Football: Falcons to host Golden West in bowl game

The Falcons were selected to play in the Southern California Bowl
The Falcons were selected to play in the Southern California Bowl

For the first time since the 2014 season, the Cerritos College football team will be participating in a post-season bowl game. The Falcons (6-4), who finished in second place in the Central Division. will be hosting Golden West College (6-4) who tied for second place in the Southern Division and will play in the Southern California Bowl at 6:00 p.m. Saturday at Falcon Stadium. Cerritos leads the overall series against the Rustler, 19-5, including a 36-23 win in 2017. Tickets for the game will be available at the ticket booth the night of the game and will cost $12 for general admission and $8 for students and staff with current ID, seniors 60 and over and children under 12 years old.

Cerritos, who came within two points of winning the divisional title and earning a berth in the playoffs, have lost their last two games. By contrast, Golden West has won their last two games. Both teams were the recipient of a forfeit win against Fullerton College, as well.

The Falcons are led by record-setting running back Rhamondre Stevenson (Centennial, NV HS), who leads the state with 1,881 yards, which is also a single-season school record. He was 'limited' to 175 yards on 19 carries in the 21-20 loss to El Camino College and has eclipsed the 200-yard mark three times. He also set a new school record with his 339 rushing yards against Long Beach City College. Sophomore quarterback Isaiah Bravo (West Covina HS) has thrown for 2,011 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year, while completing 53% of his passes. His two favorite receivers on the year have been sophomore Jacob Gasser (Los Alamitos HS) and freshman C.J. Parks (Mater Dei HS), who have each pulled in 31 passes.

Gasser has turned his receptions into 627 yards and three touchdowns, while Parks had 365 receiving yards and four have reached the end zone. Also on Bravo's radar have been a pair of big-strike receivers in freshman Jovohn Tucker (St. John Bosco HS), with 22 catches for 541 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns, and sophomore Jamal Tate (Victor Valley HS/Victor Valley College), with 13 catched for 229 yards, which includes a 94-yard scoring play.

Sophomore linebackers Latrell Stearns (Gahr HS) and Tishawn Barnaby (Centennial, NV HS) both have over 80 tackles on the season and have combined for 6 1/2 tackles for loss. Stearns leads the defense with three interception returns for touchdown, while Dior Denson (Gahr HS) has posted a team-high four picks this season. Sophomore defensive ends Jordan Thomas (Norwalk HS) and Jason Nettles (Long Beach Poly HS) have had superb seasons, while freshman Noah Guzman (Bishop Amat HS) leads the secondary with 71 tackles. Nettles has 65 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven quarterback sacks this year, while Thomas has posted 47 tackles, with eight of them for loss.

The Rustlers have turned to quarterback Beau Kalbacher this season and he has responded with 2,136 yards and 18 touchdowns, with David Atencio leading the team with 49 catches for 505 yards and four scores. Four receivers have caught over 30 passes on the year and all for over 350 yards each and a combined 14 touchdowns. On the ground Tevon Valdez leads Golden West with 325 yards, while the team has only collected 783 rushing yards all season.

On defense, the trio of Austin Kramer (55 tackles), David Aldapa (54 tackles; 5.5 tackles for loss) and Wulfe Retzlaff (51 tackles) have been the mainstays, with Paka Cacoulidis (eight tackles for loss) and Justin Parker (5.5 tackles for loss) have caused opposing quarterbacks fits.