By MICHAEL JORGENSON
SBCC SPORTS WRITER
LOS ANGELES — The Santa Barbara City College football team held the lead for more than 55 minutes on Saturday at L.A. Valley, but a last-minute, 96-yard drive by the Monarchs (2-5, 1-1) provided the only lead change of the day to defeat the Vaqueros (4-2, 1-1) by a final of 34-30.
Getting the start at quarterback for the first time this year, Alex Johnson threw for a Vaquero season-high three touchdowns, all in the first half. He helped City College get out to a 17-0 start with first quarter touchdowns of 15 and 22 yards to sophomore wide receiver Cyrus Wallace.
L.A. Valley would cut into the lead with a 57-yard bomb from Dallas Martin to TK Drayton midway through the second. The Vaqueros ended the opening half on a high note with Johnson’s final touchdown pass of the day, a 21-yarder to Marcus Bellon to make it 24-7.
The Vaqueros didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, when for the second straight week, defensive back Jack Kilpatrick took an interception to the house, putting SBCC up 30-21.
Kilpatrick’s 17-yard score made him one of just three players in the entire SCFA with two interceptions returned for a touchdown this year. He is tied for second in the SCFA with four picks on the year. The San Diego native also added six tackles, including one for a loss.
Unfortunately for the Vaqueros, those would be their last points of the day. L.A. Valley scored a touchdown with 9:29 remaining to make it 30-27.
City College would kill much of the remaining time with a drive that ended in a turnover on downs at the Monarch 4-yard line with 2:45 to go.
Over the next couple minutes, LA Valley would go 96 yards over 15 plays, culminating in a 9-yard pass from Drayton to Daniel Del Villar to put them on top with just seconds left on the clock.
The loss was the first for the Vaqueros since their season-opener. Both times, it came down to the final possession.
The defense forced three turnovers on the day and had two sacks. Defensive lineman Jake Lambden forced a fumble, while linebacker Kai Singleton had both a force and a recovery to go along with a pass breakup. Linebacker Zach Mahan recorded a sack for a 10-yard loss.
Bellon ended his day with five catches for 78 yards, both of which were his second-highest totals of the year. Wallace also had five receptions for 70 yards, finishing with his first career two-touchdown game.
Jerry Martin led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 54 yards. Omari Taylor was efficient with his five rushes for 38 yards, most of which came on a 33-yard scamper in the second quarter to help set up a touchdown.
On Saturday, the Vaqueros return home to face Ante.
Michael Jorgenson works in media relations/communications at Santa Barbara City College.