By Joe Dargan
Despite a sloppy offensive start and a temporary stadium blackout, the football team beat Compton College 49-7.
In response to the recent “kneeling” controversy surrounding the NFL, the Huskies locked arms in a show of solidarity while standing for the National Anthem before the start of the game.
East Los Angeles College began the game with a five-yard rush and 30-yard pass completion for a first down, but ultimately was forced to punt on its first possession.
After a nine-yard return for ELAC, the ball was fumbled by sophomore defensive back Raeshawn Roland and recovered by Compton.
Three plays into Compton’s drive, sophomore defensive lineman Trestan Kuenamen’s interception gave the ball back to the Huskies. After driving the ball 50 yards on four plays,
Sophomore wide receiver Garrison Harris was hit by a Compton defender while simultaneously catching a pass from freshman quarterback Philip Tran, resulting in another lost fumble for ELAC.
The defense maintained its effectiveness, forcing a punt by Compton.
The punt return was fumbled by Roland again. Compton’s next pass was intercepted by Kuenamen’s brother, freshman linebacker Garrett Rogers, and returned for 54 yards to Compton’s two-yard line.
After receiving the hand-off from Tran, sophomore running back Nicholas Hudson rushed in for a 2-yard touchdown, giving ELAC the lead 7-0, after a successful point-after kick from freshman kicker Hector Gomez.
Gomez could have increased the lead on ELAC’s next possession, but the field goal attempt was blocked.
The Huskies’ defense prevented Compton from completing a first-down in the first quarter.
During Compton’s first possession of the second quarter, the lights in Weingart Stadium began to dim down.
Within a few minutes, the stadium was completely dark.
Twenty minutes later, the lighting system began to show signs of life as each bulb lluminated one by one.
“The lights being out not only stops the player’s momentum, but could result in a forfeit for our team if they don’t come back on soon,” coach Bobby Godinez during the break.
After a stoppage of almost 30 real-time minutes, the game resumed. Back-to-back fruitless possessions led to punts for both teams to start the second quarter.
ELAC broke the trend when sophomore linebacker Elijah Quarels forced Compton to fumble the ball inches from its own goal, resulting in a fumble recovery from Rogers who scored the touchdown. Following a successful point-after kick by Gomez, ELAC led the game 14-0.
Compton responded with a 40-yard passing touchdown, making the score 14-7 after a made point-after kick. That was Compton’s only score of the game.
On ELAC’s next possession, the team put together a 13-play, 50-yard drive, using up 6:37 of the clock and capped off by a one-yard rushing touchdown by sophomore running back Marquise Arnold.
With the score being 21-7, following another made kick by Gomez, the Huskies began to pull away.
After the next Compton drive resulted in a punt, Tran connected with sophomore wide receiver Kenny Allen for a 33-yard passing touchdown that made the score 28-7.
After a successful first-half performance from Tran, Godinez put in freshman quarterback Paul Herrera to start the second half.
“There’s always a battle at quarterback. That’s the way you keep guys hungry. We have two guys that we trust and we’re going to ride with them until the end. We’ll go with whoever has the hot hand,” Godinez said.
The next three consecutive Husky possessions resulted in touchdowns, including a 13-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Garrison Harris, a 47-yard connection through the air to Allen and a 10-yard rush for sophomore running back Lavell Thompson.
Gomez was successful on all of the ensuing point-after kicks. The third quarter ended with the score 49-7 in favor of ELAC.
Compton’s defense showed up in the fourth quarter, not allowing ELAC to score a single point.
Compton’s offense failed to respond once again, being shut out by the Huskies’ defense as well.
“The biggest difference for us from last game to this one is we finally made tackles. It’s like we got that swag back,” Godinez said.
The Huskies’ next game is on Saturday night at Los Angeles Southwest College.