Defense holds down fort as ECC rebounds
Fortunately for El Camino, its offense didn’t have to score early. The defense took care of that. El Camino free safety Devynn Brown intercepted a pass from quarterback Sean Sudol and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown. The score came with 7:41 left in the first quarter. The interception was one of four turnovers El Camino’s defense forced while it dominated Riverside’s offensive line in a 38-14 victory that opened Mission Conference play. Linebacker Kaipo Sarkissian led the defensive effort, finishing with 10 tackles, two for a loss and a sack. “We just hunted down the ball,” Sarkissian said. “We needed to make sure we picked ourselves up after last week and we did a pretty good job (of that).” JC FOOTBALL: The Warriors rout Riverside once run game gets going. By David Saunders STAFF WRITER El Camino’s offense continued to struggle early in Saturday’s game with visiting Riverside. Dating to its previous game at Bakersfield, the unit’s touchdown drought climbed to 51 minutes, 31 seconds. El Camino sacked Riverside quarterbacks Sudol and Coy Glass six times, pressure that resulted in a slew of antsy throws and a 34.6 completion percentage. Sudol was 6-for-16 for 78 yards and Glass was 3-for-10 for 40 yards. Sudol in particular never seemed to find any kind of rhythm. He threw both of Riverside’s interceptions and fumbled the ball five times, losing two. Three came from botched exchanges with center Ryan Henry. The turnovers resulted in four first-half possessions that started in Riverside territory. With so many of its drives starting on a shortened field, El Camino favored the running game more than the pass. Why not? The team used 11 different rushers and gained 285 yards on 42 carries for an average of more than 6.8 yards per touch. “Our plan was to come out and run the ball to open up the pass,” quarterback Boo Jackson said. “We started pounding the ball up the middle and we started getting 10-yard gains, 15-yard gains, 20-yard gains and we never went away from it.” Though Jackson threw touchdown passes of 32 yards to Verran Tucker and 40 yards to Harry Deberry and rushed for another score, he had one of his lightest nights of his El Camino career in terms of workload. Jackson had season lows in completions (9), attempts (16) and yards (140). “Running the ball like that takes a lot off of my shoulders. I don’t need to keep throwing the ball,” Jackson said. While El Camino built a 38-0 lead on the strength of its backfield and defense, the importance of an effective running game was further emphasized in how stagnant Riverside’s offense became without one. Running back Jamaal Scott carried the call 16 times for 23 yards, while Riverside as a team ran the ball 37 times for 97 yards. “Our defensive line was monstrous,” El Camino coach John Featherstone said. “They didn’t have an inch to run the ball all night. Once they cross the line of scrimmage, there were two or three guys tagging (their running backs).” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!