The562’s coverage of Vikings athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Long Beach City College.
Expectations are very high for an explosive Long Beach City College football squad and they showed why with an emphatic 72-6 season opening win over visiting LA Southwest on Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
LBCC hasn’t scored over 70 points in a game since 2014.
It only took three plays for LBCC quarterback Qeanu Campbell-Caldwell to get the Vikings (1-0) on the board, and the Millikan High alum finished with 255 yards and four touchdown passes in his first start in over three years. He only played the first half in the blowing victory.
“I feel stronger and a lot more prepared and ready for this season,” Campbell-Caldwell said. “It felt like a long time and my first game back was wonderful. It wasn’t nerves, it was just taking the training wheels off and getting back to playing in a real game, getting hit and making my reads.”
Campbell-Caldwell’s favorite target was Trennel Ridgely who hauled in six passes for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The sophomore also returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown to start the second quarter and put LBCC up 27-0.
“We’ve got some guys, and throwing to (Ridgely) is like throwing to someone you can always depend on,” Campbell-Caldwell said.
“We have a good connection because we’ve had time to build our chemistry in spring ball and summer ball so that really helped us,” Ridgely said of he and Campbell-Caldwell. “It’s a feel thing because he knows where I’m going to be.”
The LBCC defense was also dominant while holding LA Southwest to just 10 first downs and 93 yards of total offense. Corey Martin and K’Len Williams each finished with a team-high six tackles while Martin added three sacks as part of five tackles for loss. Dillon Kendle came up with the game's only interception.
“We definitely have some explosive playmakers who can get it done,” said LBCC coach Brett Peabody, who also decried his team's discipline. The Vikings were called for 18 penalties that totaled 181 yards.
“I thought our discipline stunk,” he added. “We didn’t play up to the standard we’ve set for ourselves and if we don’t clean up things fast we’ve got something else coming next week.”
LBCC has a huge challenge on Saturday at 12 p.m. when it travels to Riverside, but the Vikings are feeling more confident this season because of their cohesiveness.
“We’re more connected as a family this year,” Ridgely said. “Last year with COVID there were a lot of people coming and going, this year we’ve come in here together.”
Vikings running back Bryce Jones had an efficient night with a pair of touchdowns on just four carries, and LBCC kicker Mario De la Torre wowed everyone with a 50-yard field goal as the first-half clock expired that gave his team a 51-6 halftime lead.
LA Southwest requested shorter quarters in the second half so they were played at 12 minutes each.
“I have a lot of respect for LA Southwest for coming here undermanned and battling,” Peabody said.