Football: EJ Smith scores on both sides of the ball in Falcon win

File Photo: EJ Smith (23) scored a touchdown on offense and defense in the Falcons win
File Photo: EJ Smith (23) scored a touchdown on offense and defense in the Falcons win

Freshman linebacker and converted running back EJ Smith (Mayfair HS) continued his fantastic season, as he scored a touchdown on offense and defense to help lead the Cerritos College football to a 24-21 win over host East Los Angeles College on Saturday. The win makes the Falcons (5-5, 3-4) bowl eligible and they will find out on Monday if they have been selected to play in a postseason game.

Cerritos jumped out to a 10-0 lead by scoring on their first two possessions of the game. On their opening drive, freshman quarterback Andre Lampley (St. John Bosco HS) found freshman Gavin Porch (Los Alamitos HS) and the speedy receiver did the rest, as he scored from 54 yards out for a touchdown. The Falcon defense shut down the Huskies on their first drive and forced them to punt the ball away. The offense was able to drive to the East LA 14-yard line, which concluded with a 30-yard field goal from sophomore Aiden Petruescu (La Mirada HS/Long Island University).

The Huskies got on the board on a 60-yard punt return for touchdown and then took a 14-10 lead before the end of the first quarter on their next possession.

On the next Cerritos offensive possession, Smith busted loose for a 43-yard touchdown run for a 17-14 lead.

Late in the third quarter, Smith would score what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown, after he stepped in front of Trilian Harris pass and raced 70-yards for a touchdown. It was the third interception return for touchdown on the year for Smith.

East LA closed the game to 24-21 early in the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie the game in the final minute. A 14-play drive by the Huskies stalled at the Falcon 21-yard line. Faced with fourth down after freshman defensive lineman Kevonte Henry (Leuzinger HS) sacked Harris on second down and the next pass went incomplete, East LA lined up for a 38-yard field goal with :36 seconds remaining.

Henry came through with another huge play, as he blocked the field goal attempt by Ethan Rodriguez, with Sophomore linebacker Ronal Tebo, Jr. (Northview HS) recovering the loose ball. Cerritos ran out the clock to secure the victory.

Smith finished with 54 rushing yards on just three carries and added a team-leading eight tackles, while Tebo, Jr. posted seven stops. Three players all had six tackles, while Henry recorded a pair of quarterback sacks in the win.