By Dan Gudino
A four-game losing streak for the football team, turned into a five-game losing streak on Saturday at San Diego Mesa College after a 26-25 loss.
Turnovers, two blocked punts, and a safety were all in favor for the Huskies, but were not enough to close out the game.
ELAC, for the second straight week lost by a point, and for the second straight week missed an extra point kick which proved to be costly.
ELAC was up 25-20, with four minutes left in the game, when the Huskies allowed Mesa to comeback after two costly and controversial pass interference calls, on freshman cornerback Deangelo Buchanan.
The Huskies were flagged on the winning go-ahead drive on a 4th down, which could have closed the game for ELAC.
Instead, it gave an automatic first down to Mesa allowing the drive to continue.
Mesa continued at the 21-yard line, then a second pass interference call placed Mesa in the red zone (20-yard line). This set up the one-point win and its backup freshman quarterback Nick Plum to throw a 7-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Desmond Simmons.
Many of the football players took their helmets off and threw their helmets out of frustration. There was arguing and banter among the Huskies as they walked off the field.
Two unidentified players had to be separated twice as the team headed to the locker rooms.
No one commented on exactly what was said or why a small altercation occurred.
The costly penalties, and an inability to close its second game in two weeks finally caught up with the Huskies.
ELAC sophomore receiver Iheanyi Obinna blocked a punt and returned it himself for 30 yards in the first quarter.
Obinna was also not available for comment after the game. He took off his pads, and threw his helmet in anger on the final drive for the Huskies with seconds left in the game.
ELAC sophomore cornerback Ryan Cisneros had a tremendous game with an interception, three pass deflections and two tackles for loss. He commented on the Huskies loss:
“It’s real frustrating. I don’t know what to really say, I’m just trying to help my team whatever way and anyway I can. I’m tired of these losses, all we can do is work throughout the week.”
Although he’s not fully recovered from his injury, Husky freshman runningback Shaq Shelton contributed to the team effectively. He rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries and recorded two touchdowns in the loss.
Shelton has missed two games this season and in the six games Shelton has played in, he has hobbled off the field at one point of the game.
“I still have a sprained right ankle. I’m limited in practice,” Shelton said.
Shelton offered his ideas on what needs to happen for ELAC to improve.
“I think we need to tighten up on the mental mistakes. That played a major role in the game. Communicate a little better, overall toughness and I think if we clean up those three things, I think we’ll be OK,” Shelton said.
The ELAC Head Coach Eric Marty era in its inaugural season after a decent 2-1 start to the season, has gone down hill and hasn’t won a game since Sept. 26 against El Camino Compton Center, 37-12.
“We’ve put a lot of effort and a ton of energy to this season. When you work really hard and don’t get results, it’s frustrating. It’s the critical plays. We threw an interception, we lost two fumbles, we muffed a punt, we missed an extra point for the second straight week in a row.”
“There are so many chances where we can make a play and close out the game and we haven’t been able to do so,” Marty said.
ELAC is now 2-6 overall and is in second to last place in its conference, with two games left
ELAC will travel to the Inland Empire to face Mt. San Jacinto College (4-4), on Saturday at 1 p.m.