The MSJC football team picked up a big win on Saturday night as they hung on for a 31-29 American Mountain League victory at Southwestern.
The Eagles got on the board first when quarterback Jake Newton scored on a 2 yard run with 3:42 to play in the first quarter giving MSJC a 7-0 lead. The Jaguars would answer with a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3 by the end of the first. Don'yae Hopkins helped the Eagles push the lead to 11 when he scored on a 21 yard run with just under 11 minutes to play in the first half. Southwestern would score 10 straight points to close the first half and cut their deficit to 14-13 at the break.
The only scoring of the third quarter came when MSJC was set up to punt and the snap flew over punter Joshua Gonzalez's head giving Southwestern a safety and a one point lead 15-14.
The action packed fourth quarter started with Newton giving the Eagles the lead back on a 1 yard run and after he hooked up with LaQuan Washington on the two point conversion MSJC led 22-15. Southwestern quickly tied the scored back up with 10:32 to play with a 13 yard TD pass. The Eagles then took advantage of a couple big Southwestern mistakes down the stretch, starting with Eagle defensive lineman Tommy McCraw being held in the Jaguar end zone on a pass play which resulted in MSJC being awarded a safety to take the lead 24-22. On the ensuing possession MSJC was forced to punt, but Southwestern's Malik Kimbrough fumbled the kick and the Eagles picked up the ball at the Jaguar 34. Six plays later Hopkins scored on an 8 yard run to give the Eagles a 9 point lead 31-22 with just under 3:30 to play. Southwestern did score quickly to cut the lead to two, but MSJC's D.J. Hooks recovered an on side kick to secure the win for the Eagles.
Newton finished the game going 18 for 35 through the air for 299 yards, his favorite target on the day was Vanel Dossous who had 7 catches for 210 yards. Hopkins had 30 carries for 105 yards to go along with his two TDs. Wesley Scott was credited with a team high 5 tackles including a sack and Phillip Napoleon had 2 sacks in the victory.
MSJC improved to 4-3 overall with the win and 3-1 in American Mountain League play while Southwestern fell to 3-4 on the year and 2-2 in conference action. The Eagles will travel to Victorville next Saturday to take on Victor Valley in a 1 pm contest. MSJC, Victor Valley, and San Bernardino Valley are all 3-1 in AML play, one game behind first place College of the Desert, who is currently 4-0.