Grossmont wallops Pasadena 69-34

William Dudley


Running back Darrin Alix breaks a tackle in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Pasadena City College. (Photo: Andy Wilhelm)

GROSSMONT COLLEGE –The Griffins finished the home portion of the 2010 football season with a satisfying flourish, thumping the Pasadena Lancers 69-34 at a blessedly cool Mashin-Roth Memorial Field.

The victory ended a three-game losing streak, marked Grossmont’s first football win over Pasadena in seven tries, and kept hopes alive for a bowl game and playoff run.

It also featured many strong plays by second-year students playing their last game at Grossmont College.

As has been the case in many of this season’s wins, the Griffins ran up a big lead early. Quarterback Ryan Woods and receiver Roland Brookes connected on a 72-yard pass play to open the scoring early in the first quarter. A 2-yard run by Helix High product Patrick Arize and an 18-yard Woods pass to Adrian Ferguson, combined with a sack-happy Grossmont defense, created a 21-0 first quarter lead.

Wide receiver Adrian Ferguson hurdles a Pasadena City defender on his way to the end zone. (Photo: Andy Wilhelm)

Grossmont carried its momentum through the second quarter. Woods hit receiver Alex McLeland with a 47-yard strike. He almost had a fourth TD pass to receiver Tommy Alexander, but the sophomore receiver was stopped one yard shy of the end zone. Jacob Allen powered it in from there.

Five touchdowns down, Pasadena finally scored with five minutes left in the half on a 26-yard scoring pass from Nick Owens to Reuben Thomas. However, when they then tried a short onside kick, Grossmont linebacker Derek Holsapple scooped up the ball and ran the other way for a touchdown. A late Pasadena touchdown pass made it 42-14 Griffins.

Woods connected with his favorite receiver McCleland for his fourth touchdown pass early in the second half. The starting quarterback had missed most of Grossmont’s previous game, a tough loss to Fullerton, because of nagging ankle and knee injuries. He said after the game that he felt “95 percent” healthy and “good to go” for next week’s game against Palomar. Woods finished the game with a remarkable 13 completions out of 15 attempts for 274 yards and the four touchdowns.

Pasadena did attempt a comeback of sorts, scoring twenty unanswered points to close the score to 55-34. But Nick Carey, subbing for Woods as quarterback in the second half, was able to add two more touchdown passes for Grossmont (including McCleland‘s third touchdown ball). Carey completed 6 of 13 passes for 108 yards.

Grossmont’s offensive line not only provided superb protection for Woods and Carey, but also powered a running game that netted the Griffins a season-high 225 yards. Darrin Alix, another sophomore, led Grossmont runners with 129 yards in 14 carries.

Grossmont’s defense held the Lancers to negative rushing yardage. Holsapple, the onside kick hero, led Grossmont with nine tackles, including one sack.

Grossmont’s secondary did have some problems, especially with Thomas who finished with eight catches for 192 yards and four Tds. However, it did come up with big plays as well, including an interception by second-year player Joshua Udeh.

For Udeh, Woods, Holsapple, and other sophomores, the thought that their Grossmont — and perhaps football — careers might be ending soon was something that must be banished for now. “The season comes first” declared Udeh after the game, already looking ahead to next week’s game at Palomar College. A win there may well place Grossmont (6-3 overall, 1-3 conference) into a postseason bowl game; a loss would most certainly be the end of the 2010 season. 

Dudley is a student in Media Comm 132.

Grossmont defensive back Joshua Udeh returns an interception during 69-34 romp over Pasadena (Photo: Andy Wilhelm)