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Football: Long Beach season opener, Peabody debut spoiled by Fullerton

Football: Long Beach season opener, Peabody debut spoiled by Fullerton

The 2013 season opener for the Long Beach City College football team and debut of new head coach Brett Peabody didn't go as planned as the Vikings suffered a 41-21 loss to visiting Fullerton College on Saturday night at LBCC's Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Fullerton (1-0 overall) dominated the first two quarters and jumped out to a commanding 28-0 lead at halftime. A one-yard touchdown run by freshman Deonte Dixon (Paramount HS) at the 7:39 mark in the third quarter capped a seven-play, 50-yard drive for the Vikings that broke up the Fullerton shutout.

Fullerton tacked on two more third-quarter touchdowns before both the Vikings' offense and defense started to click in the fourth.

Trailing 41-6 entering the final quarter, the Vikings closed out the game on a positive note. Fullerton backup quarterback Blake McKenzie was sacked four times in the fourth and the LBCC defense held the Hornets scoreless over the final 15 minutes.

LBCC backup quarterback Kenny Potter (San Pedro HS) then led the Vikings on a 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Josiah Blandin (Poly HS, pictured) at the 4:13 mark in the fourth.

Minutes later, the Vikings struck again to close out the scoring. An 11-yard interception return to the Fullerton 30-yard line by freshman Terance Harvey (Inglewood HS) set up LBCC's final score. Three plays later, Potter snuck in from two-yard out for a touchdown with 1:28 left in the contest.

Blandin led the LBCC offense, catching seven passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore running back Joel Panteau (Banning HS) collected 63 yards rushing on 13 carries.

For the Viking defense, sophomore AA Vaaulu (Warren HS) had nine tackles (4 solo), 1.5 sacks, and was credited with a quarterback hurry. Freshman Robert Harding (Gahr HS), sophomore Josh Fasavalu (Poly HS), and sophomore Taylor Bongiovanni (Redondo Union HS) all had seven tackles.  

Fullerton entered tonight's contest ranked No. 16 in the preseason state ratings and the Vikings will face an even tougher opponent next week as they travel to No. 6 Ventura College on September 14 for a 6 p.m. non-conference game.

Photo by John Fajardo