It’s been a long time since Los Angeles Harbor’s football team has defeated El Camino on the field.
After a 3-0 record, that included an season opening upset win over powerhouse Cerritos College on Sept. 3 at Harbor, the Seahawks were seeking their first on field victory over the Warriors since the 1960’s. Last season, Harbor managed a forfeit win over El Camino after the Warriors, who downed the Seahawks on the field 56-37 at Harbor, used an ineligible player due to academic reasons and an illegal transfer from a four-year college he attended.
ECC, though, continued to not let Harbor make history. In a battle between two very good defensive teams, the Warriors used some big plays to surge out to a 20-0 halftime lead, enroute to a 27-13 victory last Saturday at El Camino’s Murdock Stadium.
The win kept ECC unbeaten with a 4-0 record, while the Seahawks fell to 3-1.
El Camino used a very stingy defense to hold down Harbor. Their best effort was sacking Harbor’s standout quarterback Chris Smith five times and forcing him into eight hurries. Smith completed 10 of 24 passes for 106 yardsand one touchdown.
In the first half, the Warriors’ offense was highlighted by the passing combination of quarterback Omar Herrera and wide receiver Jahrie Level that produced two big play touchdowns. Their first was for 66 yards with 13:11 left in the second quarter that gave ECC a 10-0 lead. The second, however, could have been more incredible. With just five seconds left before halftime Herrera threw a desperation pass to the end zone that Level, while under a lot of pressure of Harbor’s very quick defensive players, made a diving catch for the 47-yard play that gave El Camino a 20-point lead.
Also in the first half, ECC added two field goals of 25 and 30 yards by kicker Donald Jarrin.
Harbor cut El Camino’s lead to 20-13 with 6:23 remaining in the game on Willis’ 2-yard run.
The Warriors, though, responded by chewing up time, making key plays, and put the game away with 1:39 to go on a 15-yard scoring run from running back A.J. Johnson.
Herrera completed 23 of 37 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the win, ECC had some problems with Harbor’s very quick defense as the Seahawks kept a lot of pressure on the Warriors’ offense with a lot blitzes.
“We knew that it was not going to be easy,” ECC head coach John Featherstone said. “We just had a good, solid football game. Our defense did great. Omar loves to compete. He had a nice feel for our offense.”
Also on defense, El Camino held Harbor’s rushing attack to just 91 yards. The Seahawks entered the game averaging more than 250 yards on the ground in their three previous contests.”
The Warriors, though, know that they will face a very stiff test as they take on another 4-0 team from Palomar College at Escondido High Saturday at 6 p.m. The Comets were very impressive in their last game in routing San Diego Mesa, 42-14, last Saturday.
Harbor hopes to get back on the winning track as it takes on an improved Golden West College at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa at the same time. The Rustlers are 3-1 and suffered their only loss to ECC, 24-21, on Sept. 17 at OCC.
The Seahawks got on the scoreboard completing an 86-yard, 11-play drive that was capped by an 18-yard TD pass from Smith to wide receiver Dion Willis, a former Carson High standout.