Warriors Mount Huge Second Half for Comeback Win at Moorpark

Photo by Ed McClure
Photo by Ed McClure

El Camino College trailed by double digits with a quarter-and-a-half left in regulation Saturday night at Moorpark and wound up coming home with a 48-28 blowout victory at Griffin Field.

The Warriors (4-1) wrapped up non-conference play by scoring 34 unanswered points in the final 23 minutes of action against the Raiders (1-4) thanks to some timely stops and a couple of takeaways in the second half.

Jerman Gotoy had his best game of the season as he went 14-for-21 for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Demoni Sanchez was explosive on the outside for the Warriors as he made just three catches on the night but made them count for 148 yards and two scores including touchdown receptions of 74 and 24 yards.

Robert Ferrel added four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown with Lancelott Manuleleua pacing the defense with a team-high seven tackles including 1.5 for a loss. Colin Payne, Logan Taylor, Justin Sanchez and Justin Martz each had six tackles on the night.

The game was close in the first half as the teams were tied 14-14 with 5:55 left in the second quarter. Raiders quarterback Isaiah Johnson had a 17-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds left to send the Raiders into the half with a 20-14 lead.

Johnson would add an 18-yard TD pass on the team's opening drive of the second half, a 12-play, 76-yard march down the field to put the Warriors in a 14-point hole.

The Warriors first drive of the second half sputtered as Jarrell Mickens fumbled on the Moorpark 15-yard line with 4:20 left in the third.

The defense would force a punt on the ensuing Raiders drive and the Warriors offense got the ball back at the Raiders 44 with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

Gotoy and Shawn Prejean led the offense down the field on four plays with Gotoy finding Sanchez in the endzone with 19 seconds left from 24 yards out to make it 28-21.

On the next Raiders drive, the defense stonewalled the Moorpark offense and then the Raiders botched a fake punt, giving ECC prime field position on the Moorpark 20-yard line.

The Warriors capitalized with a three-play drive that culminated with an 8-yard TD pass from Gotoy to Noah Skobis to tie the game up, giving ECC 14 points in less than three minutes of game time.

The Raiders almost answered on their next drive as they went 32 yards in eight plays. But on the ninth play and facing a fourth-and-1, the Raiders went for the first down as Johnson called his number to try and rush for the first. But Justin Martz and James Reyes stuffed him for no gain and forced the turnover on downs.

In less than a minute after the turnover, the Warriors struck again as Gotoy and Sanchez connected on a 74-yard TD pass to give the Warriors their first lead of the second half.

They never looked back as the Jaylen Stewart picked off Johnson on the next Raiders drive and, following another ECC touchdown, the defense forced another turnover on downs to essentially put the game away.

Daniel Carmicle put the icing on the victory with a six-yard TD run to put the Warriors up 48-28 with 50 seconds left in the game.

The Warriors wrapped up non-conference play with four straight wins and have averaged 36.4 points a game. The team will have a bye next week before beginning the defense of their National Central League title with a home game against San Diego Mesa on Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Murdock Stadium.