The Oak Leaf

Laney College shocks Santa Rosa with 35 point second-half

Attila LS Gero, Co-Sports Editor

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Santa Rosa’s offense played well in the first half of Saturday’s game, putting up 17 points against Laney’s 14th ranked defense. The second half was a different story.

 

Offense:

Laney’s defense is allowing on average 22 points game, ranked 18th amongst California Community Colleges. Santa Rosa succumbed to their defensive prowess, only scoring two touchdowns in the second half, with the second coming in garbage-time.

Jake Simmons had a solid outing for the second week in a row.  However, his 349 yards were not enough for the victory.

An early fumble on a muffed punt gave the Bear Cubs a chance to score after going three and out in their first possession. From the one-yard line, Simmons rolled out from pressure to his left and threw a pass to tight end Harrison Murray in the end zone. Murray scored his first touchdown of the season on his fourth reception.

Simmons found Mr. Reliable, Graeden Monahan-Sharpe, on a few third down conversions including an impressive, full effort play when the shifty slot receiver dove for the first down marker with an all-out extension.

Running back David Chenault was involved early and often during the game. His highlights included a screen pass he caught in traffic behind the line of scrimmage. He sped past defenders for a nice gain. Chenault finished with a season-high 4.4 yards per carry on seven carries and 31 yards.

Momentum suffered when Simmons threw an interception to Laney cornerback Naston Wrighton the ensuing play. Wright leads the Eagles in interceptions with three this season.Simmons showed off his deep ball accuracy with a long, tight-window pass to Kalei Aukai in between two defenders.

Lucas Triplett had a relatively quiet day matched up against Laney’s top ranked pass defense, though he still was able to produce a classic Triplett highlight catch. Triplett climbed-the-ladder and snatched the ball out of the air on a fade route, keeping his toes in bounds for a 27 yard touchdown catch.

Despite kicker Kevin Nguyen getting one if his field goals blocked for the first time this season, he finished the game ¾ with two long kicks from 46 and 47 yards respectively.

 

Defense:

Laney was coming off their second loss of the season to San Mateo College, a powerhouse school that also defeated SRJC earlier this year. Laney took out the frustration of offensive struggle in that game, in which they scored only 18 points, on the SRJC defense.

SRJC did a tremendous job of holding Laney to only seven points in the first half. In the second half of the game, the defense unraveled. The Eagles scored 21 unanswered points, gaining a 28-20 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. 35 total points from Laney proved to be insurmountable for the Bear Cubs.

The Eagles leading tackler Armani Turner-Jenkins showed up on every drive, stopping Bear Cubs players from gaining any yards after contact. Turner-Jenkins leads the Eagles with seven sacks on the season, picking up one on Simmons in Saturday’s night game.

Laney has had tremendous success rushing the passer this season, as two players have six sacks alone. The Eagles have 32 sacks on the season, well beyond Santa Rosa’s 20.

The Eagles secondary is another strong part of their defense. They have 13 interceptions between nine players, adding two against Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa’s defense was able to  match Laney’s intensity, forcing multiple three-and-outs. Defensive tackle Alu Taito and strong safety Richie Hardwick took over the game on defense. Richie Hardwick grabbed an interception in the air from Brookshire after pressure provided from Taito.

Taito had a flashy play when he burst through the offensive line with lighting quickness and blew up the running back with the power of thunder. He finished the game with two tackles in the backfield and and a sack, adding to his season sack total of six, by far the team lead.

The comeback started when quarterback Jordon Brookshire launched a long touchdown to wide open Angelo Garrett. He got behind the defense and walked into the end zone for an easy score.

On their second scoring drive, Brookshire barreled through the line for a touchdown from two-yards out. The Laney offense led a methodical drive down the field thanks to two penalties from the Santa Rosa defense.

The Eagles second-half offensive adjustments is the reason they were able to overcome their early deficit, and the lack thereof for Santa Rosa is why they could not score to keep up. Santa Rosas defense did not adjust to what was keeping Laney down in the first half of the game, and it proved costly.

 

Up Next:

Santa Rosa visits San Francisco City College away at 1 p.m. Nov. 3 in  San Francisco. SFCC is 6-2 on the season and coming off two straight 25+ point victories.

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About the Writer
Attila LS Gero, Staff Writer

Attila was born in Los Angeles Aug. 1997 and moved to Sebastopol in July 2007. He is a second-generation immigrant from Hungary and has an extended family...

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Laney College shocks Santa Rosa with 35 point second-half