The Fullerton College football team dismantled the Grossmont Griffins, 79-44, Saturday at Yorba Linda High School.
Going into the game, the Hornets were ranked fourth in the nation by JC gridwire. Even though the defense may have had their worst game of the year, FC breezed to a rather easy victory.
The Griffins actually outgained the Hornets 679 to 559. Grossmont had more yards, but they turned the ball over three times compared to Fullerton’s one.
“Our defense was trying to do too much,” said FC head coach, Tim Byrnes. “We just need to get back to the basics and do what we do best.”
The game was another record-breaking performance for the Hornets. Their 79 points breaks the previous record, 70, which happened in 2009 against Moorpark. They also tied records from that game, with 10 touchdowns in the game, and Ian Boozer made all ten of his extra point attempts to tie Jake Tyler’s record.
Their 35 points in the third quarter and six touchdowns in the second half also broke records from other games.
FC took the lead 2:35 into the game, and never even let Grossmont come back to tie it at any point. The scoring started with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jose Escobar to Lavorrie Johnson.
Ian Boozer then added one of his three field goals, from 33 yards, to expand the lead to 10-0. Nick Norman then added his first of two scores to make it 17-0. After the Griffins answered back with a touchdown, Boozer connected from 42 yards to give the Hornets a 20-7 lead at the end of this first quarter.
Grossmont came out hot in the second quarter and scored right away. Ulalei Tausaga ran in a one-yards touchdown to cut the lead to 20-14. It seemd as if the Griffins were picking up some momentum, but Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, to swing the momentum right back in Fullerton’s favor.
Both teams added another touchdown and field goal in the quarter, but Grossmont had their PAT attempt blocked. FC went into the half with a 37-23 lead.
Grossmont’s offense began to really click in the third and they scored 21 points in the quarter. Usually that would be enough to begin to mount a comeback, but the Hornets put up 35 points of their own in the quarter.
Ryan Byrd scored twice on runs from six and five yards. Nick Norman scored on his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game. Rarely-used full back Faafouina Sitagat scored on a two-yard pass from Escobar.
Escobar finished with 283 yards passing, while completing 17 of 27 passes and adding three touchdowns. Johnson scored on a 57-yard run to cap off the Hornets’ historic third quarter.
Johnson had maybe his best all around game of the season. He ran for 128 yards on 11 carries, and scored a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 13 yards and a touchdown. He also had the 100-yard kickoff return touchdown.
“The offense played a great game, but the special teams were unbelievable,” Byrnes said. “They were constantly putting us in great field position and made it possible for us to continue to put points up on the board.”
The Hornets mainly ran down the clock in the fourth quarter, but did add one more touchdown with just over one minute to go. Backup quarterback, Blake Mackenzie, ran in a 1-yard touchdown to cap off the scoring for the day.
The Hornets are now 8-0 and will look to improve to 9-0 as they take on the Orange Coast Pirates, next Saturday, at OCC.
Fullerton has put themselves in a position where they may have a chance to compete for the state and maybe even national championships, but coach Byrnes continues to stress to his team to not worry about it.
“All we want to do is keep winning football games,” Byrnes said. “That is all we can do. We have no control over the way the rankings turn out and where we fall according to the polls.”
Even though the next two games fall in the catergory of should win for the Hornets, Byrnes does not even want them looking past their next matchup with OCC.
“We have had a lot of success with the mindset that I try to instill in this team,” Byrnes said. “Whether we should win or not, We do not want to look past any opponents.”