Football: Late rally comes up short in 31-26 loss

Falcon defense recovers a fumble against Citrus
Falcon defense recovers a fumble against Citrus

The Cerritos College football team allowed 31 consecutive points to visiting Citrus College on Saturday night, but their comeback came up short in a 31-26 setback. The Falcons (3-3, 1-2) will now travel to San Bernardino Valley College next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. divisional game.

The Falcons opened the scoring in the first quarter when freshman quarterback Andre Lampley (St. John Bosco HS) capped off a three-play, 20-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run. Cerritos had great field position to start the drive when the Owls turned the ball over on fourth down. 

Citrus came right back and got on the board when Cerritos fumbled the ball through their end zone for a safety, while their next four possessions went for touchdowns and a 31-7 advantage.

In the second half, the Falcons started their comeback on the first drive with running back Cheo Medina (Northview HS) rushing the final two yards for a touchdown. The team benefitted from a third down holding penalty by Citrus, while Lampley also completed a 26-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Gavin Porch (Los Alamitos HS) early in the drive.

Down 31-13 heading into the fourth quarter, the Falcons were able to convert a fourth down play, which was followed by a 23-yard scoring strike from Lampley to freshman wide receiver Chase Grosfeld (Los Alamitos HS), which made it, 31-20. The next drive by the Owls was halted when sophomore cornerback Chandler Nixon (La Habra HS) stepped in front of a Jack Benson pass and raced 52 yards to the Citrus 38-yard line.

On the ensuing drive, a Citrus penalty aided the Falcons, with Lampley and Grosfeld connecting for 17 yards, which put the ball at the one-yard line. Medina punched the ball in with 8:45 remaining, and after the two-point conversion failed, Cerritos trailed, 31-26.

The Cerritos defense held on the next two Citrus drives, giving the Falcons one last chance to pull out the win. But their final drive stalled in their own zone when they couldn't advance the ball.

Lampley completed 12-of-23 passes for 155 yards, while Porch and Grosfeld combined for nine catches for 119 yards. Defensively, Caleb Nuhi-Yandall (Banning HS) led the team with 10 stops and a fumble recovery, with the trio of Kevonte Henry (Leuzinger HS), EJ Smith (Warren HS) and Tyreek Bradley (St. John Bosco HS) all chencing in with seven tackles.

Photos by Daryl Peterson