Vaqs football wins a nail biter

Dan Nelson, Dan Nelson, and Dan Nelson


The City College football team stunned L.A. Southwest at La Playa Stadium Saturday night in dramatic fashion by pulling off a 26-21 victory in a game that went down to the final minute.


Quarterback John Uribe completed 21-of-33 passes and threw for a college career-high 330 yards.


Down 21-19, Uribe had just 1:19 left in the fourth quarter to lead his team to victory.

He only needed 18 of those seconds, as he hit Art Gonzalez streaking down the sideline for a 72-yard pickup.


Michael Douglas capped off the drive with a 16-yard run to take a 26-21 lead pending an extra point.


Gonzalez had seven receptions for 140 yards. Chad Toocheck also hauled in seven catches for 119 yards.


“Nobody doubted that we could win that game no matter how bad the odds seemed,” said Sophomore linebacker and defensive captain Sam Shipley.


“I’ve never been involved in anything like that,” said head coach Craig Moropoulos. “My halfback pass I called didn’t work, and that play call [to Gonzalez] did and I’ll take it.”


Douglas ended the night with two touchdowns. He also had 24 rushes for 123 yards, none of which were more critical than the 16 that gave the Vaqueros the go-ahead score.


“We run until they give us the pass,” Douglas put humbly. “At one point they were stuffing the run and we went back to the pass, then back to the run, whatever’s open.”


The second half was a defensive chess match. While turnovers were a recurring theme for both teams, City College claimed the takeaways when they mattered most. The Vaqs managed to overcome miscues on two onside kicks that resulted in recoveries by L.A. Southwest.


“It’s minimizing the mistakes on special teams,” said Moropoulos. “If we can do that we’ll be a better football team.”


The Vaqs forced a safety to make it a two-point game after a halfback pass that resulted in an interception on L.A. Southwest’s 1-yard line.


“The past couple of games we’ve had moments of greatness,” Shipley said. “True families can overcome great amounts of adversity no matter how bad things seem.”


The Vaqueros defense, lead by Shipley’s 16 tackles, recovered a botched quarterback kneel with just over a minute to play that lead to the game-winning touchdown. Matthew Arve sealed the game with an interception after the Douglas’ rushing score.


“It was amazing for me looking at all the other players’ eyes and you could see we were all focued on the same goal,” Shipley said.


The Vaqueros are now 2-3 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. City College will travel to take on Santa Monica College 6 p.m. Saturday in Santa Monica.


“Offense relies on defense and defense relies on offense,” said Moropoulos. “And if just keep building that belief we will be a good football team.”