Falcons football team catches The Comets off-guard

Robert Beaver

The Cerritos College football team’s offense attacked Palomar College early using a hurry-up offense that the Comets could not defend against on Oct. 6 at Escondido High School.

The Falcons’ offense resulted in a 21-0 first quarter lead that the Comets could not close throughout the remainder of the game.

The Falcons defeated the Comets 35-20 in the non-conference match up.

“It’s not like (Palomar’s) defense had holes in it,” Falcons head coach Frank Mazzotta said. “(Coach Dean) Grosfeld had a plan and he made the right calls at the right time. Whenever you jump out with a quick start against such a good team, it’s awesome. That’s a game changer. It creates momentum for our team.”

On the Falcons’ opening drive, quarterback Morgan Fennell converted on 4th and 14 as he found wide receiver Garion Manning open. Manning caught the pass for a 34-yard touchdown.

“(Palomar) didn’t expect us to go for it on fourth down,” Fennell said. “We had man-to-man coverage and we knew our athletes were better than (Palomar’s). We were planning to go for Garion, then he beat his man and that made it much better.”

Subsquently, Falcons’ defense held the Comets to a three-and-out, which put Cerritos College offense back on the field.

Fennell then landed a pass into the arms of wide receiver Robert Abeyta, who broke a tackle as he completed the 75-yard touchdown pass.

“We’ve scored on that play several times this year,” Fennell said.

Falcon’s defense came back on the field, where defensive back Travone Davis intercepted the ball, giving Falcons’ offense another opportunity.

Fennell then converted a 33-yard pass to Silver Vaifanua on the first play that set up runningback Donald Livingston for a short run into the end zone for more points.

“We put the ball where we wanted it to be,” Fennell said. “I wasn’t looking for big plays, the plays presented themselves. We were hitting (Palomar) and devastating them.”

“I’m satisfied with the first half because it showed what we can do as a team. In the second, we came out almost flat. We made a few turnovers that killed us, but we finished strong.”

The second half was almost a different story for Cerritos College offense. The Falcons fumbled three times and was scoreless in the third quarter.

Falcons’ defense stepped up and held Palomar to a field goal in the third quarter.

“We matched up well against (Palomar’s) receivers,” defensive back Theodore Chambers said. “We stopped a lot of (Palomar’s) passes and we held (Palomar) back on (its) running game. Our defense definitely stepped it up.”

Palomar landed a 23-yard touchdown pass that got the Comets within eight points of Cerritos College during the fourth quarter.

The Falcons then wasted the seven remaining minutes off the clock, and scored within the final seconds of the game.

“We played Palomar more than any other team in the last five years,” Mazzotta said. “We really respect what (the Comets) do and the outcome of this game was a really big deal for our coaches. This game was important and a really big win for us.”