LONG BEACH — It was obviously the first game of the season for Fullerton College Saturday.
The Hornets were beaten by Long Beach, 28-9, at Veterans Stadium in the debut of Fullerton co-Coaches Marv Sampson and Glenn Thomas. Sampson and Thomas replaced Hal Sherbeck, who retired last spring after 31 years.
Sampson and Thomas used the opportunity for a look at several players, including three quarterbacks and eight ball carriers, in their first action of the season. Seven Hornets caught at least one pass.
Besides players, Sampson and Thomas saw plenty of Fullerton mistakes. The Hornets turned over the ball five times, and were penalized 12 times for 106 yards.
The victory was the first for Long Beach Coach Larry Reisbig, who is in his first season. Reisbig spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Orange Coast College.
Fullerton was done in early by three first-half turnovers that led to three Long Beach touchdowns.
The last touchdown of the first half came when Long Beach's Dante Lewis returned a fumble 14 yards with 3:46 remaining.
Lewis' first-quarter interception set up the Vikings' first touchdown. One play later, quarterback Ray Domingo completed an 85-yard scoring pass to Chris Love, who was open behind the Fullerton secondary.
Long Beach (1-1) went ahead, 14-0, with 2:00 left in the first quarter when tight end Byron Culp caught a short pass from Domingo and broke four tackles on his way to the end zone to complete a 19-yard scoring play.
That play was set up when linebacker Robert Gilmore recovered a fumble at the Fullerton 28.
Fullerton's only first-half score came on a 28-yard field goal by Chris Prater with 7:05 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-3.
Fullerton had chances to rally in the second half but failed. The Hornets had first and goal at the Long Beach eight-yard line midway in the third quarter but turned over the ball on downs. Earlier in the quarter, Fullerton had been at the Long Beach 12 but a pass by quarterback Josh Nelson was intercepted at the five by defensive back Chris Miller.
Miller added another interception early in the fourth quarter to stop another Fullerton drive.
The Hornets finally scored a touchdown with 2:19 left on a one-yard run by Mike Carter.