Giants cool red-hot Mustangs

Chris Chard

The College of Sequoias Giants put  a stop to the Los Medanos College Mustangs’ perfect record this weekend, beating them at home 57-24, in a game riddled with injuries and little mistakes.

The Stangs had their first big win on the road last week against Cabrillo, giving them a record of 2-0 for the first time in more than a year.

As dusk began to fall over LMC’s football field Saturday, the cheers of the crowd replaced its silence that had taken up residency only a few hours earlier in the empty stadium. With the sun setting in the background, the football players emerged from their locker rooms and began to take the field for the match up.

The Giants attacked fast, driving the ball down the field on their first two possessions and making the score 9-0. The Stangs responded back early, driving the ball down the defense’s throat with the powerful running of halfback Shawn Vasquez who took it down the field and into the Giants’ endzone. After quarterback Mike Behr and receiver Terrence Polk connected for a two-point conversion, the Stangs saw their closest score in the first half to the opposing team this season, closing it up 9 to 8.

The hot start appeared to be another game in the books, showing the best-looking first quarter team LMC had to present. But it did not last long.

Just as the second quarter clock began to tick, the Giants drove the ball down the field and scored on their first attempt. The Stang’s attempted to answer, but lost their footing as the game progressed.

Several penalties were called on the Giants, which had the appearance of assisting the Stangs, but did nothing to help the final outcome.

LMC entered the half the same way they have in the past two games, looking at a double-digit deficit. Anticipating yet another second-half comeback, there was no panic on the sideline from the red and yellow clad fans.

It wasn’t until the start of the third quarter that the Giants put the freeze on the Stangs’ amazing second-half victories. Drive after drive, COS fund the LMC’s endzone. From quarterback Tyler Ferguson hooking up with several of his receivers, to receiver Jonquez Martin, who ran back an impressive 82-yard kick off return for a touchdown, the Giants squashed any chance for the Stangs to steal the win.

“We played not too bad, a little sloppy overall,” said COS head coach Robert Dougherty. “LMC fought till the end, we just executed a little better. We had 19 penalties at the end, so we could have done better.”

Demoin Stroman, made an impressive jump on one of the Giants’ receiver routes that led to a turnover for COS in the endzone.

“I was thinking, ‘I need to score’,” said Stroman. “I didn’t even know where I was. I was just trying to get a touchdown but got tackled before I could. I was just happy to get one.”

Stroman’s interception was just one of few things that helped the Stangs attempt to fight off the loss.

Injuries played a major roll in the turnout of last weekend’s game. Losing several players due to on-field hazards made for tough and decisive calls.

“Losing a bunch of kids didn’t help,” said LMC offensive line coach Dave Reinders. “They’re a good team and when you lose three or four guys to injuries, that hurts.”

The Stangs spent the remainder of Saturday’s game looking at the back end of a losing score. With a few more “won’t go down without a fight” type plays, the Giants would eventually became the victors in the match ending the game with the score 57-24.

“We made a lot of simple mistakes which led to big plays by the other team,” said Stroman. “We came into this game a little bigheaded and too confident. They came ready to play and we didn’t.”

The Stangs will take their game back on the road this weekend, matching up with the Monterey Peninsula College Lobos Saturday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m.