The562’s coverage of Vikings athletics is sponsored in part by Long Beach City College.
Long Beach City College (3-2) had plenty to play for on Saturday night as they hosted Golden West (4-1) for their Homecoming Game. Unfortunately for the Vikings faithful in attendance, the home team got off to a rocky start and never found its footing in a disappointing 41-17 loss at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“I put the loss 100 percent on me, but I also want to give Golden West credit,” said LBCC head coach Brett Peabody. “We knew their defense was gonna play extremely hard and they did. They got pressure on the quarterback all night. In the first half we couldn’t do anything. Four first downs and 41 total yards is not acceptable. Again, I’ll put that on me–for whatever reason we weren’t ready to go on the offensive side of the ball.”
As Peabody mentioned, the LBCC offense was particularly anemic in the first half. The Vikings also threw two interceptions on their first three drives. The Rustlers scored on their first two possessions, thanks to short TD runs from RB Sam Lybeer and QB Ui Ale. A pick-six by Justin Hintze made it 21-0 Rustlers with 6:13 left in the opening quarter, putting the Vikings on their heels early.
LBCC finally got a big play on special teams as Luke Toomalatai blocked a punt and Alonso Person was able to scoop it up and score the Vikings’ first TD. That cut the deficit to 21-7 late in the first quarter, and the Vikings never got closer than that.
The defense did its job for Long Beach most of the night, racking up five sacks and recovering a pair of Golden West fumbles. But they also had to endure GWC’s 39:49 to 20:11 edge in time of possession.
“I thought the defense played hard, but they were on the field the whole game,” Peabody explained. “You can't leave them out there because you're gonna bend but at some point you're gonna break, too. So I'll put it on me, obviously it was very disappointing. I liked that we did not quit, we kept fighting, we just got beat by the better team tonight.”
LBCC was a paltry 1-for-14 on third down and had just 69 net rushing yards. Meanwhile, Golden West was able to run for 225 yards on the ground while going 8-for-16 on third down. RB Kross Antonnacchi ran it 15 times for a game-high 123 yards.
Some standouts for Long Beach included RB Jonathan Watson, who provided some life to the offense after halftime, rushing 8 times for 57 yards. WR Kyle Miller had 5 grabs for 69 yards while Trennel Ridgely had 6 catches for 40 yards and his 5th TD of the season.
Austin Bressler led the Vikings defense with 9 tackles, including a sack, but DE Corey Martin was the real standout. He had 8 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
LBCC will be on a bye next week before hosting Ventura to start conference play on Oct. 15. Peabody agreed that the bye is well-timed for his group to get rested and re-focused for the stretch run of the season.
“Like everybody at this time of year, we’ve got some people beat up,” he said. “I guarantee you we're gonna have a good focused week of practice. That's what's tough, we really have been practicing well the last three weeks and to come out here and lay an egg on offense like we did, is incredibly disappointing.”