The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Warriors’ title hopes dashed in OT.

With hopes of winning state and national titles, EC showed up last Saturday prepared to make a title run.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, Moorpark showed up just a little more prepared.

In a game that went to overtime, Moorpark defeated EC 42-41, converting a crucial two-point conversion to advance while ending the Warrior’s hopes of consecutive state titles.

“No question about it, we didn’t play our best game,” Coach John Featherstone said. “It was a tough loss. We all had high aspirations to compete for the national championship, but we just could not capitalize.”

Moorpark jumped out to an early on EC’s banged up defense. Conrad Meadows took a pass from quarterback Bryan Randolph 72 yards for an early 7-0 lead just two minutes into the game. On the next possession, the Warriors’ were forced to punt. A high snap on the punt attempt totaled a loss of 35 yards, and placed Moorpark’s offense on EC’s one-yard line, where the Raiders’ capitalized as James Walker scored to put Moorpark up 14-0.

“You cannot spot a team 14 points, even in the first 5 minutes,” Featherstone said. “Luckily for us, we settled down. The game was a battle from start to finish.”

The Warriors’ answered back quickly, capping a 3:20 drive in ten plays, totaling 59 yards with a James Cullen field goal. After EC’s defense forced Moorpark to go three-and-out, the Warriors’ pulled within four points, driving 62 yards on three plays in 43 seconds, as Tavares Pressley (13 rushes for 137 yards and one touchdown) scampered for 51 yards, and the score at the end of the first quarter was 14-10.

“Our running game was great,” Featherstone said, as the Warriors’ totaled 363 yards on the ground. “The could not stop us. Unfortunately for us, Boo (Jackson) did not have the kind of game we wished he had.”

Jackson, who was named Mission Conference American division offensive player of the year earlier in the week, completed 10 of 31 passes for 188 yards with no touchdowns while also rushing for 39 yards on six carries.

“Honestly, I have never played a game that bad in all the years I have been playing football,” Jackson said. “With the player of the year selection, I was surprised. I didn’t think I would get it, but awards like that are mainly team things.”

Jackson was not alone in receiving an award for his performance throughout the season. Simi Kuli was named co-defensive player of the year. Jackson, Pressley, Corey Surrency (four receptions for 105 yards), Cedric Mack, Brent McNeil, and Jonathan Price were named to the American decision’s first-team offense.

Josh Berard, Kuli, Kaipo Sarkissian, Corey Lattimore, Lamar Chapman, and Chris Williams were named to the first-team defense.

Jeremy Francis (11 rushes for 39 yards and one touchdown), Patrick Hill (13 rushes for 50 yards and two touchdowns), Verran Tucker (one reception for eight yards), and Taylor Wallace were named to the second-team offense.
Featherstone was named coach of the year by the Mission conference.

“Most times a team wins a championship, the coach is selected as coach of the year,” Featherstone said. “That award is not just for one coach, but for the entire staff. We are all in this together. My assistant coaches did a great job all year, as they have done year after year.”

The game became a back and forth battle after the first quarter, and each time EC or Moorpark put points on the board, the opponent came right back and scored.

“Moorpark took every advantage they could,” Featherstone said. “We had the chance to take control of the football game, but we let them hang around a little too long, and it wound up costing us the game, and the season.”

After going 8-3 throughout the season, Featherstone, Jackson, and the rest of the Warriors’ feel that even though the season is over, the accomplishments during the season cannot be overlooked.

“We didn’t want the season to end as it did,” cornerback Lamar Chapman said. “It was a good season while it lasted, but to look at it from a team perspective, we all could have played a little better to go deeper into the playoffs. It was fun while it lasted.”

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