Football: Tale of two halves not enough to post win

Jason Nettles posted nine tackles and three tackles for loss for the Falcons
Jason Nettles posted nine tackles and three tackles for loss for the Falcons

The first half of the Cerritos College football game against Fullerton College on Saturday was one to forget. The Falcons trailed 35-7 after the first 30 minutes, but went on to shut out the Hornets in the second half, 18-0. It wasn't enough, and the team dropped their third game in a row, 35-25. Looking to get back into the win column, Cerritos (3-3, 0-1) will host San Diego Mesa College at 6:00 p.m. next Saturday in their annual Homecoming Game.

Unable to stop Fulleton (7-0, 1-0) on offense in the first half, or able to generate any offense, the Falcons looked to regroup at intermission. The opened the second half with sophomore defensive back Dior Denson (Gahr HS) picking off a pass and then the offense drove deep into Hornet territory. Faced with a fourth-and-18 at the Fullerton 19-yard line, the Falcons lined up for what looked like a field goal attempt. But on the play, sophomore quarterback Isaiah Bravo (West Covina HS), who was serving as the holder, broke away and attempted a pass to freshman defensive lineman Anthony Shipton (Villa Park HS), which was out of his reach and the Falcons were turned away offensively.

Once again, the defense held and took over on downs after Fullerton failed to convert on a fourth down play. For the second straight drive, the Cerritos offense drove into Hornet territory after a 44-yard run from sophomore running back Rhamondre Stevenson (Centennial, NV HS). The drive stalled and sophmore kicker Leonard Arzt (Warren HS/Long Beach CC) came on to convert a 30-yard field goal. On the next Fullerton drive, the Falcon defense came up with big plays, including a three-yard loss on a tackle from sophomore defensive lineman Jason Nettles (Long Beach Poly HS), which forced a punt.

Bravo bookend completions to sophomore wide receiver Jacob Gasser (Los Alamitos HS) on their drive that culminated with a seven-yard touchdown reception to freshman running back Carl Odom (West Jordan, UT HS). The second completion to Gasser on the drive came on third-and-10 and went for 10 yards. Odom closed out the scoring in the final minute of the game on a nine-yard run that capped a 13-play, 93-yard drive, with freshman tight end Jeremy Haywood (Valley, NV HS) catching a two-point conversion.

Stevenson, who entered the day leading the state in rushing with 953 yards, was limited to a quiet 114 yards on 17 carries. He becomes the 13th running back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season and moved closer to the single-season record of 1,527 by Darrell Thompson in 1991. Stevenson has now amassed 1,067 yards with four regular season games on the schedule.

Bravo completed 18-of-39 passes for 300 yards, but was sacked nine times on the day. Gasser pulled in six passes for 136 yards, with freshman Jovohn Tucker (St. John Bosco HS) catching a pair of passes for 65 yards.

The defense was led by freshman defensive back Noah Guzman (Bishop Amat HS), who recorded 11 tackles (six solo), as well as a tackle for loss, while sophomore linebacker Latrell Stearns (Gahr HS) finished with 10 stops. As for Nettles, he accounted for nine tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and a pass break-up.