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Football

SBCC Bowled Over by Potent Moorpark, 49-12, in Beach Bowl Showdown

Missing 2 key players, Vaqueros worn down by larger Raiders and MVP Isaiah Johnson's 4 TDs

Isaiah Johnson of Moorpark breaks away from SBCC defenders on a long run. Johnson rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns, and was named the Beach Bowl Most Valuable Player. Click to view larger
Isaiah Johnson of Moorpark breaks away from SBCC defenders on a long run. Johnson rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns, and was named the Beach Bowl Most Valuable Player. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

A banged-up Santa Barbara City College football team couldn’t keep pace with powerful Moorpark in Saturday’s Beach Bowl and dropped a 49-12 decision at La Playa Stadium.

“You have to play really well when you’re missing key pieces like we were,” SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos said. “We just didn’t play well. When we turned the ball over, they scored.”

Isaiah Johnson ran for 208 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 23 Moorpark.

Johnson, a 6-foot sophomore from Clarksville, Tenn., was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. He carried 21 times for a 9.9-yard average and scored on runs of 19, 1, 3 and 5 yards. Quarterback Kado Brown also averaged 9.9 yards with 119 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns.

The Raiders (6-5), who finished second in the National Northern League, racked up 449 rushing yards on 54 tries (an 8.3 average) with six touchdowns. Moorpark, which had a noticeable size advantage in both lines, led in first downs, 25-16, and total yards, 595 to 349.

“Their quarterback is a heck of a player and so is that running back,” Moropoulos said. “It is what it is. We didn’t play very well and we needed to.”

The Raiders needed just three plays to cover 71 yards on their opening drive, capped by a 19-yard scoring run from Johnson. They went 45 yards on their next possession with Johnson scoring from a yard out to make it 14-0 just 4½ minutes into the contest.

SBCC was missing starting quarterback Noah Holle and top receiver Jason-Matthew Sharsh, who were sidelined by injuries.

Joe Osegueda and Tim Milliken did the best they could and I admire them for that,” Moropoulos said. “They’re the No. 3 and 4 quarterbacks. You hope you don’t get to that point but when you do, you hope they step up and that’s what they did.”

Moorpark quarterback Kado Brown gained 119 yards on 12 carries. Click to view larger
Moorpark quarterback Kado Brown gained 119 yards on 12 carries. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Michael Hightower stripped the ball from Milliken at the SBCC 46, scooped it up and returned it to the 18. Three plays later, Brown ran it in from 13 yards to boost the lead to 21-0 with 1:02 to go in the second quarter.

Cedric Cooper got SBCC on the board, breaking off a 41-yard run on the fourth play of the second quarter. A mishandled snap foiled the PAT try and the Vaqueros trailed 21-6.

Cooper was voted Santa Barbara’s Player of the Game after running for 90 yards.

Defensive back Rhomel Fields came up with a big defensive play for the Vaqueros, picking off a pass from Corbin Covey on a wide-receiver reverse, and the Vaqueros took over on their own 10 with four minutes left in the second quarter. Osegueda completed a 43-yard pass to Jonathan Licea during the six-play, 90-yard march and tight end Jacob Ortale scored on a 29-yard screen pass.

The Vaqueros went for two and Milliken passed to Cooper but he was stopped at the 2, leaving them down, 21-12.

The Raiders began to wear down SBCC in the third quarter. They went 38 yards in four plays on their first possession of the quarter, with Brown bolting 27 yards up the middle to make it 28-12.

The Vaqueros drove 81 yards on their next possession but stalled on the 14. Jordan Flack and Sam Denka sacked Osegueda for a 9-yard loss on fourth-and-13.

Johnson sprinted 46 yards on second down and scored five plays later from 3 yards for a 35-12 lead with 2:29 to go in the third quarter.

SBCC got a strong outing from Dos Pueblos High product Manny Nwosu, who recovered from a shoulder injury suffered last week.  He rushed 108 yards on 14 carries, including a 71 yard run in the fourth quarter.

Moropoulos stayed positive after the loss.

“We’ve won seven games in three of the last four years and been to bowl games in two of the last three seasons,” he said. “I’m very proud of our program and where it’s headed.”

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