SBCC comes back to beat Citrus College in double overtime

Joseph+Osegueda+%28No.+14%29%2C+Vaquero+fourth+string+quarterback%2C+completes+a+pass+to+running+back+Cedric+Cooper+%28No.+9%29+for+a+15-yard+gain+during+the+second+quarter+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+29%2C+at+La+Playa+Stadium.+City+College+defeated+Citrus+College%2C+46-44%2C+in+double+overtime.

OTHMAN MECHKOR

Joseph Osegueda (No. 14), Vaquero fourth string quarterback, completes a pass to running back Cedric Cooper (No. 9) for a 15-yard gain during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 29, at La Playa Stadium. City College defeated Citrus College, 46-44, in double overtime.

OTHMAN MECHKOR, Sports Editor

The City College football team (6-2) rebounded from last week’s loss to Antelope Valley College, by defeating Citrus College, 46-44, in double overtime.

In one of the most dramatic games of the season, the Vaqueros found a way to comeback in the fourth quarter and force the game into overtime.

“It was such a flip-flop of emotions,” said Craig Moropoulos, Vaqueros head coach.

The game started with both teams failing to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball, but things quickly changed pace.

The Vaqueros defense had a difficult time defending the Owls running back duo Devin Floyd and Lawon Carney.

Floyd was was a perennial part of the offense and rushed for over 100 yards in the first half alone. Carney opened up the scoreboard to give them an early 7-0 lead.

City College couldn’t find its groove on offense and were adjusting to yet another new quarterback. They were also without their starting tight end Jacob Ortale, and starting running back Perry Martin.

Vaquero third string quarterback Timothy Milliken stepped up after backup quarterback Noah Holle broke his wrist in the loss against Allan Hancock College and received a concussion against Antelope Valley. His return for the season is questionable.

Milliken handed the ball off to wide receiver Elijah Cunningham, who ran it in for a touchdown from 11 yards out, making it a tied game early in the second quarter.

Citrus College led 14-10 heading into halftime and looked poised to give City College a challenge in the second half.

Ensuing the kick-off, tempers were flaring on both sides of the ball. Both teams were trash-talking, hitting each other after the referee blew his whistle and engaging in small scuffles. At times, the coaches of the two teams could be heard shouting at each other from opposite sides of the field.

Citrus started the half with a controversial deep touchdown pass, giving them a 21-10 lead.

It appeared the wide receiver for the Owls who caught the ball, didn’t maintain possession, resulting in the ball to fall out of his hands. However the referees still called it as a touchdown.

When the Vaqueros got the ball back on offense, running back Cedric Cooper started playing like he was a machine; picking up desperate first downs and making explosive plays to keep the Vaqueros in the game.

“Our biggest theme this year is not giving up,” said Cooper, “sideline, defense, offense, special teams— nobody gave up.”

Consistent running from Cooper set up an unexpected pass play. Milliken dropped back in the pocket and launched the ball 24 yards, connecting with Cunningham after he came down with the ball as two Owl defenders were wrapped around him in mid-air. This made the score 21-17, with Citrus still in the lead.

After the two teams went back and forth, exchanging scores, the Vaqueros found themselves in a sticky situation.

With under two minutes left to play, City College was down by one touchdown and the third-string quarterback leading the team.

Milliken marched his team down the field and at about the 50 yard line he threw an interception to Citrus defender, Demontez Carlton.

What should have been the game winning play for the Owls, turned out to be a blessing for the Vaqueros.

Carlton dropped the ball soon after he intercepted it and it was recovered by City College, giving them one last shot at the end zone.

With 20 seconds left, Milliken found Jason-Matthew Sharsh for a 3 yard touchdown pass, sending them into overtime.

City College won the coin toss and selected to start on offense in overtime. The Vaqueros scored the first touchdown and gave the Owls their chance at tying up the game.

The Owls successfully matched the Vaqueros’ touchdown, giving Citrus the ball yet again. The Owls scored for the second time in overtime but the extra point was blocked by Vaquero David Blevins who returned the blocked kick to the Vaqueros end-zone, making the score 44-38 and leaving the Vaqueros with yet again another chance to score.

From 8 yards out, Cooper ran the ball through a heap of Owl defenders and emerged with a touchdown. City College’s sideline ran onto the field and celebrated a miraculous win.

“At halftime some of the kids stood up and said, ‘we’re going to win because we want it more,’” said Moropoulos. “That’s exactly what they did and I’m proud of them.”

The Vaqueros will travel to Pierce College in Los Angeles next Saturday for another conference game and will close out the regular season at home on Saturday, Nov. 12, against L.A. Valley.