After waiting 651 days between games, the Long Beach City College Vikings returned to the football field on Saturday afternoon at LA Harbor. The Vikings put on a dominant performance on the road, blanking the Seahawks, 32-0.
“It was amazing to be out there,” said ninth-year LBCC head coach Brett Peabody of his return to the sidelines following the cancelation of the 2020 season. “It was just like old times. It was hot, it was competitive, everything about it was just great.”
The performance of the Vikings’ defense surely made that feeling even sweeter as they pitched their first shutout in more than 15 years. The last time LBCC held an opponent scoreless was in a 38-0 win over Palomar College on November 12, 2005.
Peabody praised his coaching staff, which was without the services of defensive coordinator Steve Ruedaflores for the game.
“Darnell Lacy stepped in as the defensive coordinator to get us ready for the game and sure enough we pitched a shoutout,” Peabody said. “I thought they played hard. Harbor came at us, and we’re a better football team than they are but the defense stepped up and really choked them out.”
While the defense was in control, the Vikings running game carried the way offensively. Saeed Galloway had three touchdowns on the ground and Elijah Davis added another. LBCC led 14-0 at halftime and 24-0 after three quarters. Official stats for the game from LA Harbor are still pending.
Peabody was happy with the play of his offensive line in opening up running lanes, but the unit did have some costly holding penalties thrown against them which hampered some Vikings drives. The head coach also wants to see improvement in the passing game over the next week of practice.
Those mistakes are to be expected in a season opener–especially one that comes after such a lengthy absence from the practice field–so overall Peabody was pleased with his team’s effort on Saturday.
“You’ve gotta remember, we’re down 11 practices from everybody else,” Peabody said. “We didn’t get a scrimmage, we only had one intrasquad scrimmage two weeks ago, so I’m proud overall. We came and represented, we were dominant on defense, and we did some great things on offense, but we need to improve very quickly because we know what monster is coming to town next week.”
The monster on the way is Riverside College, ranked No. 2 in the nation in one preseason poll and a consistent powerhouse in Southern California JUCO football. It will be a massive early showdown for the Vikings in their home opener, with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. next Saturday.