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Football Long Beach City College

LBCC Football Dominates Southwestern For First Win

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The Long Beach City College football team dropped two close games to start the season this year by a combined seven points. The Vikings left no doubt in their contest with Southwestern on Saturday night, taking a lead less than 10 seconds into the game and never looking back in an easy 65-14 victory.

“Those two losses are tough man, they really stung,” said LBCC coach Brett Peabody. “This week started with great leaders, with our leadership committee managing our locker room and our team and translating what they want for the season into the practice this week. It showed on the field tonight.”

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LBCC showcased a potent offense with starting QB Will Madonna going 17/27 for 229 yards and five total touchdowns through three quarters of action. Madonna is one of the players on LBCC’s player leadership committee, along with several other starters on both sides of the ball. He said they met as a group and set new expectations for how they were going to turn things around.

“We want to create a standard of who we want to be,” he said. “Instead of playing up or playing down to whoever we’re playing, it’s just how we’re going to be every week from now on. It’s little things that were killing us—being late to meetings, being late to the field. It’s not stuff that’s going to happen anymore.”

Peabody credited Madonna and the team’s other leaders for holding the whole program accountable after the shaky start to the season.

“They know what happened to us last year,” he said. “We lost five games by a touchdown or less, most of them in the fourth quarter, and we don’t want to have the same experience this year—and the same thing happened the first two games. So it was important to come out and be dominant and get after these dudes with a resounding victory.”

The game was in LBCC’s hands from the very start thanks to a 52-yard touchdown run by Konyae Hunter on the first play of the game, putting them up 7-0 just nine seconds into the contest. Thanks to an interception by Hagen Foreman, they got the ball right back and immediately scored again, as Madonna hit Jaquavion Caldwell for a 10-yard pass that made it 14-0 less than two minutes into the contest.

Madonna ran in the next score and a field goal made it 24-0 LBCC. Finally it seemed the Jaguars had some traction on a long drive that saw them right at LBCC’s goal line. But on a play at the goal line, the ball popped out of the Southwestern ballcarriers’ hands, and Geo Bowers was right there for LBCC to scoop it off the turf and take it 100 yards the other direction for a score that made it 31-0.

The Jaguars would end up scoring for the first time with 45 seconds left in the half on a four-yard Raymond Flores run, but LBCC wouldn’t even allow them that moment. A little more than 30 seconds of game time later, LBCC answered on a touchdown pass from Madonna to Matthew Berenji that made it 38-7 at halftime.

Madonna finished mopping up the Jaguars defense in the second half, hitting Kyle Miller for a 12-yard score and Elijah Lewis on a 35-yard touchdown that made it 52-7 midway through the third quarter, at which point Madonna and other key Vikings began to rotate out.

Backup QB Jett Peddy hit Chad Sabal for a 48-yard score in the fourth and then Andre Jenkins put an exclamation point on the game with an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown with three and a half minutes remaining.

LBCC gained 450 yards compared to the Jaguars’ 289, and dominated every aspect of the game statistically.

LBCC (1-2) will travel to San Bernardino Valley next Saturday at 6 p.m. looking to start a win streak, and will return to the friendly confines of Veterans Memorial Stadium September 30 for a rivalry game with Cerritos for their next home game.

VIDEO: LBCC vs Southwestern JuCo Football
PHOTOS: LBCC vs Southwestern Football
Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.