SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- In their first game at Corsair Field in nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the 2020 season, the Santa Monica College football team could not capitalize on a strong start, losing 52-14 to El Camino College in the season opener for both schools.
The Corsairs struck early into the game, taking advantage on an El Camino fumble from their own 29-yard line within the first minute, leading to a punishing 19-yard touchdown run by freshman RB Josiah Neos for a quick 7-0 lead.
After the Warriors bounced back with a touchdown run of their own on their next possession, Santa Monica turned to freshman Quarterback Sam Vaulton, who completed five passes on the Corsairs' next drive, which culminated with another Neos rushing touchdown for a 14-7 lead. El Camino answered with a touchdown to tie the game with 2:03 left in the quarter, and the Warriors would take over from there, as Santa Monica was shut out the rest of the game.
Despite a sideline-erupting 59-yard interception return by freshman DB Roberto Herdandez-Flores and three team fumble recoveries, the Corsairs defense struggled to contain El Camino, allowing 623 yards for the game, 343 of them on the ground. Vaulton went 18-of-33 for 215 yards, but threw four interceptions, three in the third quarter alone. Neos led the team on the ground with 23 yards on eight carries, and sophomore WR Tariq Brown led the receiving unit with four catches for 55 yards. Freshman LB Noah Ghodooshim had a game-high eight tackles, while sophomore DL Spencer Neos notched Santa Monica's lone sack for the defense.
The Corsairs will look to even their record at Compton College next Saturday at 6 p.m. before returning home for a matchup with Pasadena City College on September 18 at 1 p.m.