The MSJC football team scored two touchdowns in the first 2:53 of the second half on Saturday and then survived a one hour weather delay to win their season opener 31-15 over Santa Monica.
The Eagles season started in fine fashion as their defensive unit held on the opening possession of the day and forced the Corsairs to punt. MSJC then took the ball down the field 43 yards in 9 plays on their first offensive chance of the season to set up a Clay Goga field goal from 43 yards out. The field goal would be the only scoring of the first quarter. Santa Monica put together their most impressive drive of the day in the second quarter when they went 80 yards on 10 plays to score a touchdown and take their only lead of the game. They failed on the extra point attempt and held a 6-3 lead with 10:34 to play in the first half. Returning all region stand out running back Superiorr Reid then put the Eagles up for good when he went 35 yards on the first play of a drive to put MSJC up 10-6. The score would stay at 10-6 into the halftime break.
The Eagles erupted out of the gates in the second half when Styrone Hairston took the half's opening kick off and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. After a quick three and out by the Corsairs the Eagles got the ball back and scored again. This time Hairston caught a 35 yard TD pass from Chad Virgil and all of a sudden MSJC led 24-6. Then the real lightning struck and game officials halted the game for an hour until the storm passed through the area. When play resumed the Corsairs made their last stab at a comeback as they scored their second touchdown of the day with 10:35 to play in the third, but again their point after attempt failed and the Eagles had a 24-12 lead. MSJC would come up with their last points of the day when Virgil connected with tight end Tim Bruzzesi on a three yard pass midway through the third. Santa Monica managed just a field goal the rest of the way as the MSJC defense tightened up in the fourth quarter.
Virgil finished the game 11 for 21 passing for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Reid carried the ball 21 times for 96 yards and Hairston caught 3 passes for 80 yards to go along with his kick off return. On defense Drake Cathcart and Leroy Holt both had a team high 9 tackles while Aaron Kelly had and interception.
The Eagles now 1-0 and ranked #19 in the state will travel to Woodland Hills next Saturday to take on LA Pierce College. MSJC met Pierce twice last year with the Eagles winning the regular season match up and the Brahmas winning in overtime at the Patriotic Bowl. Saturday's game at Pierce is set to begin at 7 pm.
Mt. San Jacinto College's Superiorr Reid breaks free for 35-yard touchdown run in second quarter. Eagles football won 31-15 over Santa Monica College in San Jacinto on Saturday. (DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC)