Vaqueros Fall Short Against Citrus

SBCC drops its third straight game

Citrus running back James Brown cruises to the end zone.

Victor Bryant

Citrus running back James Brown cruises to the end zone.

A picture perfect afternoon at La Playa Stadium was tainted by a myriad of mistakes by the SBCC football team.

The Vaqueros failed to establish an identity on offense and surrendered 304 yards rushing on defense in a 34-13 non-conference loss to Citrus. Saturday’s game marks the third consecutive loss for SBCC.

“It’s guys making young mistakes and I hate to use that, but in community college it’s really a challenge because you have a lot of young people and I mean young experience wise,” said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos. “I just love these guys. Number 34 Taylor and number 84 Leland (Gropper) they kind of came of age today and made some plays. I’m going to focus on that.”

After getting shutout 63-0 by Canyons, the No. 6 ranked team in the state, in its previous game SBCC quickly fell behind 14-0 on touchdown runs of 26 yards and five yards by Citrus running backs James Brown and Justyn Alexander respectively.

However, the Vaqueros refused to fold as Jeremiah Nicholson connected with R. J. Tolson on a perfectly thrown fade to the front pylon for a 27-yard touchdown on the ensuing SBCC possession cutting the SBCC deficit to 14-7.

Nicholson took over the first team quarterback duties after starter Gerald Hickson was lost for the season with a knee injury against San Bernardino Valley. However, late in the third quarter Nicholson went down with a knee injury of his own with SBCC trailing 28-10 and driving deep in Citrus territory.

The severity of Nicholson’s injury is currently unknown. He suffered a season-ending knee injury last year.

SBCC kicker Martin Ahlstroem connected on a 37-yard field goal, his second of the game, cutting the Vaqueros deficit to 28-13 with 1:03 remaining in the third quarter.

The Vaqueros held Citrus to a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, but Tamir Walker muffed the punt giving Citrus new life.

On the next play Citrus quarterback Austin Zavala found Major Lee on a 29-yard screen pass for a touchdown, giving Citrus a 34-13 lead and ending any chance of a SBCC comeback.

The Vaqueros (1-3) will travel to Antelope Valley for their next game on Saturday, September 29 beginning at 6 p.m.