The MSJC football team struggled in the second and third quarters on Saturday and allowed Citrus College to win the regular season finale 56-24 at Carl Quandt Stadium.
The Eagles had a solid start to the game as they took the opening kick off and drove 48 yards in 6 plays and came away with a 29 yard field goal by Victor Carbajal to take a 3-0 lead. Citrus answered right back on the ensuing drive as they methodically took the ball down field on a 10 play 72 yard scoring drive in which they ran the ball all 10 plays. With the Owls leading 7-3 MSJC would take their last lead of the day with 4:53 to play in the first quarter when Brett Virgil connected with Eric Ellison on a 31 yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 10-7 lead after the first period.
The momentum then swung in a big way to Citrus as they would go on to score 42 straight points in the second and third quarters, taking advantage in the second of three MSJC turnovers. Citrus pulled ahead 35-10 at half and pushed the lead to 49-10 headed to the fourth. In the final period MSJC was able to score a pair of TD's as C.J. Sullivan scored on a 46 yard pass play from Virgil and then Virgil hooked up with Micha Lowden on a 26 yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 49-24, before Citrus scored one final touchdown with 2:43 left to play in the game.
Virgil completed his freshman season by throwing three touchdown passes while being intercepted twice as he went 11 of 22 passing for 166 yards. Ellison led MSJC in both rushing and receiving for the day as he had two carries for 46 yards on the ground and caught 5 passes for 64 yards. The defense struggled to contain the Owls running game, but were led in tackles by Rodrick Ward and Dallas Frederick who each had 10 stops. Giovanni Valencia-Baxter had both a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for the Eagles.
The loss concludes the Eagles season at 7-3 overall they went 2-3 in American Mountain League play while the Owls also finished at 7-3 overall they went 4-1 in conference games. The Eagles 7-3 record is the best season for the program since 2012 when MSJC went 9-2 and reached the Patriotic Bowl.
MSJC's Eric Ellison #7 led the team in both rushing and receiving yards Saturday as the Eagle football team wrapped up their season at 7-3 overall after a 56-24 loss to visiting Citrus. (DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC)