By Damien Guzman
Frustrations ran high after the football team lost an American Mountain Conference game late in the fourth quarter with a turnover Nov. 1 to give San Diego Mesa College a 9-7 win.
A fight nearly broke out as the players shook hands after the game in a scuffle that left coaches on both sides trying to separate them.
While players from opposite teams argued, some ELAC players blamed each other and the coaches for the loss. One ELAC player showed a lot of anger and he argued with his own coach. The coach asked him to turn in his gear.
The ELAC defense played a masterful game but the offense could not score enough points. The Huskies threw four interceptions and fumbled the ball three times.
The Huskies’ defense still kept them in the game by not letting Mesa capitalize on the turnovers committed by the offense.
The defense only allowed Mesa to score a field goal.
“As a defensive player just to be part of that game was a good opportunity for me, but to come up short like that, there’s only so much a defense can do in a game like that,” ELAC defensive linemen Rigo Verdin said.
Mesa’s only touchdown came after an interception, which was run back for the score thrown one of the ELAC backup quarterbacks, Charles Ontiveros. The turnover came at a crucial time with less than six minutes to go in the game.
ELAC quarterback Jose Sanchez was then the third play-caller put in the game to try and get a comeback.
The Huskies moved the ball well, but finished off drives with turnovers ending chances to put themselves in a better winning position.
Another ELAC interception, caught in the end zone, erased more possible points for ELAC.
ELAC’s only touchdown and points came in the second quarter with a short run by running back Will Randolph. The lone touchdown was enough to win the game until late in the fourth quarter.
Randolph leads ELAC running backs in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Out of the four interceptions thrown by the Huskies, Mesa cornerback Tariq Abulebbeh caught three of them.
Mesa committed 20 penalties totaling over 200 yards.
ELAC’s offense had more yards than Mesa.
“At this point of the season with a 2-6 record, as a team we’ve learned to accept it and each other,” Verdin said.
The Huskies are 1-4 in conference play. After the loss Mesa is 3-5 and 2-3.
After frustrations calmed down, ELAC Head Coach Steve Mojarro made an emotional speech to his players letting them know that he loves each and everyone of them and that he wants the best for them.
Mojarro told his players that trying to start problems after the game, as they did, will ruin their chances of being recruited.
“These kids are the greatest group of players in the 14 years I’ve worked here,” ELAC athletic trainer Diane Stankevitz said.
The Huskies play their final home game at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 against Mt. San Jacinto College at Weingart Stadium.