FOOTBALL: RETURN OF THE HORNETS
After a long 665 day wait, the Fullerton College football team got back to the business of playing an actual game at Cerritos College, and it was business as usual as the No. 8 Hornets knocked off the No. 14 Falcons 27-14.
With no opponent to play in week one of the season, the Hornets were chomping at the bit to see some live action against an opposing team. The 98th Key to the County game was set up for week one against Santa Ana College, however the Dons pulled out of the contest due to COVID-19 issues. Fullerton took the unsatisfying forfeit win instead.
The first quarter saw Fullerton moving the ball down the field well with nice throws by quarterback freshman Chandler Galban and strong runs by sophomore running back Branden Rankins. The FC defense looked stout forcing a couple of three-and-out drives on the Cerritos.
The Hornets got on the board in the second quarter on a long drive that began in the first. It was Rankins' hard 6-yard run that broke the ice. With Ceaser Velasques' kick going through the uprights, Fullerton took a 7-0 lead with 12:15 on the clock.
The very next drive, the Falcons offense roared back in a big way scoring two touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead going into halftime. Davon Booth's 4-yard run and Cade McConnel's 50-yard pass to Bailey Torres put Fullerton on notice.
In the second half, the Hornet defensive unit answered the call holding Cerritos out of the endzone for the rest of the game.
FC put another six points up with 3:30 left in the third quarter on another Rankins touchdown from 3-yards out. Velaques' successful PAT tied the game up 14-14.
The game breaker came a few minutes later after Fullerton forced another Falcon punt. The Hornet's Kristopher Koontz knifed through blocking Moz Bojorquez's punt attempt and Kanyon St. Juilen scooped up the ball and ran it in from 9-yards out. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but Fullerton captured a 20-14 lead.
With 10:33 left in the game Braden Rankins put the game on ice scoring his third touchdown of the night on a powerful 10-yard run right up the middle of the field. Rankins had a total of 63 yards on 14 carries for the game.
The FC offensive unit looked efficient moving the ball very well accumulating 430 total yards (337 by air and 93 ground). QB Chandler Galban was accurate with 271 yards passing (25 for 34 no ints.), completing passes to thirteen different receivers.
Defensively, Fullerton stacked up very well with Jaylin Early leading the way with 9 tackles (3 solo), a sack, and a forced fumble. Kamron Robinson and Gil Vasquez both had 6 tackles. Robinson also contributed a sack. In all, FC held Cerritos to 312 yards (225 passing and 87 rushing).
It was a great night to be a Hornet. Welcome back!
Up Next: The Hornets (2-0) will host No. 7 College of the Canyons at Yorba Linda High School on Saturday, September 18th. Kickoff is at 1:00 pm. Fans are welcome, but please bring a mask and practice social distancing.
*Photo by Matt Brown