The MSJC football team held on Saturday at Victor Valley to close out the 2011 season on a three game winning streak as they defeated the Rams 33-32.
Joseph Henderson scored on a one yard run on the Eagles opening possession of the game to give MSJC a 7-0 lead. After Victor Valley scored late in the first quarter, Emmanuel Hamilton took the ensuing kick off back 73 yards to reclaim the lead for MSJC. The kick off return for a touchdown was Hamilton's third of the year. The Rams fought back to take the lead for the first time in the game after a safety and a 50 yard scoring pass early in the second quarter to grab a 16-14 advantage. The teams then traded field goals as MSJC's Jamie Lucio hit a 42 yarder and the Rams Michael Dodd answered with a 32 yarder to make the halftime score 19-17 Victor Valley.
In the second half Henderson again scored from one yard out to give MSJC the lead, but the extra point try was no good. After another passing td by the Rams, Henderson scored for the third time on the day early in the fourth quarter to finally give MSJC the lead for good at 30-26. Lucio added his second field goal of the day with 7:45 to play pushing the Eagles lead to 33-26. The Rams were not quite done however, as they scored on a 33 yard pass play to cut the lead to 33-32 with 3:02 to play. The extra point attempt was blocked by the Eagles to preserve the lead. The drama was not over though as MSJC was forced to punt with less than a minute to play in the game. Victor Valley moved the ball inside Eagle territory and set up for a game winning field goal from 46 yards out. The attempt sailed wide right, but MSJC was called for roughing the kicker. After the 15 yard penalty the Rams had another shot at the winning field goal this time from 31 yards out, but Dodd's kick was no good and the Eagles held on for their third straight win.
Henderson finished the day with 81 yards on the ground. Quarterback Nigel Barksdale finished his fine career at MSJC throwing for 173 yards on 15 of 26 passing. Dalton Hunkle pulled down 6 catches for 65 yards, while Perris Scoggins caught 4 ball for 39 yards. On the defensive side of the ball Doug Elliott led the Eagles with 11 tackles. Linebacker Samiuela Stevens added 8 tackles for the Eagles. Dennis Fite had an interception for MSJC.
MSJC finished the season, for the second year in a row, at 6-4 overall and 4-1 in Mountain Conference action. The 4-1 mark was good enough for second place in the conference.