ELAC 40, Victor Valley 34, Oct. 14, 2012
By Tadzio Garcia
After winning 40-34 at Victor Valley, off of a six-touchdown performance by backup quarterback Adrian Diaz, starting QB Aaron Cantu has been replaced.
“We’re going with Diaz next week against San Bernardino Valley College in our Mountain Conference game.
“Cantu gets all the publicity but after Diaz’s performance against Victor Valley we got to give him a chance. He deserves it,” said Steve Mojarro, first-year coach.
The reason for the publicity is that Cantu is the No. 2-ranked quarterback in the state based on his stats even though he’s missed almost two full games, which makes him even better. Diaz however tied a school record against Victor Valley.
Only nine East Los Angeles College quarterbacks threw for more yards than Diaz this past weekend one of them being Cantu.
Diaz threw for more touchdowns in California Community College this past weekend than the other 108 quarterbacks, 42 of them backups.
The six touchdowns in one game ties an East Los Angeles College record. Cantu threw six touchdowns this season against West Los Angeles College. Santiageo Alvarez also threw six touchdowns in 1991 against Antelope Valley College.
Diaz has seen action three times this season, which began with one pass at Los Angeles Valley College. The pass was a 57-yard touchdown with 55 seconds left making the final score against Valley, 40-13.
Diaz was then called off the bench on Sept. 29, in the home game against Southwestern College, at the 13:59 mark in the second quarter. He replaced an injured Cantu.
Diaz threw for 163 yards off of 16 of 26 attempts with two interceptions and two touchdowns.
“No one will remember his great performance, only the two interceptions,” Mojarro said. The interceptions happened in ELAC’s last two possessions. ELAC lost 35-26.
Diaz remarked on the pressure. “I was only nervous before walking on the field. After I began, I didn’t feel any pressure because I had a job to do. Afterwards, we put the loss behind us and moved on,” Diaz said.
Ten colleges worked with two starting quarterbacks last week, this out of 33 games from 66 teams. This is nothing new.
Not to take anything away from Diaz, only one of those colleges has a better quarterback than Cantu, according to the state stats.
Is the switch a Vegas gamble? “We will start Cantu if needed,” Mojarro said.
“The game is against a strong, well-coached team. We will be prepared. They won the conference winning all their conference games two years ago. We will be prepared,” Mojarro said.
The Huskies won the conference title last year edging the Wolverines 48-44 en route to a 48-28 drubbing of Santa Monica College in the American Division Championship Bowl Game.
SB Valley has a better chance of advancing to the postseason. A win over the Huskies would leave them in second place regardless of what happens in other Mountain Conference games.
Huskies improve to 3-0 on the road
ELAC rallied back from a 13-0 deficit to take a 40-27 lead with 1:58 left to seal a victory over Victor Valley.
The ELAC defense couldn’t stop an ensuing 70-yard Rams drive, which resulted in a 6-yard touchdown from Farrell Victor with 46 seconds left.
“Our defense won the game. They played their hearts out,” Head Coach Steve Mojarro said.
That may be so, but no team in the state gives up more yards than the Huskies. The Husky defense gave up 530 yards to the Rams.
Leading the Huskies on defense were Hector Cazales with 19 solo assists followed by Shawn Esparza and Donyae Olton who each had six with two solo assists each.
The special teams continue to improve. Eduardo Rodriguez averaged 50.4 yards per punt while Steven Richard returned a kickoff for 59 yards. Allen Infante connected on all of his PAT attempts.
Bryan Munoz-Alvarez caught 4 passes for 125 yards. Max Moreno caught six for 83.
Ellis Willoughby rushed for 49 yards off of seven attempts followed by Steven Richard who ran for 30 from five attempts.
Preston Oliver averaged 9.3 yards per gain off of three attempts including an 18-yard run in the first quarter for a Husky first down, prior to the initial ELAC rally.
Once the ELAC rally resulted in a lead, the Rams would twice comeback to one-touchdown deficits.
Diaz responded with drives that ended with touchdown passes killing Victor Valley’s chances of pulling out a win.
The Huskies have beaten Victor Valley three consecutive years.