LANCASTER - Quarterback Aaron Cantu threw four touchdown passes and ran for another to help lead East Los Angeles College to a 35-28 nonconference victory over Antelope Valley College Saturday.
Cantu, a freshman from Schurr High, completed 28 of 42 passes for 358 yards as ELAC improved to 2-3 at the season's halfway point. The Huskies have a bye this week and will resume play Oct. 15 against San Diego Mesa College (1-4) in a Mountain Conference opener at ELAC.
The Huskies had a long bus ride to the High Desert, but returned having defeated Antelope Valley for the first time since 1991.
"To get a win at Antelope Valley is really huge for us," ELAC coach Lynn Cain said. "It gives us a lot of confidence and momentum to take into conference play."
The Huskies drove 80 yards in 12 plays to score on their first possession of the game. The drive ended with Chris Clark scoring on a 22-yard touchdown reception. Clark also caught a 7-yard scoring pass in the third quarter to break a 14-14 tie.
He finished the game with three receptions for 48 yards.
Former Schurr teammate Carlos Arredondo was one of Cantu's favorite targets. Arredondo caught 11 passes for 119 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown reception.
Wide receiver Luther Walker had six receptions for 90 yards, Carlos Portillo caught three passes for 19 yards and Christopher De Leon made two receptions for 29 yards.
Running back Preston Oliver had a 34-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to finish the game with two receptions for 39 yards. He also rushed for 57 yards on 14 carries.
After Oliver's touchdown gave the Huskies a 28-21 lead, Cantu's 10-yard touchdown run with 5:47 remaining increased it to 35-21. The score capped an 11-play drive that covered 82 yards.
Running back Justin Forte keyed the drive with 40 rushing yards on four carries, including a 19-yard run to start the drive. The sophomore from finished the game with a team-leading 63 rushing yards on 13 attempts.
The Huskies' ground attack was also led by Marquel Booker, who added 43 yards on 11 carries.
Cantu had time to throw and the running backs took advantage of the holes that were opened up by the Husky offensive line.
Cain praised the play of defensive tackle Chris Floyd and defensive end Chris Frias, while noting that the Huskies played without cornerback Juan Mariscal and linebacker Hector Cazales because of injuries.
"Floyd is a leader on defense and Barraza is the leader on the offensive line," Cain said. "Floyd challenges the others on the defensive line to play well and Barraza sets the tone with hard work."
Another key for the Huskies has been the punting of Julio Segura. The sophomore from South Gate High boomed one of his two punts 61 yards.