As the smell of fire in attendance and ashes floated through the air, the Cerritos College football team hosted El Camino College and lost by a score of 21-20 for the Central division title on Nov. 10.
With a win, Cerritos would have share the division title and punched their ticket into the Southern California regional playoffs.
With a loss, the Falcons now have a berth in a bowl game.
On back to back offensive drives, the Falcons gave up two fumbles which were both recovered by El Camino.
Cerritos defense forced three three-and-outs to give the ball back to the offense.
On the next offensive drive, sophomore running back No. 3 Rhamondre Stevenson accelerates through a big hole, courtesy of the offensive line, to set up the offense on their own 24-yard line.
A few plays later, freshman running back No. 34, David Walker pushed his way through the line for the 4-yard touchdown to give the Falcons its first lead of the game.
Cerritos defense came up big as they would get an interception to give the ball right back to the offense.
The Falcons offense would go three-and-out and would have the punt blocked to set up El Camino’s offense with great field position.
Just when it looked like El Camino was going to score, Cerritos defense came up big again as they picked the ball off for the second interception of the night.
After consistent amount of penalties and turnovers by both teams, the score remained 7-0 at halftime with Cerritos still leading.
Cerritos head coach Dean Grosfeld shared what adjustments he told his team at halftime.
“Not to turn the ball over and to catch the football.”
On the second offensive drive of the half, sophomore quarterback No.11 Isaiah Bravo, connected with sophomore wide receiver No.4 Jamal Tate for a long 94-yard touchdown to extend the Falcons lead 14-0.
El Camino’s special teams pulled a trick out of their bag as the warriors faked the punt and got the first down to extend their offense drive.
This trickery set up an El Camino touchdown to cut the Falcons lead to seven making the score 14-7.
Bravo and the offense would answer right back as Bravo would hit sophomore wide receiver No. 8 Jacob Gasser for a huge gain to set up the offense on El Camino’s 25-yard line.
A couple plays later, Bravo would throw his second touchdown pass of the night as he would find freshman wide receiver No.7 Jovohn Tucker wide open to extend their lead.
However, the point after touchdown would be blocked leaving the score 20-7.
In a very similar situation where El Camino’s offense looked like they were going to score, sophomore cornerback No. 20 Dior Denson would intercept the ball in the end zone to give the ball right back to Bravo and the offense.
Early in the fourth quarter, as everything seemed like it was going the Falcons way, Bravo would throw an interception to an El Camino defender, who took it the distance and scored a touchdown to keep the warriors in the game.
With 12:06 left in the fourth quarter, Cerritos lead the warriors 20-14.
Later in the fourth, on the most important drive of the game for both teams, the Falcons defense had El Camino staring at a must need fourth down conversion.
El Camino wouldn’t convert on fourth down but would be saved by a holding penalty called against the Falcons defense to extend their drive.
The warriors would score a touchdown a few plays later as they took their first lead of the game 21-20 with 1:36 left in the game.
As the Falcons offense looked at a fourth down, Bravo would roll out left and would fire an interception into the hands of another El Camino defender to end the game.
“The offense played horrible, and the quarterback can’t do what he’s told. That was the issue,” Coach Grosfeld stated on the fourth quarter performance.
Wide Receiver, Jacob Gasser, had similar words to say on the offense’s second half performance.
“We should’ve attacked their secondary more. I feel like their secondary was a weak point.
“We have a lot of weapons in the receiving core, guys that have wheels so we just got to get our guys the ball more and we do what we do,” Gasser said.
Despite the late touchdown given up by the Cerritos defense, cornerback Denson gave his thoughts on the defense’s performance.
“I feel like defensively, we played great. We had turnovers and made big stops.”
Defensive coordinator, Tom Caines thought his defense played great the whole night also but was disappointed on the last defensive stand.
Caines said, “It’s unfortunate that everybody will remember the last drive and how we didn’t get a stop when we needed to.”
Next week, the Falcons will host the Golden West Rustlers in the Southern California Bowl whom they played last year in the regular season and beat 36-21.
Game time will start at 6 p.m. at Falcon stadium on Nov. 17.