Football: Loss to Mt. SAC ends playoff hopes

Milo Lopez (5) makes one of his 15 tackles for the Falcons against Mt. SAC
Milo Lopez (5) makes one of his 15 tackles for the Falcons against Mt. SAC

With a chance at securing a postseason playoff bid with a victory on Saturday night, the Cerritos College football team suffered a 28-7 home loss against Mt. San Antonio College. The Falcons (7-3, 3-2), who dropped their final two games of the regular season against the top two ranked teams in the state, finished in third place in the National Division Central League. They have earned bowl eligibility and will find out on Sunday who they face on November 26.

Cerritos jumped on the board first when they drove 90 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 first quarter lead. They converted two third down plays, as well as a fourth down play on the drive. Sophomore running back Davon Booth (El Monte HS) caught a pass out of the backfield on third-and-8 to give the Falcons a first down at the Mounties 13-yard line. Two plays later, sophomore quarterback Jordan Simpson (Gahr HS) connected with sophomore tight end Jacob Leija (La Serna HS) in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown.

The Mounties (9-1, 4-1) responded on their next drive to tie the game, which included a pair of third down conversions of their own.

Simpson was picked off by Mason White on the Falcons next drive, which was returned 30 yards. Mt. SAC then drove 64 yards on eight plays to take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game. Cerritos turned the ball over on their first play after the touchdown, but White was stripped of the ball after his second interception and the Falcons recovered to start a new offensive drive.

Receiving the ball to start the second half, the Falcons could not get their offense going and were forced to punt the ball away on their next two drives. The Mounties added to their lead after a 66-yard drive put them in front, 21-7. They scored their final touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Booth led the ground game with 114 yards on 19 carries, but could only break off a long of 13 yards, as Mt. SAC held him in check. Simpson and freshman Aiden Sanchez (Bishop Amat HS) combined to complete 11-of-30 passes for 102 yards, with Booth catching a team-high three passes.

The defense played well at times and shut down Mt. SAC numerous times. Sophomore safety Milo Lopez (La Serna HS) recorded a career-high 15 tackles (six solo), while sophomore linebacker Jonathan Fuamatu (St. Paul HS) posted nine stops and added one quarterback sack and a quarterback hurry. They had limited success putting pressure on Mounties quarterback Ike Udengwu, but was sacked twice, with sophomore Daleoun Arthur (Cabrillo HS) picking up the other one.

Photos by Daryl Peterson