Warriors Fall to Cerritos in Regular Season Finale

Photo by Dalia Joudi
Photo by Dalia Joudi

TORRANCE, Calif. – On a day when the history of the El Camino College football program was on full display and the field dedicated to legendary coach John Featherstone, it was the action on the field that took center stage as the Warriors dropped a 42-40 decision to Cerritos Saturday afternoon at Featherstone Field at Murdock Stadium.

The Warriors (6-4, 2-3) dropped the regular season finale and "Milk Can" game to their rival in a game that saw more than 800 yards of total offense and 82 combined points.

Quarterback Jerman Gotoy had one of his best games of the year for the Warriors, throwing for 359 yards on 29-for-38 passing with three touchdowns. He also added a six-yard TD run. Robert Ferrel made 11 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown and six different Warriors combined to rush for 120 yards and two TDs.

For the Falcons, quarterback T.J. McMahon went 15-for-20 for 263 yards and three touchdowns of his own. Jacobi Hardy also starred for Cerritos on special teams with four kickoff returns for 178 yards including a 97-yard kickoff return touchdown.

The Warriors will now await to find out what bowl game they are selected to participate in and where it will take place. The announcement will come on Sunday and the game itself will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23 at a time and place to be determined.

FEATHERSTONE FIELD DEDICATION

Prior to the game on Saturday, El Camino College officially dedicated the field at Murdock Stadium and renamed it Featherstone Field in honor of legendary ECC head coach John Featherstone, who was on hand for the ceremony. Featherstone was the honorary team captain for ECC and performed the coin toss.

Coach Featherstone, widely known as "Feather" to thousands of former students and supporters of Warrior athletics, is a community college football icon. He retired from El Camino College in 2015 after 31 seasons, with an overall record of 214-119-2. Featherstone retired with the highest winning percentage among active coaches who had coached for at least 15 years in the Southern Section of California, which includes 37 community colleges from Bakersfield to San Diego.

Under his leadership, the Warriors earned a national championship in 1987, a state championship in 2006, 11 conference championships, and appeared in 19 bowl games. From 2004-08, Coach Featherstone's teams made five consecutive Southern California playoff appearances, and throughout his career he led his teams to 21 nationally ranked finishes, including seven straight from 2003-09.

The beloved coach has deep roots in the South Bay, and a legacy that reaches far beyond athletics. Whether on the field, in the classroom, or in the community, Featherstone always encouraged his players to strive for excellence athletically and to pursue a college education, while representing ECC in a professional manner. After ECC, more than three dozen players went on to play professional football, countless former students are All-American athletes, and hundreds have transferred to universities to continue their education and play football.

Among Featherstone's numerous accolades, he was inducted into the California Community Colleges Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017; he won the Mission Conference Coach of the Year Award and the National Coach of the Year Award twice; he is an eight-time California State Coach of the Year Award recipient; and was inducted into the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 as a player and again in 2018 as a coach. In 2005, he was honored by the American Football Coaches Association as a convention keynote speaker. Also active in beach volleyball, he was inducted into the California Beach Volleyball Association Hall of Fame in 2016 as a teacher, tournament director and referee.

Featherstone was also a standout athlete, first recognized for his offensive prowess as a quarterback, running back and wide receiver at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, earning All-CIF honors as a wide receiver for the Mustangs in 1967. He also competed in track and field, baseball, and volleyball. From there, he played two years of football at El Camino College, earning all-conference honors and receiving a scholarship to play at San Diego State University. He made an immediate impact in his junior year, leading the Aztecs to a win in the 1969 Pasadena Bowl before 52,000 fans. With two touchdowns, Featherstone was named Most Valuable Player of the game, and led the Aztecs to a record of 11-0 on the season and a 12th-place finish in the national AP poll.

1970s and 1980s ALL DECADE TEAM

During halftime of Saturday's game, the ECC football program continued to honor the legends of Warrior history as a halftime ceremony announced the ECC All-Decade Teams of the 1970s and 1980s.

The teams were:

1970s All-Decade Team

OFFENSE

QB: Coy Hall
RB: Doug Jena
RB: Dave Darden
TE: John Taylor
WR: Larry Ferguson
WR: Wayne Vanderleest
OL: Jim O'Bradovich
OL: Jerry Myatt
OL: Dave Applegate
OL: Gene Engle
OL: Rick Rasnick
All-Purpose: Ken McAllister

DEFENSE

DL: Mike Gilbert
DL: Tim Buzbee
DL: Shane Redmond
DL: Mike Clancy
LB: Bill Sloey
LB: Glen Peterson
LB: Walt Justice
DB: Zaven Yaralian
DB: Paul Horn
DB: Renne Anderson
DB: Ken Hinton
K: Peter Boermeester
P: Stan Talley
Head Coach: Ken Swearingen

1980s All-Decade Team

OFFENSE

QB: Tim Green
RB: Aaron Craver
RB: Neil Tuihalamaka
WR: Dwight Pickens
WR: Terry Magee
WR: Loren Richey
OL: Derrick Deese
OL: Scott Provin
OL: Guy Bunyard
OL: Keith Gibson
OL: Kose Godinet
All-Purpose: Niu Sale

DEFENSE

DL: Jeff Cummins
DL: Tim O'Keefe
DL: Dana Florence
DL: Tui Suiaunoa
LB: Alondra Johnson
LB: Kaiser Noa
LB: Ken Sale
DB: Ken Stills
DB: Kevin Harris
DB: Steve Nuchols
K: Henry Castellanous
P: Doug Pfaff
Head Coach: John Featherstone