Yellow flags paint a grim picture of the Raiders second game of the season


Falcon Wide Receiver Jovohn Tucker, 7, escapes Raider defenders during Moorpark's game against Cerritos College in Cerritos, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 14. Moorpark struggled on defense, missing several tackles and executing no sacks. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Ryan Bough

The sweltering 95 degree heat wasn’t the only thing that had Moorpark Raiders fans sweating at the game against the Cerritos Falcons on Saturday. After enduring a loss last week against Palomar, the Raiders were hoping for a win. Unfortunately, Moorpark found themselves constantly backed up against their own end zone, during the 62-30 blowout game against Cerritos.

Raider wide receiver Reece Smith retained his hopes for the team, despite the disappointing conclusion.

“We honestly came out here and we just wanted to get out and show everyone what we could do. Of course, when we come out as slow as we did, it doesn’t look like we are anything special,” said Smith. “But we are something very special because we have so many athletes on this team that can do so many different things. They can give to the team a lot more that is shown in film and in stats.”

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Raiders Quarterback Isaiah Johnson attempts to escape Falcon defensive lineman Anthony Shipton, during Moorpark's game against Cerritos College in Cerritos, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 13. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The crowd of a few hundred fans had to endure yellow flag after yellow flag. With all the flag tossing, one might think the referees performed for the Color Guard. With a staggering 31 penalties in total, the Falcons accounted for 16 penalties, totaling 143 yards. The Raiders weren’t much better with 15 penalties totaling 103 yards.

Following last week’s loss, Head Coach Mike Stuart commented, “Every penalty we have, we run a gasser, so last week we had 17 gassers. We had the ball in the red zone twice and we didn’t execute. One time we did score, but we need to get down there more and get the ball into the end zone.”

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Moorpark Head Coach Mike Stuart addresses the team after the Raiders lose to Cerritos College on Saturday, Sept. 14, in Cerritos, Calif. The game's final score was 62-30. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

A little explanation for the untrained: A gasser is running the width of the football field four consecutive times. Start on one sideline and sprint to the opposite sideline, touch the sideline and immediately sprint back to the starting line. With a standard football field measuring 53 yards wide, one full gasser covers 212 yards. Obviously the Raiders will have their fair share of gassers this week. No one envies the players who have to run 3,180 yards in the upcoming heat.

“We weren’t executing very well. We were letting small things get in our heads and we weren’t really doing our jobs,” said Smith, “We tried to, but we weren’t doing it as well as we should have.”

Though at one point in the game Moorpark had 3 penalties back-to-back, the Raiders moral was boosted after a 72 yard touchdown from freshman wide receiver Blake Batarse.

“Coach Stu and Coach Turner put me in the right position to make that play,” said Batarse, “and my team and I just made it happen.”

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Moorpark Wide Receiver Blake Batarse, 83, jets to the Falcon end zone after a 72-yard catch from Quarterback Trae Williams, during the Raiders' game at Cerritos College on Saturday, Sept. 14. This was Batarse's first college career touchdown. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The game wasn’t all bad. Despite being down 42 points in the 4th quarter, the Raiders did not give up and scored 26 points while the Falcons only scored 6. But this wasn’t enough for the Raiders to come back as they were defeated 62-30.

“The scoreboard does not show what Moorpark is all about,” preached running back Edyon Batta, “I think we let a lot of things go and a lot of penalties in the beginning and we started slow. We gotta go hard on Monday. We gotta come together as a team more.”

The Raiders will host their first home game against (0-2) Glendale College. Glendale experienced a recent loss to Pasadena City 35-7, giving high hopes that Moorpark will pull a win for their first home game.