Returned PAT prevents shutout for Falcons

Rick Gomez

A blocked PAT returned by Santa Monica for two points was all it took to ruin a shutout produced by the Cerritos College football team’s defense in its 66-2 victory on Saturday at Cerritos College.

The defense forced a fumble inside Santa Monica’s 10-yard line, which led to a touchdown, forced 11 punts and linebacker Jack Francis returned a 55-yard interception for a touchdown.

Much of that success came from free safety Eric Russell who had four tackles and seven pass breakups.

Head coach Frank Mazzotta believes the success from the defense comes from players getting to the ball quickly and feels that if it weren’t for the two rare mistakes made from last week’s game and the blocked PAT, the defense would have allowed zero points.

“We’re running well on defense,” Mazzotta said.

Cerritos also displayed its versatility, scoring not only on offense but on special teams as well.

Wide receiver Dion Curry had a 49-yard punt returned for touchdown in the second quarter. He had a total of three returns for 117 yards.

Despite the touchdown on their first possession, the Falcons struggled offensively in the first quarter scoring only six and allowing two sacks and one interception.

After the first quarter, it was a different story.

Cerritos racked up 463 yards of total offense including a balance attack of 234 yards passing and 229 rushing.

Quarterback Chris Morales went 10-20 with 230 yards passing and connected with wide receiver Michael Willie four times for 155 yards.

Mazzotta was pleased with Morales’ performance noting that in his 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joshua Robbins in the second quarter, he made the right decision in the play.

Morales noticed the one on one match-up and decided to go long for Robbins in the end zone despite a different play being called.

“That’s knowing our offense,” Mazzotta said.

Cerritos will now have to travel to Long Beach City to avenge a loss to its cross-town rivals next Saturday.

Linebacker David Flores said there’s no concern facing a tougher team in Long Beach City after facing poor teams in East Los Angeles and Santa Monica.