Penalties stun Falcons as they fall to Ventura

Abraham Venegas, Staff Writer

When the victory seemed in the bag for the Cerritos College football team, Ventura scored a late touchdown with 13 seconds left to pull a 35-31 win.

This is the second defeat at home for the Falcons, who now have a two-game losing streak.

Tight-end Deon Washington said, “We have to work harder. This is two weeks straight that we defeat ourselves.”

Things started badly for the Falcons (2-2) as they were down 14-0 in the first quarter, but thanks to Brandon Romero’s 28-yard field-goal, the team ended the third quarter ahead at 23-21.

Ventura (2-2) was able to put itself back in the lead at the 6:53 mark, leading 28-23.

Cerritos wide-receiver Justin Caines was able to get a first down with a run of 10 yards at the 43-yard line.

Three plays later, quarterback Jimmy Walker completed a 21-yard pass to wide receiver De’Jai Whitaker for a touchdown, putting Cerritos ahead with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter.

Caines made a two-point conversion, giving the Falcons a 31-28 lead, but received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Running-back Sylvester Ani said, “Celebration was (what) killed it right there. (Our) defense had a short field and (it) put (the team) in a tough position.”

At the 41-yard line, the Pirates made a 25-yard pass completion, ultimately scoring the game-winning touchdown.

Cerritos attempted to regain the lead, but Walker’s pass was intercepted for the fourth time in the game.

A total of 29 penalties were called during the game, 10 of which went against Cerritos.

“We played well; penalties killed us and the special team killed us,” free-safety Davey Monette said. “We fought through it all but there (is no) coming back from that.”