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Football: Long Beach rally falls short, lose 44-42 at Ventura

Football: Long Beach rally falls short, lose 44-42 at Ventura

An impressive second-half comeback fell just short as the Long Beach City College football team scored 28 unanswered points but still lost 44-42 at Ventura College on Saturday.

A blocked field goal with under 20 seconds remaining in the game is all the stood between the Vikings and the upset. Instead, LBCC dropped to 0-2 with the loss and have now lost 13 consecutive games dating back to 2011.

Long Beach trailed 30-14 at halftime and was down by 30 points (44-14) after a 65-yard touchdown by Ventura (1-1 overall) at the 9:03 mark in the third quarter.

From that point it was all Long Beach. Freshman quarterback Kenny Potter (San Pedro HS, pictured) tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Mikail Parr (Serra HS) and Potter ran in from two yards out for another touchdown to cut the Pirates' lead to 44-28 to start the fourth quarter.

With 8:45 left in the fourth, Potter tossed a 10-yard touchdown to sophomore Joel Panteau (Banning HS) to get within 10 points (44-34). A big 27-yard reception by sophomore Josiah Blandin (Poly HS) on fourth down set up Potter's 43-yard TD strike to freshman Clayton Granch (Valley Christian HS) and after a two-point conversion, LBCC was down by just two points with 5:06 to go in the game.

The LBCC defense forced Ventura to turn over the ball on downs and the Vikings had one last shot taking over on their 24-yard line with 58 seconds to play.

A Blandin 19-yard reception and a 10-yard run by Potter got LBCC in Ventura territory. Three plays later, freshman Matt Mengel (Pacific Lutheran HS) lined up for the win to attempt a 33-yard field goal with 18 seconds left in the contest. But Antonio Cowart made the play of the game to block the kick and secure the victory for Ventura.

A week after leading the Vikings to a pair of touchdown drives in the fourth quarter in their loss to Fullerton, Potter totaled six touchdowns tonight for Long Beach. He completed 20 of 39 passes for 320 yards with four TDs. Potter also ran for 55 yards, including touchdown runs of one and two yards

Blandin had his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game as he caught six passes for 110 yards. Panteau had a big game on the ground for the Vikings with 123 yards on 23 carries.

Sophomore Josh Fasavalu (Poly HS) led the LBCC defense with 11 tackles (5 solo).

Long Beach will look to snap its losing streak next Saturday (Sep 21) as the Vikings travel to Orange Coast College for a 6 p.m. non-conference game.

Photo by John Fajardo