Football loses home opener, drops to 0-2

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Pete Moye'

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James Williams and James Williams

Pete Moye’
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Cerritos College quarterback Brandon Denker threw an interception into the hands of safety Devin Taverna, who returned it 31 yards into the end zone to give Palomar the score and the 41-27 win over the football team on Saturday.

The Comets handed Cerritos College its second straight loss to open the season, the first its happened since 1977.

Sophomore linebacker Josh Finau pointed out the Comets quarterback was a player that the defense needed to swarm around in order to have a successful night.

“Palomar’s quarterback David Fisher is a pretty good athlete, all around their whole team is pretty good,” Finau said, who was unable to play in the game due to an MCL injury suffered on Sept. 3 against Los Angeles Harbor.

The Falcons had that mindset going on in the early part of the opening quarter but fell apart upon the Comets first score.

The Comets got the first score of the game with four seconds remaining in the first quarter when Fisher threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Alex Wheat.

Denker ran the ball into the end zone for the team’s first touchdown in the remaining minute of the second quarter.

As the Falcons looked to tie the game against the Comets, Palomar blocked the field goal attempt by kicker Richard Valencia after the touchdown to keep the lead against the Falcons at 7-6.

Cerritos followed up with a blocked field goal of their own in the final seconds of the first half before heading to the locker room for halftime.

The Comets came out swinging once again, when kicker Cameron Mercado kicked a 33-yard field goal to give them a 10-6 lead.

Denker then threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Garion Manning in the third quarter to give Cerritos its first lead of the game at 13-10.

The Comets quickly answered back with another field goal attempt made by Mercado to tie the game 13-13.

Palomar running back Chad Dobbins had a five-yard run into the end zone to give the lead back to the Comets at 20-13.

Cerritos wide receiver Lindsey Anderson had 121 receiving yards in the game and one touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter when Denker threw to Anderson for a 19-yard diving catch into the end zone to tie the game, back up at 20-20.

Fisher responded with a 47-yard touchdown pass to Wheat to put the Comets back up 27-20.

The Falcons scored on their next possession when running back Donald Livingston ran into the end zone to tie the game at 27-27 with 5:09 left to play in the game.

Palomar rushed into the end zone with a touchdown to break the tie at 34-27 with 2:22 left in the game.

The Comets added to their lead when Taverna, returned the 31-yard intercepted pass for a touchdown.

Denker held the offense together throughout the night throwing for 224 yards on 21 completions.

Denker also had two touchdowns through the air for the Falcons, both of which came during the second half of the game.

“Our defense did well, but offense just could not get it together until it was too late,” Anderson said.

Despite the loss, freshman defensive tackle Kyle Peko saw some good that did come out of the game as a team.

“I think we did well, I think we came together more as a team better than last week, we were not as prepared as we were last week,” Peko said.

The Falcons will look to pick up its first win of the season next week on the road against rival Long Beach City College on Saturday at Veteran’s Stadium.

Cerritos leads the series against Long Beach City College 29-22-1.

The Falcons are looking to make it 30 wins for the series as well as keep the Crosstown Cup in their possession much like they have over the last two seasons.

“They are going to have to turn it up, and hopefully they got all the jitters out last game and do what they do best,” Finau added.