Last year when the El Camino College football team clinched the South Coast Conference title by defeating Pasadena, the task was a difficult one that resulted in a 28-22 game at Pasadena’s Horrell Field.
Saturday night, in the Mission Conference northern division opener at Pasadena, the task was much easier for the Warriors, who defeated the Lancers, 49-20, and improved their record to 4-1-1, 3-1-1 in the Mission Conference.
El Camino, led by sophomore quarterback Frank Dolce, took a 15-point lead into the locker room at the half and never looked back.
The Warriors scored twice in the lengthy first quarter, which included nine penalties, and once in the second for a 21-6 halftime lead.
All three touchdowns originated from sloppy ballhandling by Pasadena (3-3, 3-2).
The first score was the result of a bad snap to Lancer punter Chris Demirdjian that he fumbled. El Camino’s Ed Togia recovered at the Pasadena 17-yard line. Dolce lost seven yards rushing, then connected with Bryan Burnett on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
With 23 seconds left in the first quarter, El Camino’s Gregory Franklin blocked a Demirdjian punt after another bad snap and the Warriors drove the ball 30 yards on two plays for their second touchdown. A 5-yard gift from Pasadena in the form of a penalty aided the Warrior effort; then Dolce connected with Mike Joneson on a 5-yard touchdown pass. Dominic Cefalone’s point-after kick made it 14-0.
In the second quarter El Camino’s Randall Strickland recovered a Pasadena fumble at Lancer 38-yard line. The Warriors used just two plays to score, with Aaron Craver going over from 19-yards out with 13:24 to go in the half.
Pasadena finally scored with 9:35 left in the first half. The Lancers drove 82 yards in 10 plays. Fullback Khalid Ali scored on a one-yard run.
El Camino came out firing in the second half, scoring three touchdowns in nine minutes.
The first one was a 96-yard punt return by Craver on the first play of the second half.