El Camino Gridders Out to Start New Streak
Its 13-game winning streak now history, the El Camino football team will look for its third victory this season when it travels to Golden West College in Huntington Beach for a 7 p.m. confrontation Saturday.
“It was so hard,” said El Camino Coach John Featherstone of last week’s loss to Fullerton, “for myself, for the staff and the key sophomore kids, who for 13 straight Saturdays were victorious.”
The Warriors (2-1, 1-1 in the Mission Conference) dropped from No. 2 in the state to No. 9 after losing 38-36 at home to Fullerton.
Sophomore quarterback Frank Dolce, who completed 25 of 38 passes for 266 yards, sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter and is questionable for Saturday.
That means sophomore Scott Yessner, who split quarterback duties with Dolce in the first game of the season against Harbor College, will run the El Camino offense. He went into the Fullerton game with about four minutes left and completed three consecutive passes.
“I’m so proud of him for doing that,” said Featherstone. “He came in cold and was able to produce.”
Wide receiver William Pope, who played quarterback at Harbor last year, has prepared this week to be Yessner’s backup against Golden West.
Both can count on wide receiver Bryan Burnett, who caught 13 passes for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns against Fullerton. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound sophomore tied the school record for most receptions in a game and was a California Community College Player of the Week.
Defensively the Warriors should be in good shape since Golden West (2-1) lacks offense.
Three top offensive linemen are hurt and Mike Crowley, the Rustlers’ best wide receiver, broke the middle finger of his right hand during practice two weeks ago.
Sophomore running back Blaise Bryant is Golden West’s top man on the ground. He’s gained 304 yards on 71 carries this year and is expected to carry the ball a lot against El Camino.
Sophomore quarterback Joe Napoli has completed 26 of 52 passes for 350 yards and 1 touchdown. He threw 4 interceptions.
He has helped lead the Rustlers in victories over Long Beach City College and Southwestern. Their only loss was to Pasadena City College.
L.A. Harbor (1-1 in the Western State Conference, 1-3 overall) will play host to Valley College at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Seahawks hope to keep their composure, which they didn’t manage in last week’s 47-10 loss at Bakersfield College in front of a rowdy crowd of 11,227.
Harbor was penalized 21 times for 212 yards and had four players ejected aside from separate incidents that involved assistant coaches Daryl Henderson and Jim True.
“We should have just kept our mouths shut and played football,” said Harbor Coach Chris Ferragamo this week. “We had a big team meeting and this week you’ll find a totally disciplined team.”
Harbor’s defense will need a heavy dose of intensity to beat Valley (2-1).
The Seahawks allowed 6 touchdowns and 450 yards at Bakersfield.
Valley, with only three starters from last year, will take advantage of any defensive weaknesses.
Running is Valley’s strength because sophomore quarterback Todd Studer, who saw limited action last year, is having problems executing. Studer completed 9 of 19 passes for 118 yards and 1 touchdown in last week’s 35-7 victory over L.A. Southwest College.
Tailback Roman Carter has rushed for 324 yards in three games. He was named the WSC Player of the Week for his performance against Santa Barbara College. Carter rushed for 133 yards in Valley’s 27-17 defeat.
“We need experience,” said Valley Coach Chuck Ferrero, “but this team is just going to get better and better every week.”