The MSJC football team came out on the short end Saturday of a game that had plenty of offense as the Eagles lost 34-31 to Southwestern in an American Mountain Conference match up at home.
The Eagles started the scoring with a 9 play 89 yard drive on their first possession of the day when Eddy Williams scored on a 30 yard run. The first score of the day was set up by a Ronald Gaither interception on the Eagles two yard line. Southwestern quickly tied the game up 3 minutes later on a 36 yard run from Diego Rodriguez, but MSJC would strike right back on a 72 yard TD pass from Zach Chessar to Williams to give the Eagles a lead of 14-7 after the first quarter.
Southwestern would once again knot the game up in the second quarter on a 16 yard touchdown pass with just over 11 minutes to play in the half. The Eagles scored the next 10 points to build a 24-14 lead at the half. Defensive tackle Johnny Williams scored the go ahead touchdown as he lined up at fullback and caught a 5 yard pass from Chesser and Bret Cronenwett kicked a 45 yard field goal with 2:48 to play before the break.
The Jaguars scored the only points of the third quarter on a 23 yard pass play to cut the lead to 24-21. Southwestern took their first lead of the day on their next possession to start the 4th quarter when Rodriguez ran it in from 11 yards out. The Jags missed the extra point and held a 27-24 advantage. The Eagles struck back quickly on a 2 play 70 yard drive that featured Eddy Williams scoring his third TD of the day this time on a 61 yard run. Cronenwett added the extra point and the Eagles held a 31-27 advantage with 12 minutes left in the game. Southwestern mounted what turned out to be the winning drive late in the fourth when a long punt return gave them the ball at the Eagles 22 yard line. Eight plays later the Jags scored on a 7 yard TD pass from Jack Flatau to Luis Perez with 4:45 to go, giving Southwestern the 34-31 lead. The Eagles put together a drive, but missed a 32 yard field goal with 30 seconds left in the game to come up just short.
The two teams combined for 984 yards of total offense. Chesser had a big day completing 27 of 47 passes for 371 yards and two TDs. Eddy Williams had 19 carries for 101 yards and caught 4 passes for 91 yards. Jaron Johnson had a career high 14 receptions for 202 yards. On defense Johnny Williams had a game high 10 tackles for the Eagles while Gaither and Devin Martin both had 8. Williams, C.J. Parker, Billy Jahn, and Wesley Scott each had a sack for MSJC while Jevon Gooden had an interception.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play while Southwestern improved to 6-1 and 3-1. MSJC will play their final home game of the season on Saturday at 1 pm when they take on first place Victor Valley at 1 pm at Carl Quandt Stadium.
Mt. San Jacinto College's Vanel Dossous attempts to catch a high pass covered by Southwestern College Kevin Brown during the Eagles loss 31-34 Saturday at Carl Quandt Stadium. DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC