The MSJC football team made plays when they counted Saturday afternoon as they defeated visiting East Los Angeles College in a Mountain Conference game 45-38.
Quarterback Nigel Barksdale (San Jacinto HS) threw for three touchdowns and the Eagles defense picked off the Huskies quarterback four times to help MSJC improve to 3-4 on the year and 1-1 in conference action.
The game started quickly as ELAC took the opening kick off and drove the length of the field on a 9 play 75 yard drive to take an early 7-0 lead. On the ensuing kick off the Eagles' Emmanuel Hamilton (San Jacinto HS) ran it all the way back 89 yards for MSJC's first score of the day. Following a 7 yard touchdown run from Franex Dort (Lakeworth, FL) later in the first quarter the Eagles cut the lead to 14-12. MSJC grabbed their first lead of the game with just :38 seconds remaining in the first quarter when linebacker Bronson Alfafara (Ewa Beach, HI) picked off a pass and ran it back 25 yards for a touchdown. MSJC's final score of the first half came on a 23 yard touchdown pass from Barksdale to Tyrone Richardson (West Valley HS), but the Eagles trailed 28-25 at the half.
The Eagles took the lead for good in the third quarter when Dorian Scotto (West Valley HS) caught a 2 yard td pass from Barksdale. Early in the fourth quarter Barksdale hooked up with Jeremy Rykard (O'Fallon, IL) on a 30 yard touchdown pass to increase the Eagles lead to 38-28. Dort added his second touchdown of the game on a 1 yard run late in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. The MSJC defense came up big throughout the day with four interceptions. Deshawn Hathorn (Chaparral), Cejay Ceniza (Las Vegas, NV), and Hamilton each picked off a pass to go along with Alfafara's first quarter pick six.
Barksdale finished the day 16 of 24 passing for 190 yards and three td's. Dort led the ground attack with 13 carries for 61 yards. Rykard finished the day with four catches for 84 yards and Richardson 3 receptions for 31 yards. Alfafara led the Eagles defense in tackles with 9 on the day while Hamilton and Manny Rathel (Lakeworth, FL) had 5.5 each.
The Eagles return to action next Saturday when they host Compton College in the 2010 Homecoming game. Kick off is set for 1 pm at Carl Quandt Stadium.