Undefeated LA Valley beats SBCC 47-35, secures bowl game spot

Sophomore+Cedric+Cooper+%28No.9%29+jumps+over+a+heap+of+defenders+in+the+third+quarter+for+a+touchdown+against+LA+Valley+on+Nov.+12%2C+at+City+College%E2%80%99s+La+Playa+Stadium.+City+College+lost+to+LA+Valley%2C+47-35.

MICHAELA WAHLSTROEM

Sophomore Cedric Cooper (No.9) jumps over a heap of defenders in the third quarter for a touchdown against LA Valley on Nov. 12, at City College’s La Playa Stadium. City College lost to LA Valley, 47-35.

OTHMAN MECHKOR, Sports Editor

The undefeated LA Valley football team (10-0) beat City College (7-3), 47-35, in the American Pacific League championship game at La Playa Stadium.

In the biggest game of the season for the Vaqueros, a plague of injuries prevented them from performing at their highest level.

This was a battle between the top two teams in the conference. The winner was crowned as the best in the division, securing a spot in a bowl game.

“You gotta give credit to LA Valley,” said head coach Craig Moropoulos. “We could of just quit when we only had 7 points, but we kept fighting back and made some good plays.”

Moropoulos acknowledged that the Monarchs are a great team with talented players. He also said he was impressed with the relentless attitude displayed by his squad, despite the injuries and newcomers stepping up.

Darian Albrecht, running back for the Monarchs, opened up the scoreboard early in the first quarter, scoring a 74-yard rushing touchdown up the middle of the field.

City College couldn’t find a way to stop the big run plays by LA Valley, ultimately giving up over 300 rushing yards on defense.

With a minute left in the second quarter, the Monarchs faked a field goal attempt, and instead tossed it into the endzone from 23-yards out.

Vaquero Jason-Matthew Sharsh, stand-out wide receiver, severely injured his foot during a play in the first quarter and had to be helped off the field. Sharsh was sidelined for the rest of the game with a cast around his ankle.

Sophomore Timothy Milliken (No.19) shows his sad emotions with his friend after The Vaqueros lose the game 47-35 to LA Valley on Nov. 12, 2016 at Santa Barbara City College, La Playa Stadium.
Sophomore Timothy Milliken (No.19) hugs his friend after the Vaqueros lose the game 47-35 to LA Valley on Nov. 12, at City College’s La Playa Stadium.

Starting quarterback Noah Holle, who returned to action following a broken wrist and concussion, was injured again in the fourth quarter and was replaced by third-string quarterback Timothy Milliken.

Holle started off rusty after missing the last two weeks, missing open receivers and throwing two interceptions. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half, stretching the Monarchs lead to 26-7 before halftime.

City College received the ball in the second half and scored off a 3-yd run by running back, Cedric Cooper, making it a two possession game. 

The Vaqueros sideline was energetic and eager to put together another comeback victory.

On the ensuing kick-off, Monarch kick-returner Ahkil Crumpton, returned the kick 86-yards for a touchdown, draining the Vaqueros momentum.

“They didn’t drive on us. It was all big plays,” said defensive back Tony Anderson, who came to play for City College from France. “We gave up too many big plays and runs.”

Anderson pointed to the fact that the Monarchs didn’t have success passing the ball, only gaining 85-yards through the air.

Milliken, who led the the Vaqueros to a double-overtime win against Citrus College, fumbled the ball late in the fourth quarter to seal the team’s fate.

Mistakes and injuries proved to be the tipping point for the Vaqueros. Although they managed to find ways to put points up on the board and occasionally stop the Monarchs aggressive and explosive run game, they were simply out played. 

It is still unclear if City College will be playing in a bowl game. Moropoulos said he will find out Sunday if the team made the cut.