East Los Angeles College running back is moving up to Division I football

OFF AND RUNNING—In a 40-13 win over Los Angeles Valley College in the opening game of the 2012 season, Bryan Munoz-Alvarez races 21 yards to the LAVC 17-yard line from an Aaron Cantu pass en route to the Huskies taking a 13-6 lead. Munoz-Alvarez was the No. 7-ranked receiver in the Mountain Conference averaging 14.6 yards per catch. CN/Tadzio Garcia

DOG RUNNING WILD—The Huskies Preston Oliver, No. 32, explodes for a 48-yard gain after a missed tackle by cornerback Najee Ave, who is falling far right. The run kicked  off a five-yard drive in East Los Angeles College’s final touchdown in a 48-27 win over El Camino College Compton Center last Saturday, Nov. 3 at “Tay” Brown Stadium in Compton.    CN/Tadzio Garcia


By Alfonso Rivera

East Los Angeles College workhorse Preston Oliver has made quite an impact on the gridiron this season and is getting significant attention from NCAA Division I universities.

The University of Nevada, Purdue and Utah State universities are recruiting Oliver, according to ELAC Head Coach Steve Mojarro. “Oliver is a great kid, talented and hard working. He turns heads when he is on the football field. It has been a pleasure to have coached him,“ Mojarro said.

Oliver was named to the 2012 Southern California Football Association American Division / Mountain Conference Second Team Offense and in 2011 he was named to the First Team Offense.

This season Oliver amassed a total of 1,159 yards from scrimmage scoring 13 touchdowns and one 2-point conversion. He also made one unassisted tackle on defense.

Oliver gained 741 yards rushing from 121 attempts with nine touchdowns while averaging 82.3 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry. He caught 53 passes for an additional 418 yards and four touchdowns in the air.

Adding to his accolades on the field, Oliver holds an ELAC record for most receptions in a single game. He caught 14 passes for 107 yards in a 40-27 Husky victory over Chaffey College on Oct. 27. The Husky football team finished the season 6-4 overall, with all four losses coming in conference play.

Aman Abye had plenty to say about Oliver. Abye was a high school assistant skills position coach, a former NCAA Div. I running back at the University of Pennsylvania, along with also having played professionally in the Arena Football League for the Los Angeles Avengers.

“(Oliver) is an amazing athlete, strong, tenacious, fast, quick, has good instincts and balance, is elusive and creative. I can go on and on about him,“ Abye said.

“I honestly believe that with his size and skill set he can play at the next level. He is just beginning to scratch the surface of his vast potential,” Abye continued.

After a stellar career at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles that included being named to the All-City team in three consecutive seasons, Oliver decided to take a year off to think about his future.

At the urging of his parents and former high school and current teammate Carlos Portillo, he decided to attend ELAC.

“Coming to ELAC has turned out to be a great decision in my life. I am on track to graduate and continue my education as well as play football at the next level,” Oliver said.

Oliver credits his parents and his former high school coach at Marshall, Andy Moran for instilling the importance of staying in school. “Moran taught me a lot, both on and off the field. He was a great mentor,” said Oliver.

Reflecting on his time spent at ELAC, Oliver continued to say, “The two years I spent at ELAC were fun. It was a great experience and I am grateful for the opportunity. I got to play with an elite quarterback, Aaron Cantu, which enabled both of us to become better players. I leave here knowing that I left it all out there on the field,” Oliver said.

With that attitude and pedigree, it appears that Oliver is headed on the right path and is now looking forward for the next scamper in his life. There is a huge hole for Oliver to run through; perhaps it will be another touchdown.

“I have been playing football all my life, since I was six years old. It is my passion. I love football,” Oliver said.

East Los Angeles College football records fall

OFF AND RUNNING-Preston Oliver, right, exploded for a 48-yard run that kicked off a five-yard drive for the Huskies in their last touchdown in a 48-27 win over El Camino College Compton Center, on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Compton. CN/Tadzio Garcia


OFF AND RUNNING—Preston Oliver, right, exploded for a 48-yard run that kicked off a five-yard drive for the Huskies in their last touchdown in a 48-27 win over El Camino College Compton Center on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Compton.  CN/Tadzio Garcia


By Tadzio Garcia


The Huskies football team left their own records in shreds all over the football field in Raymond “Tay” Brown Stadium in Compton, last Saturday, Nov. 3.

Those darn dogs.

With the 48-27 win over host El Camino College Compton Center, the Huskies have scored 354 points this season. The previous record was 336 points set by the 2009 Husky team.

Husky quarterback Aaron Cantu threw for 416 yards from 29 of 46 passes for five touchdowns and no interceptions. His season total of 380 attempts surpasses the previous record set by Pedro Velasquez in 2009.

Cantu’s five touchdowns fell one short of his own ELAC record, six touchdowns that he threw against San Bernardino Valley College on Oct. 20 in a 54-42 loss.

He also threw for six touchdowns in a 58-55 win over West Los Angeles College on Sept. 15, when the Huskies had a season high 715 offensive yards.

The offense had 524 total yards against Compton adding to the season total of 4580 yards surpassing their previous record set in 2009 of 4578 yards.

Entering the game, winless Compton averaged 11 points per game, ranking 69th in the state out of 70 teams. They were also ranked 67-70th statewide in 13 other categories including 69th in tackles per game.

Mountain Conference rivals Southwestern and Victor Valley colleges chose to pound out 69-20 and 65-28 wins, respectively, over Compton.

ELAC instead played with the spirit of collegiality and filled plays with reserves.

It also made for a much more interesting game.

Compton came back from a 20-0 deficit to pull within 20-14 in the first quarter and pulled within one touchdown in the third quarter, 28-20.

ELAC responded with more reserves.

The Huskies were going to win with players that have not seen much action, if at all. Daniel Davis and Chris Perez both scored their first tackles of the season.

Twenty four Huskies grabbed tackles in the game led by Shawn Esparza’s fourteen. With the 14, Esparza became the top linebacker for the Huskies with 59 tackles this season, fourth-best in the conference.

When asked about how he made 14 tackles with so little time playing, Esparza responded with, “It’s the Husky way.”

Breeon Moreno made four tackles and one interception. With Compton driving in the third quarter, Moreno nabbed an interception and ran it back 15 yards to the Compton 45-yard line.

Three plays later, Jonathan Lopez scored his second touchdown of the game with a one-yard run with 8:36 left. ELAC led 41-20.

Not to be outdone, Compton answered with a two-play drive scoring off of a Frederick Johnson 49-yard run.

The Huskies responded with a five-play drive for a 48-27 lead off of a 13-yard pass from Cantu to Bryan Munoz-Alvarez.

The Huskies opened the game with a 65-yard, six play drive. Lopez scored on a one-yard run 1:59 minutes into the game.

A three-and-out play for Compton followed by a punt miscue gave the Huskies the ball on the Compton 35-yard line. Cantu completed two passes; a 20-yard gain to Willie Udofia followed by a 15-yard touchdown toss to Elli Willoughby to put the Huskies up 14-0.

Compton’s Frederick Johnson rushed for 111 rushing yards including a 48-yard run that scored Compton’s last touchdown.

Teammate Desmond Williams added 76 yards rushing, including a game-high 71 yard run also resulting in a touchdown.

ELAC’s Preston Oliver led the Huskies with 81 yards from 11 attempts with an average of 7.4 yards per gain.

The Huskies will host San Diego Mesa College on Saturday at 6 p.m. A win over the Olympians will give the Huskies a 7-3 overall record. The defending Mountain Conference Champion Huskies are hoping for an at-large bid to a bowl game.

East LA College defense triggers 40-27 win

By Carlos Alvarez


The football team’s defense led the way against Chaffey College with a dominating 40-27 victory last Saturday at Weingart Stadium. Quarterback Aaron Cantu returned to the starting lineup after entering as a backup last week.

“Cantu embraced the situation last week. He was injured and we can’t risk the future of a PAC-12 player. Diaz had a great game against Victor Valley. Cantu stepped in after Diaz went down and we go from there,” Offensive Coordinator Nick Garret said, on the decision to not start Cantu on the previous game.

The risk occurred. Cantu was called in last week in the second quarter. Diaz played injured but it got worse and was taken out. Cantu responded with 475 yards and six touchdowns in three quarters.

With Cantu’s return to an offense that averages 35 points a game, the Huskies seemed ready to jump all over the Panthers who had lost their past three games. During those three games the Panthers have allowed an average of 40 points a game, but they held ELAC’s high scoring offense scoreless in the first quarter.

“We had some missed opportunities in the first quarter, some drop balls here and there. We just didn’t execute,” Garret said.

While the offense failed to capitalize and score in the first quarter with great field position, ELAC’s defense held Chaffey to a total of 25 yards in the quarter.

Led by sophomore linebacker Donyae Olton constant pressure on Panther QB Harrison Stewart, Huskies held the Panthers to 156 total yards of offense for the game. The defense play was not reminiscent of the team who allows 444 total yards a game for the season.

“We did everything we plan to do all week in practice. Our game plan was well executed. These guys played great tonight,” Linebacker Coach/Defensive Assistant Coach Richard Zepeda said.

With 5:23 remaining in the quarter the offense began their drive at their own five yard line. After gaining a first down and moving the ball to the 29 yard line with powerful running and receiving from RB Preston Oliver, the offense frustration showed on the following play.

On 1st and 10 from their own 29 yard line freshman wide receiver Robert McCovery dropped a sure touchdown pass from Cantu, who began yelling, “catch the ball, catch the ball,” after the Huskies punted the ball away to Chaffey and headed to the sideline.

 With 2:20 left in the quarter, Zepeda lost his composure and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“There were some calls that didn’t go our way. I felt they were unfair. I will always stick up for my team,” Zepeda said, when asked about his outburst

The fire and energy showed by Zepeda seemed to ignite the offense when they finally got on the board scoring to begin the second quarter.

The Huskies seemed to wake up in the second quarter scoring at will. After penalties backed them up to their own 47 yard line. After an incomplete pass Cantu connected with McCovery for a 44 yard touchdown pass giving the Huskies their first lead 7-0, after the point after kick with 12:35 remaining in the first half.

The Huskies scored 33 unanswered points in the second quarter, an ELAC football record, taking a 33-0 lead heading into the second half.

ELACS offense was led by Cantu and Oliver. Cantu completed 22 out 42 passing attempts for 257 yards with four touchdowns in the first half. Oliver rushed for 66 yards on 14 rushing attempts while adding 10 receptions for 87 yards with a touchdown in the first half.

“The first quarter was tough, but obviously 33 unanswered points shows the strength of our offense,” Cantu said, when asked about the first half.

The start of the second half was more of the same with the defense continuing to put pressure on Harrison creating more scoring opportunities for the offense.

“Our defense was great today. These guys came to play,” Head Coach Steve Mojarro said, when asked about his defense performance.

While the offense continued to move the ball up and down the field, they failed to score in the third quarter, but Oliver put his name in ELAC’s record book.

Early in the quarter Oliver set a new record with 13 receptions in a game, finishing with 14 total. He surpassed the 12 receptions in a game set by Anthony Denham against Santa Barbara in 2009.

“It feels good. Stats are one thing, but getting the win is another thing,” Oliver said, when asked on setting the record.

In the third quarter, after the Huskie defense forced Chaffey to punt the ball away Huskie sophomore CJ Dudley fumbled the ball that was recovered by Panther freshman Steve Frank at the ELAC three yard line.

On the next play the Panthers finally got on the board when freshman running back Kevin Coleman rushed three yards for the touchdown making the score 33-7.

With the Huskies in control of the game beginning the final quarter most of the reserves got some live game action. The Huskies scored their last touchdown with 11:31 remaining in the game when freshman running back Jonathan Lopez scored a touchdown on a six yard run making the score 40-7.

The Panthers seemed to take advantage of the Huskies reserves scoring 20 unanswered points making the final score closer than it was 40-27.

Panther QB Harrison Stewart seemed to benefit from the Huskies reserves being in the game when with 8:37 remaining in the game he connected with sophomore WR Tim Diaz for a 43 yard touchdown pass on first and ten from the ELAC 43 yard line, making the score 40-14 after the extra point kick.

“You know these guys were getting game reps, it was good to get them out there. We had a good lead and we came up on top,” Zepeda said, regarding on his defense letting up.

With the win against Chaffey, ELAC, 5-3 overall and 2-3 in Conference play. While the Huskies are not eligible for the Mountain Conference’s automatic bowl-bid, the are still in the hunt for an at-large bid according to Mojarro.

The Huskies face winless El Camino College Compton College next Saturday ,Nov 3rd at 1 p.m. on Compton turf.

“We have to win out and hope for some teams to loose, but we take it one game at a time. Will see what happens we have to do our part and we will,” Garret said, after the game.

“The first quarter was tough, but obviously 33 unanswered points in the second quarter shows the strength of our offense,” Cantu said.

Cantu completed 22 out 42 passing attempts for 257 yards with four touchdowns in the first half.

Preston Oliver rushed for 66 yards on 14 rushing attempts while adding 10 receptions for 87 yards with a touchdown in the first half.

The start of the second half had the defense continuing to put pressure on Harrison.

“Our defense was great today,” Head Coach Steve Mojarro said.

Oliver set a new record with 14 receptions in a game. He broke Anthony Denham’s 12 catches against Santa Barbara in 2009.

“It feels good. Stats are one thing, but getting the win is another thing,” Oliver said.

With ELAC in control of the game in the final quarter, most of the reserves got some game action.

The Huskies scored their last touchdown with 11:31 remaining in the game when running back Jonathan Lopez scored a touchdown on a six yard run, making the score 40-7.

Chaffey took advantage of the Huskies reserves scoring 20 unanswered points, making the final score 40-27.

“It was good to get the guys out there. We had a good lead and we came up on top,” Zepeda said regarding on his defense letting up.

With the win, ELAC stands 5-3 overall, 2-3 in the Mountain Conference.

According to Mojarro, the Huskies are eligible for an at-large bid.

The Huskies play at El Camino College Compton Center Saturday at 1 p.m.





Football team starts late, loses game

By Tadzio Garcia


Questionable decisions resulted in the Huskies first road loss of the season, 54-42, at San Bernardino Valley College. East Los Angeles College was 3-0 on the road entering the game.

The first was replacing the state’s No.2-ranked quarterback, Aaron Cantu, with an injured back-up quarterback Adrian Diaz at the start of the game. The second was choosing not to go for field goals when in position. The third was a game-changing mistake by Robert McCovery with 2:52 left in the game.

Down 48-42, ELAC started an offensive series at their 25 yard line. On third down, Cantu connected to McCovery for a 14-yard gain and a first down at the 39 yard line.

Instead of stepping out of bounds, McCovery did a chicken wing move without tucking the ball for a half-yard gain. As he was falling in bounds, Valley’s Alvis Mohome forced a fumble and the Huskies couldn’t recover.

Kudos to Diaz who was coming off an East Los Angeles College record-tying six touchdown performance last week in a 40-34 win at Victor Valley.

Not so much for the coaches who decided to bench the state’s No. 2-ranked quarterback, Cantu, and start with an injured quarterback instead.

Diaz played with a similar injury to that of Cantu. The offense struggled with Diaz in the first quarter rushing for 10 yards. Diaz threw for 29 yards off of 3 of 7 attempts.

Diaz was replaced with Cantu at the start of the second quarter. Cantu responded to the call.

Down 21-0, and looking dead in the water, the Huskies offense rallied behind Cantu’s opening 13-play, 92-yard drive.

Cantu threw for 225 total yards In the second quarter off of 17 of 28 passes and four touchdowns. “Cantu is the real deal,” said play-by-play announcer Dennis Pauslon.

The defense gave up 17 points and the Huskies were down 38-28 at the half.

In three quarters, Cantu tossed 475 yards off of 34 of 63 attempts with six touchdowns and one interception.

Cantu tied an ELAC record with the six tosses for touchdowns. He also threw six TDs against West Los Angeles College earlier in the season. Diaz shares the record also Santiago Alvarez in a 1991 game against Antelope Valley College.

The third quarter was scoreless. However, on a fourth and 10 at the 17-yard line, ELAC went for a first down instead of going for a field goal that would have made it a one-score deficit.

“The coaches at East LA College obviously don’t have enough confidence in their field goal kicker,” said Paulson. This has been the story all season.

Field goal kicker Allan Infante’s point-after-touchdown kick looked like he’s capable of hitting field goals.

Valley opened the scoring in the fourth quarter off of a 5-yard quarterback sneak by Ethan Hillyer. Hillyer also rushed for a 60-yard gain in the 8-play drive.

Cantu responded with a two-play drive bringing the Huskies within 10 again, down 45-35.

Cantu mixed it up starting with a 26-yard Preston Oliver run. Cantu then went with a four-vertical route connecting on his fifth touchdown, a 39-yard pass to Willie Udofia.

Infante, who was six of six from the PAT line, connected. Paulson then said, “he has the foot…” A questionable call ensued.

With 5:40 left, the Huskies went for an onsides kick. Color commentator Ron Gueringer said he disagreed with the call.

“Why not kick it deep? You stop them and get the ball back. I don’t understand that call,” Gueringer said.

Preston Oliver was the top rusher for the Huskies gaining 87 yards from 11 attempts.

McCovery caught seven passes for 131 yards with two touchdowns followed by Bryan-Munoz Alvarez  who grabbed 113 yards off eight catches and one touchdown. Carlos Portillo caught 84 yards off of six catches and scored one touchdown.

The special teams had a great night. Adding to Infante’s perfect night was Eduardo Rodriguez kicking four punts for an average of 43.2 yards. Two long kick-off returns were run by CJ Dudley (38 yards) and Roosevelt Buck (31 yards).

Shawn Esparza led the defense with 18 tackles followed by Dujuawn Jones (11) and Hector Cazales (10).

With the loss, the Huskies eliminated any hopes of advancing to a bowl game by winning the Mountain Conference. They are however mathematically still in the hunt for an at-large bid according to Head Coach Steve Mojarro.

ELAC drops to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in conference play while Valley improves to 4-3, 3-1.

The Huskies will host a tough Chaffey team Saturday at 6 p.m.


ELAC Football loses Cantu and game

CN/Lindsey Maeda

By William Hernandez


The Huskies lost their second consecutive game, to Southwestern College 35-26, playing most of the game without quarterback Aaron Cantu who left due to an injury, last Saturday at Weingart Stadium.ELAC lost Cantu in the second quarter when he hit the ground awkwardly on a quarterback scramble.
According to ELAC’s Athletic Trainer Diane Stankevitz, Cantu suffered a small shoulder separation. For that reason he did not play during the second half.ELAC was the first on the board when Cantu sneaked into the end zone at the goal line and followed the missed PAT (point after touchdown) by kicker Allan Infante.
The Jaguars counterattacked with a touchdown when quarterback Bret Nelson connected with receiver Bryant Mitchell for an 11-yard touchdown reception to leave the Jaguars up 7-6.During the first play of the second quarter, SWC stretched their lead 14-6, after a 37-yard touchdown reception by Mitchell.

Their first Husky offensive series of the second quarter would turn out to be Cantu’s last of the game and in stepped second-string quarterback Adrian Diaz. The Huskies went three and out.

Close to the end of the first half, the Huskies were down 21-6 after they surrendered a 58-yard touchdown reception from Nelson to wide-out Vernon Johnson.

ELAC’s running-back Preston Oliver went down forcing other Huskies to take some pressure off of Diaz’s shoulders. “This is my second year playing, so I knew it was my turn to step up after watching my starting quarterback and running-back (Cantu) go down,” Diaz said.

The Jaguars increased their lead to 22 points on a jet sweep-pass. Motion receiver Jordan Jacobs took a handoff from Nelson then pivoted and threw down the field to an open receiver in Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown reception.

ELAC answered back when Diaz connected with wide receiver Willie Udofia on a fade route for a 5-yard touchdown reception capping off a drive that stood the duration of 17 plays and over 90-yards of offense.

The Huskies went for two points and their attempt was denied cutting the lead to 28-12.

After a Jaguar three and out, the Huskies took the ball into the end zone when receiver Ellis Willoughby took a designed bubble screen to the house for an 87-yard touchdown. The Huskies failed in their two-point convertion attempt.

The SWC offense prevailed in the fourth quarter. They got into the end zone after converting on a fourth-and-8 play when Nelson completed a quick slant to Johnson after several Huskies missed tackles.

Johnson went up the field for a 33-yard gain setting the Jaguars up at the goal line followed by a quarterback sneak for a touchdown. The Huskies were down 35-18.

ELAC cut the difference to nine, on fourth-and-10 on the Jaguar 35-yard line when Portillo caught a 32-yard touchdown pass on a wheel route. This allowed him to separate from the man-to-man coverage.

ELAC got the ball back with less than six minutes left when Nelson’s pass was intercepted by cornerback Breeon Moreno. In the two offensive possessions that followed for the Huskies, Diaz threw two consecutive interceptions ending ELAC’s late game rally.

“I was very proud of my team’s valiant performance, not giving up, persevering,” ELAC’s Head Coach Steve Mojarro said.

The Huskies stand 3-2 overall and winless in the Mountain Conference at 0-2. The football team returns to action Saturday Oct. 12, on the road against Victor Valley College. The Rams currently are 1-4 overall and also winless in conference.

Huskies pull off come from behind win over Santa Barbara


OUR TURN-– Husky defensive back No. 21 C.J. Dudley rushes down the field on a kick return after Santa Barbara’s second touchdown in the second quarter as Vaqueros apply pressure on the field at Saturday evening’s home game. CN/Megan Perry


By Anthony Merjanoff

Late game heroics, with the N o. 20-ranked Huskies scoring 15 points in the last 8:20 minutes of the game, resulted in a 28-27 home opener win.

Santa Barbara took a 27-13 lead with 9:21 left in the game. The Huskies responded with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Cantu to Willie Udofia cut Santa Barbara’s lead to 27-19. Hector Cazales tackled Vaquero quarterback Jared Evans in the end zone scoring a safety for the Huskies. Cantu led the Huskies down the field with Preston Oliver scoring a one-yard touchdown with 3:05 to go.

Santa Barbara marched down the field getting within field goal range only to end up fumbling the ball. ELAC recovered the ball and an eventual victory in front of a vocal crowd. “We played as a team and fought together till the end.” said Huskies linebacker Donyae Olton

The Huskies had a tough game against Santa Barbara. ELAC didn’t see its first points on the board until the 6:43 mark in the second quarter, after trailing by two touchdowns. The Huskies tied the score, 13-13, with 51 seconds left in the half.



Huskies football—defending champs open on the road

By Tadzio Garcia

The Huskies will defend their conference title to advance to a bowl game for the second straight year, which would be the fifth since the program began in 1946.

The Huskies begin their quest with a non-conference game against rival Los Angeles Valley College tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Monarch Stadium.

The No. 23-ranked Huskies open the season as the top-ranked team from the Mountain Conference in the Junior College Athletic Bureau 2012 California State Preseason Poll.

The Huskies however are expected to finish third in the Mountain Conference behind favored Southwestern College and Chaffey College. Both teams join the conference this season and are not ranked in the JC Athletic Bureau poll.

East Los Angeles College will renew their rivalry with Chaffey College. The series began in 1947.

The Huskies finished 8-3 last season, 5-0 in the Mountain Conference. It was their first winning season since 2000 when they were 7-3 overall, 4-3 in Western Conference Southern Division play.

“We have a tough schedule and are excited about our season. We will take it one game at a time,” said Steven Mojarro who returns to his fifth season as an ELAC football coach, first as head coach.

“Some of the key new Huskies include linebacker Donyae Olton, a West Hills College transfer, defensive lineman Demetrius Campbell (College of the Canyons) and wide receiver Robert McCovery (LA Jordan High School),” said Mojarro.

Campbell comes to ELAC seasoned with several universities showing interest such as Arkansas, Oregon State, Boise State, San Jose State, Memphis and Texas Christian universities.

“Also new to the team are wide receiver Alexander Villalobos (San Gabriel High School) and right tackle Steven Granillo (LA Wilson High School). Granillo is a bright kid who will help us a lot,” said Mojarro.

Quarterback Aaron Cantu, last year’s American Division / Mountain Conference Player of the Year returns to lead the Husky offense.

“I’m back and I’m looking forward to ELAC having an even bigger season. It will take a lot of work but there are a lot of great new guys. We will find out who our guys are after the first game against Valley, who will be a test to say the least,” said Cantu.

L.A.Valley also begins the season with a first year coach in Larry Kerr.

Kerr has 37 years experience as a football coach including stints at Colorado State, Standford, Duke and San Jose State univerisities. Locally he coached at UCLA and Whittier’s Pioneer High School.

The Huskies beat the Monarchs 41-40 in 2009 at Weingart Stadium. Valley won last year at ELAC, 47-26, and 28-21 in 2010 at Monarch Stadium. The series  began in 1950.

“Valley has had our number for two years. It’s important for us to start the season off with a win against them. We play exciting junior college football with talented players who will move on to the next level,” said Mojarro.

Other Husky standouts returning from last season are two American Division / Mountain Conference 1st Team Offense standouts offensive lineman Alberto Perez (Schurr High School) and running back Preston Oliver (LA Marshall High School).

Also returning are 1st Team Defense aces defensive linebacker Hector Cazales (Garfield High School) and center Kyle Cook (La Mirada High School).

“We’ve worked hard all summer and are prepared and ready to do what we’ve got to do this season starting off with Valley,” said Cook.

The team held a scrimmage two weeks ago at Weingart Stadium with about 500 hundred fans in attendance.

“We are very excited about our fans especially those that were at our bowl game,” said Mojarro. ELAC had a large vocal fan base at last year’s 42-28 American Bowl win over host Santa Monica College.








Huskies secure American Championship Bowl

BEAT DOWN—Husky Luther Walker connects with his quarterback receiving the ball, and stacks the points for Huskies at the American Championship Bowl on Saturday. CN/Brigette Ramirez

By Carlos Alvarez

The Huskies got their payback with a 42-28 win over the Corsairs at Santa Monica College, capturing the American Championship Bowl trophy. The game was dominated by the Huskies’ high-scoring offense and stifling red zone defense. Led by freshman quarterback Aaron Cantu, the offense answered each Santa Monica scoring drive with their own. After falling behind early in the first quarter 14-7, the Huskies began their drive at their own 8-yard line.

Two plays later, after some loss yardage, Cantu connected with sophomore wide receiver Luther Walker for a 95-yardtouchdown pass tying the score at fourteen all. “Cantu just threw it up and gave me a chance to make a play,” Walker said.

Multiple missed opportunities by both special teams continued throughout the early part of the second quarter. The defense for both teams began to put pressure on Cantu, as well as Corsair freshman quarterback Alfonso Medina creating some sloppy play and multiple penalties. “The penalties killed us. They stopped all momentum for us on some drives,” offensive coordinator Nick Garret said.

Corsair sophomore defensive linemen Karl Buchanan sacked Cantu for a 10-yard loss, halting the Husky drive that ended with a missed field goal. The defense for both teams continued to create scoring opportunities for their offense. Corsair sophomore Martin Perry sacked Cantu and recovered the ball, giving Santa Monica’s offense a first down at the 17 yard line and setting them up the Corsair’s for a scoring opportunity. After ineffective runs by freshman running back Myles Johnson, the Corsairs scored on a fade route to freshman wide receiver Frank Murray.

Down 21-14, sophomore Marquel Booker took the punt and returned it to the 49 yard line. A personal foul by the Corsairs moved the ball to the 36-yard line where the Huskies began the drive. A combination of power runs by freshman running back Preston Oliver and crucial third down completions to sophomore wide receiver Carlos Arredondo, kept the Huskies’ drive alive. Faced with a crucial third down from the 16-yard line, Oliver powered his way into the end zone to tie the score at 21 heading into halftime.

As the second half got under way the Huskies’ defense shut down any offensive scheme the Corsairs threw at them. “Our defensive scheme coming out in the second half was the same as the first half. We just executed better,” said defensive coordinator Geoff Ackerman after the game.

While the defense continued to shut down the Corsairs, the offense continued to move the ball. Their first drive of the second half ended with a 4-yard run by Preston Oliver for a touchdown was a combination of powerful runs and clutch passing by Cantu. “We just mixed in some play action and a heavy dose of Oliver. We wanted to get him going,” said Garret.

The Huskies’ defense was the biggest difference in the second half, forcing the Corsairs to punt, miss field goals, and turn the ball over on downs. The defense completely shut down the Corsairs’ running game,forcing quarterback Medina in to some tough situations, as the Huskies offense continued to capitalize on every sco r ing opportunity. On their second drive of the second half, ELAC began at their own 13-yard line after sophomore Christopher Floyd blocked and recovered the punt.

After Oliver carried the ball to the 2-yard line, freshman Carlos Portillo ran in the rest of the way to put ELAC in front 35-21. Holding a commanding lead and with their defense holding strong, the Huskies continued to pour it on. As the Corsairs began their drive at their own 30-yard line, the first play was a resemblance of the second half. Corsairs’ quarterback Medina was hit as he threw a pass. Freshman defensive linemen Rigo Verdin recovered and ran the ball in for a touchdown for a 42-21 lead.

As the fourth quarter got under way, Santa Monica started a nohuddle offense moving the ball down the field at will. Medina’s pass to freshman wide receiver Ralph Gordon made the score 42- 28, but that was the closest they would get. As the outcome of the game became obvious, frustration by the Corsairs was being shown through some questionable hits and continued dirty tackling.

“There is tension there. We have had some tough games with them these past three years. They beat us on our field this season. Its just emotions,” said head coach Lynn Cain after the game. Those emotions got the best of some of the players after the game when a fight broke out between the two teams. The mayhem continued on the field with players throwing helmets and punches being thrown at one another, the Santa Monica Police Department came to restore some order.




ELAC football heads to American Championship Bowl after win

TO THE TOUCHDOWN—Running back Preston Oliver makes a three-yard run and completes a touchdown that leads the Huskies 21 - 14 against San Bernardino Valley College Wolverines. This earned the Huskies their first invitation to a bowl game in 37 years. CN/Brigette Ramirez

By Megan Perry

Huskies come back with a bang for an undefeated title in conference and a spot in the American Championship Bowl next Saturday after a 37-year deficit. The Bowl is to take place at Santa Monica College against the Corsairs, a team that Huskies lost to earlier this season.

East Los Angeles College is ranked No. 16 in Southern California, and is the champion of the American Mountain Conference. The team will receive conference rings and a trophy to show-off for their great season.

The Huskies caused an upset at San Bernardino Valley College last Saturday for their final win in the conference with a score of 48 – 44, which resulted in the Huskies’ clinched spot in the bowl. Although the game was riddled with controversial calls by the referees that would cause dismay to both coaches and the crowd, Huskies were ready to take over.

Freshman running back Preston Oliver said “We had to come out strong, and came out with a win.” He was one of the key players of the game and seemed to be quarterback Aaron Cantu’s go-to guy for big plays. For the SBVC game, Oliver gained a total of 190 yards, 136 of which came from rushing while 54 yards came from receiving.

“It feels good to win. I just go out there and do what I can,” said Oliver. Oliver has a net total of 120 rushes for 776 yards and five touchdowns. Of ELAC’s seven touchdowns, three of them came from Oliver.

The defeat of SBVC is really a product the defensive line as they played their hearts out on the field, doing all they could to keep the Wolverines out of the end zone. Sophomore cornerback Tyrone Moore had played a great tackling game with six solo tackles and four assists. During the third quarter, Wolverines were down by 20 points and had already given up possession of the ball once when Moore caught an interception for a 10-yard return.

The interception started the drive at the ELAC 34-yard line, but three plays and 66 yards down later, ELAC gained their final touchdown of the game. Earlier in the game, Moore was robbed of a three-yard return interception due to a holding call against ELAC.

“We had a lot of doubters at the beginning of the season,” but Huskies came out on top, proving the doubters wrong, said Moore. He felt that the newly remodeled stadium helped them get their mojo back and win.

During the SBVC game, sophomore defensive lineman Christopher Floyd was there for the stop on more than one occasion, giving him seven total tackles, of which four were solo. As the Wolverines were about to make their way down the field into the end zone, Floyd received an interception for a return of five yards. Huskies did not waste their opportunity with the ball and took the interception and turned it into a touchdown.

Sophomore wide receiver Nasir Moore was ranked seventh in state for interceptions, with six for 59 yards that average to about 9.83 yards each. Going into the season, Huskies had not won too many games and the team felt that their crowd had lost faith in them. But that didn’t hold the team back and now they feel the result of perseverance.

“It feels good to be a winner. A lot of people gave up on us, but we made it,” said Floyd after the game. This wasn’t a game where a particular player shined or played particularly well, but the team as whole brought the win home.

Freshman defensive lineman Mike Frias couldn’t help but show his appreciation for his fellow teammates as he said, “We are all brothers, and we love our brothers.”

For the season, ELAC ranked No. 1 for total offensive average yards per play in So. Calif. football with 6.4 yards per play. Sophomore wide receiver Lanny Delgado played an impressive game by stopping any one that came into his way, giving him a total of six solo tackles and interception for a return of two yards. “We had to go 5 and 0. We had to beat them (SBVC), because they taunted us last year when they beat us,” said Delgado.

Carlos Arredondo, sophomore wide receiver, is ranked third in state for receiving with 67 receptions for 797 and six touchdowns. This wasn’t one of his bigger games, but racked up his stats in the games previous.

Wolverine quarterback Daniel Farley was no comparison to Cantu in passing as he only completed 23 for 50 passes, five of which intercepted. On the other hand, Cantu completed 24 for 31 passes with only one interception, which SBVC Jamaal Anderson caught for a return of 11 yards to the 50-yard line.

Cantu had an amazing season as he broke the 2000-yard threshold with a total 2269 yards for 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. He is ranked No.1 in the state for pass completion percentage with 179 completions for 264 attempts, giving him 67.8 percent. Cantu said he and his team worked hard to get where they are today, and it hasn’t  quite hit him yet that they are conference champions. “We aren’t sharing this title with anyone. We sealed the deal,” said Cantu.