Vaqueros fall to Antelope Valley in night game, 1-4 record this season

Max Mullins, Staff Writer

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The City College football team fell to Antelope Valley College 14-7 Saturday night, with the offense struggling to finish drives.

The Vaqueros moved the ball across the 50-yard line seven times but came away with just one touchdown.

The lone score came from an arching pass across the field from quarterback Bradley Kleven that running back Will Bayonne caught near the line-of-scrimmage and took to the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown.

The other six trips into Antelope Valley territory ended in two interceptions, two missed field goals, a punt and the end of the first half.

Despite the errors, City College still had a chance to win in the final minutes. 

A quick defensive stop would have given the offense another chance with the ball in a one-score game. The first few plays were promising, with the defense coming up with a tackle and forcing two incomplete passes. 

Antelope Valley punted the ball to City College, but the home team was flagged for roughing the kicker, resulting in a first down for the offense that all but ended the game.

The loss brings the Vaqueros to 1-4 on the season.

After the game, Head Coach Craig Moropoulos drew parallels between the loss and a 12-3 defeat against Citrus College last week.

“We found a way in this two-game stretch to shoot ourselves right in the toenails,” he said.

Quarterbacks Kleven and Scotty Forbes split snaps as the offense struggled to find a rhythm early, but Bayonne kept the team moving forward. He racked up 99 yards on 17 touches to go with his touchdown, but he was not satisfied with his performance.

“[How I played] doesn’t matter because we didn’t win,” he said. “If you ask me I played terrible because I didn’t do enough to get us the win.”

Moropoulos had a more positive assessment of the running back, singling him out as someone who played well and saying that he “ran hard.”

The defense also played well, led by linemen Jacob Shultz and Matthew Molina. 

Shultz totaled a team-high 10 tackles, with two and a half forcing a loss of yardage, and forced a fumble. His half-tackle was made possible due to an assist from a teammate. 

Molina added another eight tackles with one and a half for a loss and a pass breakup.

After giving up 51 and 63 points in the second and third games of the season, the Vaqueros have only allowed 26 total points over the last two weeks.

The defensive backs also made contributions, with Jordan Francis intercepting a pass and Cory Butler breaking up a deep ball.

“The defense played pretty well except on that first drive where they scored,” Molina said. “Improving the pass rush is gonna be big.”

With a bye week next week, coach Moropoulos said that the team would work on scoring once it was inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

As a whole, he was impressed with the team’s effort level.

“They played hard for 60 minutes,” Moropoulos said. “I can’t ask for much more than that. Our guys play hard.”

City College will be back in action at home against LA Pierce at 1 p.m on Oct. 19.

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