Defense sets the tone in SBCC rout of East L.A.

SBCC’s defense forced five turnovers and scored two touchdowns, sparking the Vaqueros to a 47-10 win over East L.A. in their home-opening football game Saturday at La Playa Stadium.

The Vaqueros, ranked No. 20 in Southern California, improved to 2-0 for the first time since 1996 when they started 3-0.

Jacob Arnell catches one of his two touchdowns during SBCC's 47-10 win over East L.A.

Jacob Arnell catches one of his two touchdowns during SBCC’s 47-10 win over East L.A. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Wide receiver Jacob Arnell and his twin brother Zack Arnell had huge days. Jacob, a 5-11 sophomore receiver from San Diego, caught two short touchdown passes from quarterback Jarred Evans, returned a kickoff 50 yards and had two other TDs, including a 67-yard punt return, erased by penalties.

Zack Arnell, a 6-1 freshman defensive back who redshirted last year, had five tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups. After Jacob Arnell caught a 4-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal from the 4 to make it 21-10, Zack picked off a pass on the next play and sprinted to the end zone from 35 yards out.

Jacob is the older of the twins by one minute. The brothers got their touchdowns 13 seconds apart and Zack?s score boosted the lead to 28-10 with 45 seconds to go in the second quarter.

?Our defense was on point for the second straight week,? said Zack Arnell, who had five tackles and a second interception in the third quarter. ?We anticipated a lot of routes and it was pretty predictable what they were going to run.

?I was hungry for that pick-6 because I dropped an interception in the first quarter.?

Sophomore linebacker Morgan Nevin had a game-high nine tackles and notched his first TD as a Vaquero in the third quarter. Marquis Cobb forced a fumble and Nevin picked it up at his 28 and rumbled 72 yards up the right sideline to stretch the lead to 34-10.

?We did our job on defense,? said Nevin. ?We had a goal of forcing three turnovers but five is even better. We knew a lot of their game plan and we knew we?d have opportunities to make plays.?

?Morgan has been big in every game for us the last two years,? said coach Craig Moropoulos. ?This game was no different. It took him forever to get to the goal line but the fact of the matter is he got there.?

Zack Arnell?s second pick set up the Vaqueros at the Huskies? 31-yard line. Evans hit Martin for a 20-yard gain and then found Jacob Arnell on a 6-yard slant that stretched the lead to 41-10. So, one Arnell twin got the interception and the other scored the TD.

East L.A. took a 3-0 lead with a 40-yard field goal on the third play of the second quarter. SBCC responded with a 4-play, 57-yard march capped by a a 26-yard scoring toss from Evans to Giovanni Sanders.

Evans looked sharp in the Vaqueros? no-huddle offense, completing 12-of-22 passes for 149 yards and three TDs. Connor Hustead was the leading rusher with 47 yards in 10 tries and also had a 50-yard kickoff return.

Three plays after the Vaqueros? first TD, Cameron Gamble intercepted a Gilberto Rivera pass at his own 49. Five plays later, backup quarterback Joshua Martin made his first collegiate appearance and promptly weaved his way for a 19-yard touchdown out of shotgun formation.

?Our defense rose up again and got some turnovers,? said Moropoulos. ?In a lot of series, our offense looked the way I wanted it to look. The tempo was up and we were moving right down the field. We just have to minimize some of the little mistakes that typically happen in the early season.

?The biggest thing about the Arnell brothers is they?re extremely competitive and not just with each other. When Zack dropped that interception, he got so intense. He threw the ball down and the official said, ?If this was a basketball game, I would have given you a T.?

?Those guys come to play every day and they?re doing great things for us.?

The Huskies (0-2) outgained the Vaqueros in total yards, 314-300. The Vaquero defense held the visitors to 87 rushing yards on 31 tries for a 2.8 average.

Aaron Carr and Dillon Sheedy had eight tackles apiece while Tavonte Jackson and Jake Pettit each chipped in with seven.

?It?s not just that we?re 2-0, it?s how we?re winning,? Moropoulos concluded. ?We?re leaning on each other when we need it and supporting each other on offense, defense and in the kicking game. That?s what you want.?

SBCC travels to Compton for its final nonconference game on Saturday at 1 p.m.