Pierce College’s football team defeated Moorpark College on Monday at Pierce’s John Shepard Stadium, improving their overall record to 4-1 in the team’s first Monday night football game in recent years.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m. but was rescheduled due to a power outage caused by a single vehicle collision with an off campus Los Angeles Department of Water and Power pole on Winnetka Avenue on Saturday.
The Brahmas won 41-31 Monday night despite countless penalties that allowed for the Moorpark offense to set up within yards of the end zone, much to the displeasure of head coach Efrain Martinez.
“I didn’t like the way we played overall,” Martinez said after the game. “We’re going to have a big meeting about [penalties] because eventually that’s going to hurt us so we have to put a stop to it right now.”
Although Pierce was up on the scoreboard in the first half, the team allowed for Moorpark to dictate the game as the Brahmas trailed early in the fourth quarter.
“[Moorpark] made some adjustments, they were controlling the line of scrimmage offensively,” Martinez said. “Their offense was on the field a lot which kept our offense off the field, which is a great game plan because we’re pretty explosive.”
However, freshman wide receiver Jaelen Strong carried much of the offense as he scored three touchdowns, with one coming late in the fourth quarter which sealed the game for the Brahmas.
“I just played football and did what I was taught to do – just work hard everyday,” Strong said after the game. “I kept my word and went out there and scored.”
Strong’s performance during the game and throughout season has caught the attention of Martinez as he praised Strong for his play.
“He’s the best wide receiver in America right now,” Martinez said. “The offense is explosive with him.”
Although the team remains undefeated at home this season, Martinez still sees areas the team needs to improve on.
“We need to straighten out our over-aggressiveness because it leads to penalties, over pursuits, missed tackles and other teams scoring some points,” Martinez said. “The only positive was the fact that we were able to come back and handle adversity at the end.”
Although Pierce is set to play two games in one week due to rescheduling, preparation is not a concern for the team in carrying over the momentum to the next game, according to Martinez.
“We’ve already made the adjustments so we’ll be ready,” Martinez said. “The schedule is not going to affect us at all.”
Martinez’s thoughts were reiterated by Strong as the team goes into homecoming week.
“This one is a big win for us but we start work tomorrow,” Strong said. “We’re going to come out fired up next week too, it’s all mental.”
The team’s next game is against Los Angeles Valley College on Saturday, October 13 at 7 p.m. at Pierce’s John Shepard Stadium.