Santa Monica has too much firepower for SBCC

No.20-ranked Santa Monica rolled up 620 total yards of offense and ran over SBCC 37-21 in an American Pacific League football game at La Playa Stadium on Saturday.

The Corsairs improved to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in conference. They’ve won four straight APL titles and 33 consecutive conference games. The Vaqueros fell to 4-5 and 3-3.

SBCC took a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter on a 7-yard pass from Brandon Edwards to Jason-Matthew Sharsh.

Santa Monica responded with 31 unanswered points. Quarterback Troy Williams threw a pair of two TD passes, helping the Corsairs to a 23-7 lead at halftime.

The Corsairs entered the contest as the highest-scoring team in the state, averaging 49.8 points.

“We knew they had a great offense and our offense would have to step up,” said Edwards, one of 16 sophomores playing their final home game. “They drove down and scored on their first drive, and I told everyone we had to respond and put pressure on them.

“Things fell apart a little bit in the middle. We knew we could come back and we fought to the end. I’m proud of my teammates for never giving up.”

Edwards completed 14-of-18 passes for 233 yards and two TDs. He alternated at quarterback with Alexander Cuevas, who completed 4-7 for 60 yards. Ronald Smith-Carter, a freshman from Westlake High, caught four passes for 112 yards.

Edwards missed last week’s game with a bruised shoulder.

Santa Monica’s running game dominated. Kwame Duggins ran for 152 yards on 15 carries and scored one TD and Roger Jones picked up 132 yards on 21 attempts. The Corsairs outgained the Vaqueros on the ground, 361 to 46 yards.

Santa Monica ran 93 plays for its 620 yards and the home team had 339 yards on 56 plays. The Corsairs were 8-15 on third-down conversions and 3-4 on fourth down.

Williams, a sophomore quarterback from Narbonne High and a former L.A. City Section Player of the Year, is a bounce-back from the University of Washington. He completed 24-of-35 passes for 253 yards and three TDs.

SBCC lost two fumbles and Santa Monica cashed both in for TDs on drives of 34 and 75 yards.

“Our big point of emphasis this week was not to turn the ball over,” said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos. “We had four turnovers against them last year and we knew we couldn’t do that and expect to win.”

Moropoulos said he went with two quarterbacks because “they both do certain things that help us out. Playing two quarterbacks didn’t hurt us. It was the two fumbles and the fact that we didn’t tackle very well.”

Santa Monica runs a quick no-huddle offense with wide splits in the line.

“You better tackle them and get some heat on the quarterback,” Moropoulos noted. “We had a couple of good chances to intercept balls and we couldn’t hang on.”

The Vaqueros scored the last two TDs on a 46-yard pass from Edwards to Crockett with 2:20 to go in the third and a 1-yard run by Deon Dickey that capped a 60-yard drive with 4:10 to go in the game.

Elisha Allen, a sophomore linebacker from Palmdale, made a season-high 17 tackles and Airistaca Gilliam had 12 of his 13 tackles in the first half. Gilliam recorded eight solo tackles and forced a second-quarter fumble that Evan Defer recovered.

Santa Monica commited 14 penalties for 143 yards and defensive back Carnell Lewis was ejected for getting his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the last play of the first half.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Moropoulos said. “We’re young with 16 sophomores out of 80 guys. A lot of our freshmen are on defense and they’re going to get better and better.”

The Vaqueros will play their final regular-season game on Saturday at Glendale with kickoff at 1 p.m.

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