Saying goodbye with a win, 27-13


Jonathan DeWitt, #21, Running-Back, Sophomore, running down the field after a punt return. (Union, Charles Ryder)

It may not have been the prettiest win but the El Camino football team gladly accepted it as it defeated College of the Desert and ended its 64-year run at the historic Murdock Stadium.

The Warriors (5-3) closed out the final game at Murdock with a 27-13 victory over the Roadrunners (0-7) last Saturday, in a game that was hard fought to the end.

“It wasn’t pretty,” coach John Featherstone said. “I’m just happy we won. A win is a win. It was one of the sloppiest games we’ve had here in a long time.

But this team has played a lot of games that have gone down to the fourth quarter and have run out of gas a bit.”

Back in September, the Warriors won their home opener 51-27 against Hancock and seemed poised to have a break-out year. But injuries have plagued the team since then and as a result they battered and staggering to the finish line.

“I hope we can get some guys healthy fast, our biggest game of the year is coming up,” Featherstone said.
The Warriors once again struggled through the air as they were out-gained 309 to 68 yards but made up for it with their reliable running game. Putting up 226 yards on the ground.

Freshman running back Raphael Lawson-Gayle made his return from injury and ran for 100 yards on only eight carries. Freshman running back Kendell Sparks ran for 79 yards on 10 carries and punched in a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Warriors a 13-6 lead with 5:58 remaining in the half.

Freshman running back Martin Booker also ran in two touchdowns of his own, the second of which came in the third quarter with 35 seconds left giving the Warriors a 27-6 lead.

“We’ve been able to run the ball all year,” Featherstone said. “We don’t want to put too much pressure on Shockey when we have a lot of guys who can run the ball.”

The offense has leaned heavily on the running game ever since sophomore quarterback Cole Webb suffered a season-ending knee injury in order to take the load off of freshman quarterback Aaron Shockey. Who went 6-13 while passing for 68 yards and a touchdown.

This was the last game that will ever be played at Murdock and although it wasn’t a pretty win, it was still a nice way to close out the final chapter of the stadium on homecoming night.

The very first game played at Murdock Stadium was homecoming night in November of 1949, a game that East L.A. College won 6-0.

“It doesn’t feel that great, we didn’t play that well, but it is a win in the last game here, so that’s cool,” Lawson-Gayle said.