Vaqueros fall to Allan Hancock 28-13 in final home game of season


Marlena Hughes

Quarterback Scotty Forbes (No.1) passes to the Vaqueros while his teammates, Will Bayonne (No.2) and Daniel Rivera (No.55), defend against the Spikes on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 2, 2019, at La Playa Stadium at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros lost their last home game 13-28 to the Allan Hancock College Spikes.

Max Mullins, Staff Writer

A fourth-quarter comeback came up short as the City College football team fell to Allan Hancock College 28-13 in the last home game of the season on Saturday.

The loss drops them to 2-6, with a 1-2 conference record.

The visitors dominated early with a potent ground attack, racking up almost 400 rushing yards and four touchdowns at a robust 6.5 yards per attempt. They had four different players receive 10 or more carries, and all four posted over 60 yards.

Head Coach Craig Moropoulos said he was not surprised by Hancock’s gameplan.

“They’re gonna slam it down your throat,” he said, referring to the whopping 61 running plays that the visitors ran.

He stressed the importance of preventing big runs and making the opposition earn yards a few at a time.

“You’ve got to make them work,” Moropoulos said.

In contrast, the Vaqueros were bottled up to the tune of 23 yards at 1.3 yards per run. The lack of production on the ground put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks Bradley Kleven and Scotty Forbes to keep the offense moving through the air, with mixed results. 

Kleven started the game and led some efficient drives that stalled deep in Allan Hancock territory. He finished the first half having completed 12 of his 14 passes for 74 yards. 

The biggest blemish on his afternoon was a fumbled snap that turned the ball over on the opponent’s 10-yard line.

Forbes started the second half under center with the Vaqueros down 21-0, a decision that Moropoulos said came because it was “time to make a change.”

After an anemic third quarter with City College punting on all three of their drives and the visitors extending their lead to 28 points, Forbes and the offense found life in the final quarter.

Defensive pass interference on a deep ball to receiver Jarrod Favors picked up a chunk of yardage, and Forbes, who also returned punts, showed off his athleticism on a 21-yard scramble up the right sideline into Allan Hancock territory.

On the next play, a well-placed throw to wideout Cyrus Wallace from 39 yards out gave the Vaqueros their first points of the afternoon.

The defense quickly forced a punt, continuing a much-improved second half.

The ensuing City College drive stalled quickly but a muffed punt by Allan Hancock gave the home team the ball deep in the opponent’s territory.

The next snap was a beautifully designed trick play, where Forbes lateraled the ball to receiver Jahmal Cornwell on what looked like a screen pass before Cornwell fired deep to a wide-open Sammy Ortiz for a 32-yard score.

Down 28-13, the Vaqueros had another stop and tackled the punter before he could get the ball away to give the offense great field position and ignite real hope that a miracle comeback could be on its way, but three straight incompletions and a fourth-down interception in the end zone sealed the game.

“We missed a lot of opportunities, but we are almost where we want to be,” Forbes said after the game. “A lot of [the mistakes] are on me.”

Defensive lineman Jacob Shultz, who spent the afternoon in the opponent’s backfield echoed the sentiment.

“We’ve gotta capitalize,” he said. “We’ve gotta execute a little better.”

As a sophomore, Schultz said that the game had added meaning as his last at La Playa Stadium.

“I’m gonna miss playing here,” he said. “I love the crowd.”

Moropolous made sure to emphasize that not everything about the game was negative.

“These guys never gave up, they kept coming back,” Moropolous said.

The Vaqueros will be back in action on the road next week against Santa Monica College.