Santa Monica Pushed to Limit by Pierce, 31-29

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Coming into Saturday night’s Western State Conference game against Santa Monica College, Pierce was riding a high.

A week ago, the Brahmas registered their first win by thumping hapless West Los Angeles--the conference whipping boy.

But after being edged, 31-29, at Santa Monica, Pierce Coach Bob Enger wasn’t brimming with optimism about the rest of the season.

“Right now we’d be happy to beat four nuns,” Enger said.


However, late in the second half, it appeared as if the Brahmas (1-6 overall, 1-5 in conference play), who trailed, 21-0, at halftime, might register a comeback victory.

Pierce tailback Cassius Auzout scored on a 1-yard run with a minute to play and Desmond Wells ran in the conversion to bring the Brahmas to within 2 points.

But Santa Monica recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

Late in the first half, Paul Bonner replaced freshman quarterback Ronnie Lopez, who had suffered a bruised shoulder. Bonner put on an impressive performance, hitting receiver Chad Zeigler on a 36-yard strike with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter to pull Pierce to within 21-14.


“Lopez and Bonner will be alternating from here on out,” Enger said.

Mario Henriquez countered with a 22-yard field goal with 10:52 to play to give Santa Monica a 10-point lead.

But Pierce came back again. With 7:28 to play, Auzout scored from 2 yards and the Brahmas trailed, 24-21.

With 2:39 remaining, quarterback Daryl Hobbs scored on a 6-yard keeper to give Santa Monica (3-4, 3-3) a 31-21 lead.