By Megan Perry
The Huskies made history by defeating the Compton Tartars at Homecoming Saturday night, earning their fifth consecutive win, and fourth straight wins in conference. The Huskies took advantage of their home field advantage with a blowout score of 45-13 that improved their overall record to 6-3 for the season.
Holding the top spot, the Huskies are an undefeated 4 – 0 in the American Mountain Conference. Huskies play the last conference game at San Bernardino Valley College next week. San Bernardino, a 15-time conference champion team that took the title last year, stands 2 – 2 in conference play.
Beating Compton resulted in ELAC clinching at least a tie for its first conference title in 37 years, when Coach Lynn Cain played for the Huskies. Cain showed a great deal of pride in his team and felt they deserved the credit. “It is their moment,” said Cain.
After the game, the team was excited as they held their heads high, proud of their win. The smiles on the players stretched from ear to ear as they could not stop congratulating one another for their big game. ELAC more than tripled the Tartars net yards passing during the game with an impressive game total of 356 yards, 343 of which came from Quarterback Aaron Cantu. Compton left the field with 110 passing yards.
ELAC also rushed for more than twice as many yards as Compton during the game with an overall total of 215 yards for the Huskies and 95 yards for the Tartars. The Huskies put pressure on Compton quarterback Daemound Biddle, as he was left scrambling looking for open players. Many plays resulted in Biddle throwing the ball away. Compton fumbled the ball three times, one of which the Huskies forced off the play of Hector Cazales while his teammate Richard Castillo recovered.
Wide-receiver Carlos Arredondo had a big night in receiving with a total of 95 yards, followed closely by Chris Clark with 90 yards and Luther Walker with 87. In his second season with Cantu, Arredondo said it took focus to win the game. “I trust my quarterback. I’ve been playing with him since high school. (Cantu and) I have a good chemistry,” said Arredondo.
From the beginning, the Huskies went out on the field and owned the game. The Tartars scored the first touchdown, but the Huskies made sure that didn’t happen again until the middle of the last quarter.
The Huskies scored a touchdown for every drive during the first half of the game, leading 33-7 at halftime. The Husky touchdowns came from a range of players, the first being a run from Cantu near the end of the first quarter. The Huskies controlled the ball for most of the 4th quarter, with an elapsed time of 12:30. “I feel good about the win. It was a great team victory,” said Arredondo.
“We are 6 – 3. The team has come a long way from having no field to getting this new field installed. We’re making history in a way,” said Arredondo. With an undefeated conference-record this year, the defense has 12 interceptions, with Nasir Moore leading the way with three for 49 yards. Carlos Portillo holds a season record of 10 for 10 extra-point kicks and three for four field goals. Chris Clark leads the scoring with a season total of nine touchdowns.
Cantu said they finally made it back to the championship after 37 years for the community, because the community deserved it. The Huskies haven’t had a winning-record in recent years, and Cantu feels proud to be able to contribute. “To be a part of it, I just feel like it’s amazing. It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Cantu.
ELAC hasn’t had a six-game unbeaten streak since 1983, when the team went 5-0-1. The team also has not had six wins in a row since 1974. Cantu said that Cain told him that patterns repeat themselves.
Cain was the star player for the Huskies in the 1974 Southern California Conference Championship, where he was named state player-of-the-year with the win over San Jose City College. He brought home a state-title before transferring to play football for the University of Southern California and later going on to play as a fullback for the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League.
“As Coach says, we’re going to make plays. It’s only a matter of time. Tonight was a good night to make plays, and we’ve been doing it all season long,” said Arredondo.
They wanted to win, and it was clear.“We have great guys, the coaches are awesome and we have great athletes. We came together as unit,” said Cantu. It wasn’t a certain key player, but the team as a whole that won the game. “We just let it loose. We had a great time and now we’re going to celebrate,” said Cantu.
[Editor’s note: Tadzio Garcia’s photo had a different caption in the print edition, which contained the name of the wrong player. The current caption has been updated to include the correct name and information.]