Bad field position and turnovers caused the Pierce College Brahmas to lose the team’s second game in a row, and the last home game of the season on Saturday Nov. 7.
Coming off a bad loss last week to rivals L.A Valley College, the Brahmas were more explosive on offense, but we’re not able to get the job done, losing to the Antelope Valley Marauders with a final score of 57-37.
“We found some good things, tried to put certain players in a position to be successful. We’re real dinged up so we really had to dig deep and find a way to get the ball into the playmakers hands,” said Head Coach for the Brahmas Jason Sabolic. “We did that a lot better tonight on offense, we were held to 7 points last week, it was a pretty dismal offensive showing. We scored 37 tonight. It was a much better effort; very happy about that but unfortunately they scored more points tonight.”
This drops the Brahmas record to (5-4) and suffers the team’s second divisional loss of the season. The team is now tied for third in the American Pacific division with Antelope Valley (5-4) who came out with the win on Saturday night.
Wide Receiver, Jamere Austin showed some versatility by playing on both sides of the ball and was credited for a receiving touchdown on offense and an interception on defense.
“I haven’t played defense in so long, it’s something new,” said Austin. “We got to take practice more serious, practice makes perfect, we got to execute little things, it’s always the little things, as long as we get the little things out the way, we will be cool for next week.”
Starting Quarterback, Sean Smith had some bad luck with some of his throws that were tipped and intercepted, which was costly to the Brahmas late in the game.
“Not really bad plays, but just bad luck, tipped balls, and interceptions,” said Smith. “One of them was my fault, I threw behind the guy, but the other two is like what are you going to do about it, stuff happens and we just got to keep playing through it.”
Pierce started the game by receiving the opening kickoff. After punting away on their first possession, they quickly got the ball back with an interception by Defensive Back Eric Waters. Pierce ended up kicking a 23-yard field goal the next possession to go up 3-0.
The Brahmas then got a second interception and put them in good field position again, but then the Marauders responded with an interception of their own. Brahmas could have capitalized on back to back possessions to put up more points on the board but was held to just a field goal on the first two drives.
The Marauders then score 16 unanswered points and the Brahmas answered back, scoring the team’s first touchdown of the game to make it 16-10. The offense got off to a slow start in the first half.
At the half, Pierce was down 19-10 after another field goal was made by the Marauders. The Brahmas could have avoided being down by 9 before the half, but instead called a timeout before the missed kick which gave Antelope Valley a second chance to kick it in.
“Started off slow, offense started off slow, we definitely came out on the second half and fired at all cylinders,” said Smith.
In the first half both teams played well defensively with three interceptions, a lost fumble and a blocked PAT (point after touchdown) combined. On offense not so much as each team had two turnovers each.
The Brahmas opened the second half allowing back to back touchdowns after losing the ball on the first possession on offense making the score 33-10.
After both teams traded touchdowns on their next possessions 40-17, the Brahmas got it going on offense with quarterback Sean Smith connecting with tight end, Trevor Kanteman with two catches in a row to help set up running back Yusupha Foster’s one-yard touchdown run.
Then after the defense forced the Marauders to punt with a sack, the Brahmas capitalize with a big forty-yard catch by Wide Receiver Keotae Stenhouse down the middle of the field. The Brahmas then score another touchdown by Foster to make it 40-30.
Antelope Valley then took advantage of the Brahmas tipped passes which resulted in two more interceptions in the game to increase the to 57-30 after scoring 17 points in a row.
Brahmas scored a 26-yard touchdown catch by Stenhouse to cut the lead to 57-37. That would be the last score of the game and Antelope Valley Marauders hold off the Brahmas 57-37.
“I think we did good, we just need to execute better on defense. We lost as a team,” Offensive Linemen German Valenzuela said. “We can do everything better, we need to improve as a complete package.”
“There’s no individual performances, we lost as a team, we made a lot of great plays, but we just made great plays at the wrong time,” Waters said. “Our defense, we tried our best to hold them, and offense was coming up but it was a little bit too late.
Coach Sabolic later credits the Marauders defensive performance.
“It was a field position issue, defense started with their backs against the wall quite a few times, turnovers put Antelope Valley in positions to score and they took advantage of the turnovers,” Sabolic said. “We just didn’t do a good enough job fighting back into the game and then we brought it to within 10 and we had a chance but then those two tipped interceptions killed us.”
Pierce College (5-4) will go on the road to play the team’s last game of the regular season against Santa Monica College (9-0) next on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.