PIERCE VS. WEST LOS ANGELES PREVIEW
BY MATTHEW ROBINSON
One of the hallmarks of the 2015 edition of the Pierce College Brahmas (2-1 overall, 1-0 American Pacific League) football team, is that this is a VERY unselfish team. In football when you have a team that has this much talent and throw discipline on them, it’s over.
First-year Pierce Head Coach JASON SABOLIC is a nice guy, but he also instills discipline on this team and that is why Pierce is one of the teams to beat in the American Pacific League this year.
The West Los Angeles Wildcats (1-3 overall, 0-1 American Pacific League) as Sabolic pointed out last week in a post-game interview, are always a challenge or will always give their best no matter who they play.
To piggyback Sabolic’s point, the Wildcats in this decade have always been especially blessed with athletes and talent at the wide receiver, defensive back, linebacker, and the defensive end positions. Plus throw in the fact, they always have a dual-threat quarterback who can aggravate a defense with their arm, athleticism, and improvisational skills.
This year’s Wildcats’ signal caller is freshman Jorge Reyna. He can hurt a defense as a passer, standing in the pocket or waggling (running to his right or left) outside the pocket. He’s not the athlete or passer that Dallas Lopez was for West LA last year, but he can do some damage.
In West LA’s offense, Reyna does just enough to get by or manage their offense. But, he’ll need to do more than just manage or be decent against Pierce’s defense Saturday, because the Brahmas boast one of the better overall defenses in the league.
Pierce’s defense is composed of athletes and bothersome cornerbacks; patient, opportunistic and athletic linebackers and safeties; and a solid defensive line led by KEONTAE CHAVIES.
Pierce is tops in the league in points allowed at 12.0 and third in the league in interceptions with 5. So that tells you Pierce is adept at keeping opposing offense’s out of the end zone on a consistent basis and that they can create turnovers.
Moreover, the Brahmas are second in the league in total defense as they’ve allowed 290.3 yards per game. The leader in total defense in the American Pacific League? That would the Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs. But the Brahmas have faced a tougher schedule and better offense’s in the past three weeks than the Monarchs have.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats think they’re slick. They for the last two years don’t give a darn about the running game, unless it’s first or second down or they’re in goal-line situations.
They have Michael James and others at running back. But trust me, West LA has athletes every year at running back that come out of nowhere and surprise defenses.
And of course there’s their passing game. They have six or more offensive players that can do some damage on Saturday in the receiving game. So far this year, this will be the game in which Pierce’s secondary and coverage linebackers will be at their most active and busiest.
One of the main questions in this game will be, how will West LA’s porous defense (487.3 yards allowed per game) put up with SEAN SMITH and his top-shelf receivers? The answer is the Wildcats don’t have an answer, they’ll just have to deal with it. Because Smith, JAMERE AUSTIN, XAVIER UBOSI, and KEOTAE STENHOUSE will get their yards.
Plus, the Wildcats and their run defense-----they’ve allowed 267.0 yards rushing allowed per game which ranks dead last in the American Pacific League-----have to put up with the underrated Pierce running back corps that is composed of CALVIN HOWARD, YUSUPHA FOSTER, and KYSHAWN RICHARDS.
This decade the Brahmas are 3-2 against the Wildcats. That includes last year’s near comeback win when the Brahmas were down 49-3 at halftime and went on a 33-3 second half run led by the Brahma defense, quarterback EDREES AHMADI, and running JHANARD DORSETT.
Pierce has a one game at a time thinking process in 2015, but this a league title and bowl-caliber team. Meanwhile, West LA is trying to stay alive and relevant. Pierce has the goods to blow out West LA on Saturday, but make no mistake, West LA is not afraid of Pierce.
MATTHEW ROBINSON’S PREDICTION: PIERCE 41, WEST LOS ANGELES 21