East L.A. beats Vaqueros on final drive

Santa Barbara City College's Jacob Ortale catches a pass for a first down on Saturday. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Santa Barbara City College’s Jacob Ortale catches a pass for a first down on Saturday. (Presidio Sports Photos)


East L.A. scored a touchdown on its first and last possession on Saturday to hand SBCC a 21-14 nonconference football defeat at La Playa Stadium.

With the score tied at 14, the Huskies drove 91 yards in 12 plays, capped by a diving 4-yard TD grab in the right side of the end zone by William Tanner Rose. The TD came with 30 seconds to play.

SBCC (1-2) got the ball on its own 40 and quarterback Brandon Edwards completed a 6-yard pass to Chad Woolsey. With six seconds left, Daniel Alvarado sacked Edwards to secure East L.A.’s first win.

“We had some opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on ‘em,” said Vaquero coach Craig Moropoulos. “We turned the ball over and that was a point of emphasis all week. The turnovers came back to bite us.”

Freshman quarterback Brian Marty completed 20-of-37 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns. The Huskies (1-1) drove 63 yards with the opening kickoff and took a 7-0 lead on Marty’s 19-yard toss to Iheanyi Obanni. SBCC’s Marvin Millett lost a fumble on the first play of the second quarter and the Huskies went 34 yards and made it 14-0 on a 9-yard aerial from Marty to Leonard Taylor.

Santa Barbara got to the ELA 9 on its second possession but Ryan Cisneros ended the march by intercepting an Edwards’ pass at the 1. “That was just a poor choice, he threw back across his body when he was rolling left,” explained Moropoulos. “But he’s learning and he does a lot of good things. This is only his second game of the year.”

The Vaqueros opened the second half with a 54-yard drive and converted a fourth-and-1 at the 34 on a 5-yard run by Edwards. On the next play, Edwards hit Osha Washington with a 29-yard scoring strike to cut the deficit in half, 14-7.

Diante Lewis-Jolley intercepted a pass at his own 21 early in the third quarter and the Vaqueros marched 79 yards in eight plays, taking just 2:50 off the clock. On third-and-4, Edwards handed to Washington who threw a pass into the end zone. Jason Matthew-Starsh made a spectacular one-handed grab as he and a defender tumbled to the turf. Blake Levin’s PAT kick made it 14-14 with 7:51 to go in the third.

Levin had a 36-yard field goal try blocked by Robert Douglas midway through the third period.

The Vaqueros drove to the Huskies’ 15 on the first drive of the final quarter and probably would have tried a field goal if Levin hadn’t been injured on an earlier play. Edwards’ fourth-down pass was picked off by Deangelo Buchanon.

“We had a chance to get some turnovers, a ball was in the air and we dropped it instead of intercepting it,” said Moropoulos. “That’s the way the game is, when you get your opportunities you have to capitalize.”

Edwards completed 25-of-39 passes for 252 yards and one TD. Elijah King caught nine passes for 96 yards. Washington grabbed six for 74 and also threw a 19-yard TD. East L.A.’s Obinna led all receivers with nine receptions for 159 yards and a TD.

After going 0-for-7 on third-down conversions in the first half, the Vaqueros made 6-10 in the last two quarters. They piled up 187 yards and 10 first downs in the third quarter alone.

The total yardage was almost even with the Huskies holding a slight edge, 351-344.

“We had a lot of momentum and I felt good all the way to the end,” said Edwards, a 6-3 sophomore from Seattle, Wash. “I thought we could come back, that last play just didn’t develop for us.

“I’m feeling a lot better out there. I’m starting to get back in my groove. I’m not completely there but this next game, I will be.”

Linebacker Daniel Collins led the defense with 10 tackles.

SBCC opens American Pacific League play on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game at West L.A.