Football Team is Western State Conference Southern Division Champ, Make Bowl Playoff

El Vaquero Sports Editor

In the last game of the regular season, the Vaqueros beat East Los Angeles College 24-12 on Saturday and most importantly won the Western State Conference Southern Division title, something that hasn’t been done in 15 years.

Battling a hamstring injury, quarterback Steve Martinez still managed to pass for 206 yards against the Huskies (5-5, 3-4). Martinez got some help from running back Jamal Rashad, who rushed for 129 yards and finished the game with two touchdowns. Rashad scored his second touchdown with 1:46 remaining in the game to help the Vaqueros clinch the title.

Along with being the WSC champs, the Vaqueros, who finished the regular season with an 8-2 overall record and 6-1 in the WSC, will also make their second postseason appearance in five years. The Vaqueros only losses came in the season opener against Southwestern College on Sept. 3 and against Compton College on Sept. 17.
“Our journey is not over yet,” said John Cicuto, who is in
his 17th year as head coach
for the Vaqueros.

The Vaqueros will have quite a challenge though, as they will face host Grossmont College (9-1) in El Cajon on Saturday in the Southern California Bowl. The Griffins are making their sixth consecutive postseason appearance, have won three straight Foothill Conference titles and are ranked sixth in the nation among community colleges.

The Griffins also have the second best defense in the state and are averaging 44.7 points and 483 yards per game. Quarterback Reily Murphy, running back Derrell Hutsona and receiver Michael Omar are all top performers for Grossmont.

All of those stats don’t matter to the Vaqueros though, because “anyone could beat anyone at this level,” said Cicuto. ” It doesn’t matter what people think. What it’s going to come down to is us not making mistakes and eliminating penalties.”

The Vaquero squad also has many shining stars that have contributed to the team’s success. They include quarterback Steve Martinez, running back Jamal Rashad, and receiver Darion Donelly, to name a few. The team is also on a seven-game winning streak and is averaging 32.6 points and 412 yards per game.

When asked if they [Vaqueros] are going to do anything differently going into the first-round game of the Southern California playoffs, Cicuto said they will continue to do everything the same way. Whatever that “way” is, let’s hope it works, because so far it has helped put GCC on the map and has brought the team much success.

The game against Grossmont will begin at 1 p.m. and will
be held at Mashin-Roth Memorial Field.