Mustangs halt Corsairs by one yard

Sean Tongson

Coming off of last week’s disappointing 56-34 loss to Mendocino, the Los Medanos College Mustangs righted the ship against the College of the Redwoods Corsairs at Mustang Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 27 emerging victorious with a 47-40 win over the Corsairs to improve the Mustangs to 5-3 this season.

Mustangs quarterback Mike Behr had a solid performance, completing 19 out of 28 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns, including what proved to be the game-winning one-yard touchdown run to put the Mustangs up 47-40 in the fourth quarter.

“Mike had another good game,” said Mustangs Head Coach Chris Shipe. “A couple turnovers which we need to fix, but other than that Mike played solid Saturday and has played like that all year. He’s our leader on offense and it shows.”
The Corsairs jumped out to an early 14-9 lead going into the second quarter, however Shipe described how the Mustangs came back by shutting out the Redwoods in the second quarter, after a 51-yard run from Matt Smith, and 65-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Polk to take a 24-14 lead going into halftime.

“Our offensive linemen contributed a lot towards our win,” said Polk, who finished with five catches for 142 yards. “Our quarterback had plenty of time to pass, and also time for our running backs to hit holes.”

The Corsairs roared back in the third quarter with 18 unanswered points to retake the lead after touchdown runs by Dominic Wooten and Jared Leon. Cornerback Marc Stewart then intercepted Behr’s pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.

Though the Corsairs failed on all their conversion attempts, Shipe said that they led 32-24 going into the fourth quarter.
“We did some good things offensively. The Mustangs are a very talented team,” said Corsairs offensive coordinator Matt Tomlin. “After studying game film, we expected a high scoring game and got one. We did score a touchdown in the fourth, and we just needed a couple more stops at the end of the game. We just had trouble stopping them.”

A 23-yard touchdown pass from Behr to Shawn Vasquez tied the game at 32 apiece in the fourth quarter. However, Shipe explained that on the ensuing drive, Mustangs linebacker Willie Thompson sacked Corsairs quarterback Matt Sullivan forcing a fumble, and returning it 28-yards for a touchdown.

After the game Thompson reflected on his performance.

“It was a huge difference maker. Coming out of the defensive meeting at halftime, Coach Shipe approached me and told me that I came out flat in the first half,” said Thompson. “He said it looked like my head wasn’t in the game, and he was right. He said I needed a big play out of me, and I told him I would make one for him. It came at the right time.”
Shipe agreed with Thompson, adding, “It was a huge lift for our team when that occurred.”

The Corsairs led 40-39 with Sullivan’s 36-yard pass to wide receiver Aubrey Reed with 9:10 left in the game, but Behr led the Mustangs on a six-play, 46-yard drive culminating in Behr’s one-yard touchdown run. Behr’s two-point conversion made the score 47-40 with 6:51 remaining. Shipe described how the Mustangs stymied the Corsairs on their next possession and promptly ran out the clock to secure the victory.

“The Corsairs made some big plays on both sides of the ball,” said Shipe. “They had great effort and gave us a really tough game.”

Thompson talked about what this victory meant for the Mustangs.

“It meant a lot because after losing to a team last week we were supposed to beat, that hurt us. Losing our composure, and letting Mendocino get the best of us we totally lost it. But this win lifted our spirits and not only gave us our swagger back, but also let other teams in our conference know not to sleep on us as well.”

Shipe concedes that his team must address turnovers if they want to be successful against the 4-4 49ers this Saturday on the road.

“We can’t turn the ball over three times and expect to win on the road,” said Shipe. “Defensively, we have to stop their running game; they’re very good in the offensive line and running back positions.”

Thompson echoed his head coach’s words about not over looking the opposing teams that they face.

“We cannot take them lightly,” Thompson said. “We have to show them we mean business. They’re looking to get the ‘W’ like we are.”

The Mustangs travel to Marysville next Saturday for a game against Yuba College 49ers Saturday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. For more information on Mustangs sports, stats, photos and locations for upcoming games, visit