The Long Beach City College football team was fresh off a last-minute loss to the nation’s top-ranked team and looking to re-assert themselves in a rivalry game. That’s exactly what the Vikings did Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium, soundly defeating Cerritos College to retain possession of the Crosstown Cup, beating the Falcons 36-24.
Towards the end of the game, players from both teams were doing a lot of barking at each other, to the extent that Vikings coach Brett Peabody opted not to have his team shake hands.
“It’s an intense rivalry and it got very chippy at the end,” said Peabody. “We both have a lot to play for, we don’t need anyone doing anything dumb. I don’t like doing that, in my seven years here it’s only the second time we’ve done that.”
It was far from a perfect game, but linebacker/defensive end DeAnthony Jones played close to a perfect game for the Vikings. He had a team high nine tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss, and a pass deflection.
“We did our job tonight, my coaches put me in the right spots to make plays,” said Jones.
Jones and Peabody both said it was important for the Vikings to bounce back from their narrow loss to top-ranked Riverside with a win over the Falcons.
“I think we played down to their level, we were frustrated and ready to play again after last week,” said Jones. “I’m glad we kept the Cup for Long Beach and for our coaches.”
LBCC fell behind 3-0 after Cerritos opened the game with a field goal, but quickly took the lead as quarterback Derrach West hit Zack Leets for a 13-yard touchdown. After a snap went over the LBCC punter’s head for a safety, Cerritos cut the lead to one point, then went up 11-6 on a pair of field goals.
The Vikings took the lead back permanently on a touchdown run from Jonathan Watson, which put them up 12-11 after a two-point conversion miss. LBCC added another Watson touchdown, a field goal from Alfredo Flores, and a touchdown run by Talaun Patton to go up 29-11 early in the fourth quarter.
With Jones and the rest of the Vikings defense wreaking havoc, that meant they had the game well in hand.
“I thought our defense was dominant, they really got to them,” said Peabody. “They played phenomenally.”
The Falcons only gained 250 yards of offense (compared to LBCC’s 368) and ran for just 54 yards on 28 attempts.
LBCC got interceptions from Isaiah Hobson, Ahmir Wilson, and Dallas Burke, with Hobson running his back 61 yards for the Vikings’ final score of the game, with 2:37 left. That put LBCC up 36-17, with the Falcons adding a touchdown with 37 seconds left in the game.
LBCC (3-2) now has a bye week to prepare for the start of conference play. They’ll open up at home on October 19 against East Los Angeles at 6 p.m.