Edward Mahurien / Managing Editor
Homecoming was given a black eye, literally.
Frustrations came to a head with less than a minute remaining in a 55-10 Viking rout of the visiting Desert Roadrunners on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Veterans Stadium.
Two Viking players made a stop on the 30-yardline and a shoving match ensued. As shoves became punches Viking players cleared the benches, sprinting across the field.
What really prompted LBCC’s bench to clear was a blatant cheap shot by the visitors.
Desert linebacker Dominique Williams sprinted from the north end zone and jumped in the air, drop kicking a Viking player squarely in the back.
“I didn’t really see the whole thing but I just saw them on their sideline and they kind of jumped. I then I saw guys coming in with flying kicks and jumping on top our lineman grabbing their heads,” LBCC quarterbacks coach Neo Aoga said.
The ensuing chaos lasted for several minutes, with haymakers and helmet’s flying the melee was completely out of control.
Finally, coaches and police were able to get the players under control.
Police confirmed no arrests were made.
Viking coach Brett Peabody said, “When you see three of your players being jumped by 50 guys, it’s hard to get overly upset at them because those three guys were getting beat up by 50, what are you supposed to do let them sit there and get their asses kicked.”
In the end Viking players were escorted to a nearby classroom and the Roadrunners shouted profanities to the home crowd before being escorted to waiting buses.
After tempers subsided, none of the Desert players would comment but Roadrunners coach Dean Dowty was clearly frustrated as he paced in front of the busses.
“It’s an embarrassment to both teams. That’s embarrassing that two teams can’t play a game and let it get out of control like that,” Dowty said.
Peabody also was highly critical of the games conclusion.
“This is a bad and embarrassing moment for JC football,” Peabody said.
As the crowd stood shocked at the bedlam taking place on the field, LBCC coaches and players couldn’t believe what they saw either but didn’t hold back in directing blame.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s all about how Desert has their discipline for their players, because there is none what so ever. You’re not supposed to get to the point where you have a brawl like that,” Aoga said.
Both teams’ coaches say referees allowed the physical play to get out of hand. Both sides’ coaches blamed the other team’s players for cheap shots levied at their players.
“I made numerous comments to the guy on my sideline to tell the White hat, can you guys get control out there?
“One guy threw a punch out there he wasn’t thrown out or penalized or anything and I asked the referee how do you not see that?” Dowty said.
The unfortunate event marred a spectacular performance by the Vikings.
“I was really proud of our overall effort. I thought our kids played a great all-around game. We really put a full game together,” Peabody said.
LBCC scored virtually at-will on their first few possessions and again late in the game. With all starters pulled, Desert still couldn’t contain the Viking offense.
The Vikes waited until the season’s final game to put on their best performance under Peabody. The lopsided affair was LBCC’s largest margin of victory of the season.
Freshman quarterback Kenny Potter didn’t quite put up conference player of the week numbers but was still good enough to torch the Roadrunners’ secondary for more than 260 yards and three touchdowns.
Potter’s preferred target was freshman Da’Quan Hampton. The 6 -foot-4-inch, 212-pound wide out hauled in 98 yards and two touchdowns on just six receptions.
“The corners were playing soft and I realized it and took advantage of it. Did my job, read the routes, read them real good,” Hampton said.
Hampton was frustrated when a lingering toe injury sidelined him early in the third quarter one touchdown away from tying former Viking wide-out Trayvon Payne’s single season touchdown record of 13.
“When he tackled me my toe got bent a certain way and it wasn’t supposed to flex that far. My coaches already said I’m done. I was two touchdowns away from breaking the record. I’m still a freshman so I have my sophomore year to come back faster, stronger,” Hampton said.
Sophomore linebacker Cale Dester recorded 21 tackles, two for losses, and a sack.
“We played our first complete game for the year. We played real solid,” Dester said.
“This guy, by the way, had his best game of the season tonight and it all started when ‘Adios Amigo’ got drop kicked in the back by one of their players,” Peabody said.