Football: Special teams hurts Falcons in loss to Fullerton

Michael-Allen Reddy (8) recorded 11 tackles for the Falcons
Michael-Allen Reddy (8) recorded 11 tackles for the Falcons

Looking for any way possible to generate offense, the Cerritos College football team found out that special teams would also need to be an integral part to their success. The Falcons had four different players punt (for a 22.6 average) in their 27-14 loss to visiting Fullerton College and had one of them blocked that resulted in a touchdown that turned the tide in the game. With the game tied, 14-14 late in the third quarter after a Hornets (2-0) touchdown, freshman Moz Bojorquez (Mayfair HS) had his punt attempt blocked on the Falcons next possession, with Kanyon St. Julien recovering the ball and going nine yards for a touchdown.

The loss in their second game this season prevented head coach Dean Grosfeld from his third straight 3-0 start since taking over the program in 2018.

Over the course of their next three possessions, the Falcons would only muster 23 total yards, while the Hornets added to their lead for a 27-14 advantage. With time running out in the fourth quarter, Cerritos was able to put together an extended drive that stalled when a holding penalty negated a 14-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Bailey Torres (Valley Christian HS). A nine-yard pass left the Falcons with a fourth-and-16 situation that ended in an incomplete pass by freshman quarterback Cade McConnell (Los Alamitos HS).

Early in the game, Fullerton had a penalty negate a touchdown, and were driving deep in Cerritos territory late rin the quarter. However, sophomore Logan Applewhite (Cathedral HS) stripped the ball from Hornets quarterback Chandler Galban, with sophomore Keith Conley, Jr. (Cathedral HS/El Camino College) recovering the ball for the Falcons. Fullerton finally broke the scoreless tie in the second quarter, but the Falcons had an answer to that score.

After their drive stalled at the Fullerton six-yard line, Bojorquez stepped up and booted a 23-yard field goal. However, the Hornets were called for a personal foul, which gave Cerritos a second chance. Two plays later, freshman Davon Booth (El Monte HS) scored from four yards out to tie the game at 7-7.

The Falcon defense turned up the heat and stopped the Hornets on a fourth-and-six when sophomores Victor Clanton (JSerra HS) and Cody Coleman (Narbonne HS/Northern Arizona University) stopped Garnett Davis inches shy of a first down. A facemask penalty against Fullerton moved Cerritos out from deep in their territory on their ensuing possession. With the ball at the 50-yard line, McConnell dropped a beautiful pass into the hands of Torres, who was streaking up the middle with the end result being a 50-yard touchdown strike.

That would be the last points on the night for the Falcons, who had trouble with their run game and were limited to just 87 yards on the ground. The combination of McConnell and Bailey accounted for 117 of the team's 225 yards through the air. However, the Hornet aerial attack carved up the Cerritos defense for 337 yards including several highlight reel catches.

Reddy (11 tackles, sack, two hurries) and Coleman (10 tackles, two breakups) did a solid job all night, with Clanton adding nine stops and 1 1/2 quarterback sacks. The secondary finished with 36 of the team's tackles, while the defense had their fair share of success with eight tackles for loss.

The Falcons will play their first road game of the season when they travel to Allan Hancock College next Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. game.