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JC Football: SMC’s Lindheim named Pacific Conference coach of the year; Eight Corsairs earn first-team honors
Santa Monica College head coach Gifford Lindheim won his third consecutive Pacific Conference Coach of the Year, the Southern California Football Association announced last week.
The Corsairs finished the year 8-2 and have won the last three league titles, a first in school history.
Eight Corsairs earned first-team conference honors. Among them is All-American safety Qujuan Floyd, the only SMC player to repeated has he was the conference defensive player of the year last season.
Two West Los Angeles Colleges players, LeRon Barnes and Treviel Boone were also selected to the first-team.
The list of All-Pacific Conference football team is below:
It took only eight games, but Santa Monica College is finally starting to look like a team that is the defending two-time American Pacific Conference champs.
The timing could not be better as they cleared the first hurdle of a tough three-game stretch with a 38-17 victory over Santa Barbara up the coast in beautiful La Playa Stadium on Saturday.
Quarterback Jerry McConnico had four touchdowns in the first half while the defense forced six Santa Barbara turnovers to extend their league winning streak to 18 games.
The stat line shows how dominate SMC (6-2, 5-0 American Pacific) was throughout the game. They had 601 yards of total offense, was 12 of 23 on third-down conversions, and held Santa Barbara to -6 yards rushing in the first half
Still SMC head coach Gifford Lindheim does not think his team has reached their full potential.
Football: Video — Santa Monica College head coach Gifford Lindheim post game interview after loss to San Bernardino Valley
Santa Monica College football head coach Gifford Lindheim discusses his team’s 42-21 loss to San Bernardino Valley on Saturday, September 21, 2013, dropping the Corsairs to 1-2 on the year. SMC will start Pacific Conference play next week when they travel to rival West Los Angeles College.
JC Football: SMC’s defense withstands three deep drives by Chaffey in the fourth to preserve the victory
Santa Monica College’s defense was under assault in the entire fourth quarter.
Clinging to a three point lead, the Corsairs had to withstand not one, not two, but three separate Chaffey drives deep into their territory.
Yet in the end, SMC did not allow a single point in the final period and crucial tackle by Dajuan Perryman in the final seconds helped the Corsairs escape with a 30-27 victory on Saturday at Corsair Field.
Chaffey had one last opportunity for the win with three minutes left after SMC’s Marcos Ordonez punt was down at the Panthers’ 11-yard line.
Five straight runs plus an SMC pass interference penalty put the ball at the Corsair 40. Then quarterback Dimitri Morales completed three consecutive pass to Dejai Jones getting Chaffey all the way to the SMC 11-yard line when they used their final timeout with 21 seconds left.
That is when the Corsair defense stiffened with their backs to the wall.
Winning back-to-back conference titles has a way of drawing in recruits as Santa Monica College’s football team found out during their first day of fall practice on Thursday.
The biggest difference this year as opposed to head coach Gifford Lindheim’s four previous seasons has been the ability to draw players who have bounced back from four-year universities.
The talents of these coveted players are not what you typically find at the junior college level as they are looking for the opportunity to restart their collegiate careers.
“Getting bounce backs happen when you start to win like we have,” said Lindheim. “I’d like to think that the word is out about how we treat guys and how we can help [them] get to the 4-year level.”
Hamilton’s Donnie Duncan was the only person last year who fit into that category as he came to SMC from the University of New Mexico, but three bounce back players are looking to make an impact this season.
Two Santa Monica College freshman football players, defensive back Qujuan Floyd and offensive lineman Maurquice Shakir have picked up offers from Texas State for the 2014 season.
Floyd earned All-American honors after having seven interception and 49 tackles as well as being named the American Pacific Conference Defensive Player of the Year last year.
The 6’4, 285 lbs Shakir, from Palisades High, blocked for one of the most prolific offenses in school history. Running back Myles Johnson was the first person to rush for more than 1,000 yards in 13 years and quarterback Alfonso Medina threw for 2,640 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Texas State had a 4-8 record and was 2-4 in the Western Athletic Conference in 2012.
Santa Monica College won the American Pacific Conference for the second consecutive season last year and finshed 9-2.
Coming off back-to-back conference titles for the first time in more than 30 years, the atmosphere during the first week of Santa Monica College’s spring football practice seemed electric.
“It was like our practice was turned up a notch today,” said head coach Gifford Lindheim. “For our first spring practice, I don’t think we ever had as many plays as we had today.”
Part of that reason is the implementation of a high-paced Oregon style system that new offensive coordinator Tim Kaub brings to Corsair Field after spending three seasons in the same capacity at Narbonne High, were the Gauchos won two straight LA City titles.
Even with the energy, Lindheim knows that one of his top priorities is to fill key positions in the offense that loses almost every starter at the skill positions.
First on the list is to identify a replacement of record-setting quarterback Alfonso Medina who threw for 5,345 yards and 61 touchdowns in his two years behind center.
Three players look to be in contention for the job.