Football: Second half outburst leads Falcons to 50-7 win

The Falcon defense wreaked havoc on the Roadrunners all night
The Falcon defense wreaked havoc on the Roadrunners all night

Just looking at the 13-7 halftime lead the Cerritos College football team had on visiting College of the Desert, one would get the impression it was a tight battle. The Falcons changed that outlook with 37 second half points to post a 50-7 win to improve to 3-0 for the second season in a row under second-year head coach Dean Grosfeld. The team will travel to College of the Canyons for a 6:00 p.m. game next Saturday. The Cougars had their regularly scheduled game tonight at Santa Barbara City College postponed due to a complete power outage on the Santa Barbara campus.

Freshman kicker Brandon Petruescu (La Mirada HS) converted his first two collegiate field goals, while sophomore wide receiver Jovohn Tucker (St. John Bosco HS) pulled down a 45-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback TJ McMahon (Servite HS) to account for the team's first half scoring.

To start the second half, the Falcon defense forced the Roadrunners to punt, with sophomore Noah Peterson (Villa Park HS) catching the punt on the run and racing down the sideline 35 yards for a touchdown. That play seemed to spark Cerritos on offense, as they drove downfield on their next possession to extend their lead to 27-7. Sophomore running back Carl Odom (West Jordan, UT HS) accounted for all 80 yards on three rushing plays, with the big carry a 56-yarder that put the ball at the Desert four-yard line, and then into the end zone on his next carry.

With the Roadrunners facing a third-and-six at their own 11-yard line, a fumbled snap was recovered by sophomore defensive lineman Anthony Shipton (Villa Park HS) at the Desert 10-yard line. McMahon needed just one play to hit sophomore tight end Matt Den Hartog (Los Alamitos HS) for a 10-yard scoring play. Within the first 6:24 of the third quarter, the Falcons had scored 21 points to break the game open.

Cerritos turned the ball over on a fumble at the Desert one-yard line to start the fourth quarter. After a delay of game penalty against the Roadrunners, running back Bronton Woodard was tackled in the end zone for a safety by sophomore linebacker Ikenna Ahumibe (Gahr HS). On the ensuing free kick, sophomore Jacobi Hardy (Long Beach Wilson HS) took the kick back 72 yards for another special teams touchdown and a 43-7 Cerritos lead.

Freshman running back J'lon Manning (Bellflower HS) accounted for the final 48 yards of the Falcons last scoring drive, which was culminated with a two-yard run. The play was set up by a 40-yard scamper by Manning on third-and-six.

On the night, the Falcons collected just 364 yards of total offense, but out-gained the Roadrunners total offense with their special teams yards (159-44). Peterson also had a punt return called back for a penalty. McMahon completed 15-of-20 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, with 10 different receivers catching passes on the night. Odom finished with 103 yards on the ground on 15 carries.

The defense was anchored by 12 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks. Three players finished with a team-high five stops that included freshmen Gregory Shelton (Lynwood HS) and Bijon Harris (Bellflower HS) along with sophomore Etiene Valele (Norwalk HS). Ahumibe finished with four stops, along with 2 1/2 tackles for loss 1 1/2 sacks and a fumble recovery, with the defense also posting seven quarterback hurries.

Photos by Daryl Peterson