By Joe Dargan
The football team lost to Santa Ana College 75-61 in an offensive free-for-all.
The Huskies began with the ball on offense, executing two running plays and gaining a first down to start.
The success was short lived due to sophomore running back Marquise Arnold’s fumble on the 44-yard line, giving the ball to Santa Ana for its first possession of the game.
Though ELAC’s defense did not allow a touchdown on its first defensive drive, Santa Ana did manage to kick a field goal, making the score 3-0. Later in the first, after forcing a punt by Santa Ana, the ball hit an ELAC player and was recovered by Santa Ana on the Huskie’s 20-yard line.
Two plays later, Santa Ana capitalized on the Huskie’s turnover with a 1-yard rushing touchdown that made the score 10-0.
On the ensuing kick-off Arnold showed his worth by providing a 98-yard punt return to give ELAC the ball at Santa Ana’s 2-yard line.
With 3:13 left to go in the first quarter Freshman quarterback Philip Tran threw a 2-yard bullet to freshman linebacker Kent Lowry for the touchdown.
After a successful extra-point try by freshman Kicker Hector Gomez, the score was 10-7.
The Husky defense caused Santa Ana to punt on its next possession.
The kick was returned 73-yards by sophomore defensive back Raeshawn Roland for the touchdown.
Elac led 17-10 after another good kick by Gomez. After a 61-yard return, Santa Ana once again found themselves on the ELAC 29-yard line.
The drive would end with a 12-yard touchdown for Santa Ana with 32 seconds left in the first quarter. After an extra-point kick by Gomez, the score was 17-14 to end the quarter .
“Even though getting the win is all that really matters, I absolutely feel like i’m playing for my position at quarterback today,” said Tran between quarters.
Tran’s starting job had been in question after he was yanked in consecutive games by Head Coach Bobby Godinez and replaced with freshman quarterback Paul Herrera.
Herrera played well, bringing the Huskies back to win the last of the two games.
The second quarter started with touchdowns for both teams on consecutive drives.
For three straight possessions, each team was stopped and forced to punt. Then the defense of both teams took a vacation.
Each team traded touchdowns for the next three possessions.
Santa Ana capped the scoring bananza off with a field goal and no time left on the clock to send the game into halftime with a score of 34-35, ELAC.
With scores by both teams, the second half began the same way the first half ended. Santa Ana began its drive with three rushes for modest gains which led to a 53-yard pass for a touchdown.
The score came less than two minutes into the quarter and included a juke move that made an ELAC tackler miss 5-yards from the goal line, the score now 41-35, Santa Ana.
After back-to-back, fruitless possessions for both teams, sophomore running back Nicholas Hutson rushed for a 28-yard touchdown to give the lead back to ELAC, 42-41, followed by a 37-yard punt return and 41-yard rushing touchdown for Santa Ana to take the lead back 48-42.
After another series of arm whiffs and missed tackles, sophomore running back Marcus Arnold punched through the defense for another rushing touchdown.
This run, a 13-yarder, made the score 49-48 in favor of ELAC after another successful kick by Gomez.
A forced fumble by sophomore defensive lineman Trestan Kueneman and recovery by freshman linebacker Garret Rogers was the defensive highlight of the quarter.
ELAC was unable to score to close out the third, but continued the drive into the fourth quarter leading to a 3-yard-passing touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Dontavious Hall that was set up by a 44-yard catch by sophomore wide receiver Kenny Allen.
After the point-after snap was fumbled by the Huskie’s special teams, the score was 48-55 ELAC.
Following an 8-yard kick return, Santa Ana was able to produce an 81-yard drive ended with a 25-yard, rushing touchdown that tied the game 55-55 after an extra-point kick.
Santa Ana used the kick-off opportunity to try an on-side kick.
After the ball hit an ELAC player, it was successfully recovered by Santa Ana.
With a short field to work with, Santa Ana promptly marched down the field to score a 1-yard rushing touchdown, giving them the lead 62-55.
A fumble by ELAC sophomore defensive back Toure Wallace on the ensuing kick-off was recovered by Santa Ana on ELAC’s 17-yard line.
With one 17-yard pass to a wide-open receiver, Santa Ana scored again, extending its lead to 69-55 after the kick attempt was good.
The Huskies were able to score a touchdown on the next possession, making the score 69-61, but allowed Santa Ana to come right back down field for a touchdown of its own, stretching the lead back to 14 points.
After an unsuccessful, final drive by the Huskies, the game ended with a score of 75-61 in favor of Santa Ana, handing ELAC its first conference loss of the season.
When the smoke cleared, the Huskies gave up 647 total yards, including 224 rushing yards for Santa Ana’s sophomore running back Deven Booker. Tran went 26-36, with 323 yards, throwing six touchdowns and no interceptions in the process.
Allen caught for 169 yards with two touchdowns.
The team may have been able to put up big numbers offensively, but defensive efficiency was nonexistent.
“At the end of the day, we have to finish tackles,” said Coach Godinez after the game.
He told his players, “This is all my fault. We have to get back to discipline.
“You don’t deserve what happened to you today and we are gonna fix it, but we all have to buy in.”
The Huskies will be playing at home on Saturday against division rival Compton College.