Football: Falcons have eight players named all-conference

File Photo: PJ Naufahu was a unanimous All-Conference pick
File Photo: PJ Naufahu was a unanimous All-Conference pick

Led by a pair of unanimous selections, the Cerritos College football team had eight of their players earn All-National Division Northern League honors. The Falcons, who went 3-7 on the season, had sophomore defensive tackle PJ Naufahu (El Camino HS) and sophomore offensive tackle David Zavala (Lakewood HS/University of Nevada) received unanimous selection honors, while two others also received 1st Team accolades.

Joining Naufahu and Zavala on the 1st Team were sophomore wide receiver Justin Garrett (Gahr HS/West Los Angeles College) and freshman safety Devan Burrell (Centennial, NV HS). Naufahu was second among defensive linemen with 45 tackles on the season, with 16 of them solo stops. He also led the team with 5.5 quarterback sacks, and was second with 10.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles, while he also recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick. He posted a season-high eight tackles, with two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles against Fullerton College and had seven stops against Golden West College.

Zavala helped the offense average 179 passing and 152 rushing yards a game, while the Falcons posted 23 points a game. He joined the football team after earning All-American honors on the Falcon wrestling team last season. One of the recipients of Zavala's blocking was Garrett, who led the team with 38 catches for 592 yards and five touchdowns. In the season finale, Garrett had six receptions for a career-high 153 yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yard score. He also pulled in a career-high eight passes against Golden West for 134 yards and a 75-yard score.

One of the most consistent players on defense, Burrell concluded the season with 52 tackles, which was third on the team, with 20 of them solo stops. He led the team with four interceptions for 129 return yards and one touchdown, while also breaking up three passes and he blocked a kick. He recorded a season-high 11 tackles against Moorpark College and had eight tackles and two picks against Riverside City College. He returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown against Santa Monica.

Earning 2nd Team recognition were freshman center Fidel Mendes (Long Beach Jordan HS), sophomore tight end Kevin Ventura-Cortes (Savanna HS/Santa Ana College), freshman defensive end Derek Thomas (Huntington Beach HS) and freshman cornerback Josh Caldwell (La Mirada HS). Mendes joined Zavala is opening up holes for a pair of running backs that each accounted for 500 yards on the ground and saw a pair of quarterback combine for 16 touchdown passes. Ventura-Cortes finished third on the team with 20 receptions for 180 yards and three touchdowns. He pulled in a season-high five passes against Santa Monica and added four catches against Bakersfield College. 

Thomas led all defensive linemen with 48 tackles (21 solo) to go along with six sacks and a season-high 13 tackles for loss, as well as a fumble recovery. He finished with a season-high eight tackles and two tackles for loss against Bakersfield, while recording seven tackles, three sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against Santa Monica. Caldwell finished the season with 40 tackles (21 solo), as well as 4.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, two blocked kicks and an interception. He had a season-high six tackles against Fullerton and Ventura and an tackle for loss in each game, while finishing with five stops in three other games.