate words of encouragement.

“Some people let anger get [the best] of them. Life is too short to deal with this kind of stuff. We are all teammates,” Tiapula said.

Palafox’s future with the team was answered by Mazzotta, “It may help our team out not having him because I don’t think we have two guys on the team that like him.”

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Talon Marks Picks TM Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Offensive lineman Palafox ejected from home opener