The MSJC football team rallied to take a late lead, but could not hold on to it on Saturday as they fell in the annual Palms to Pines Trophy game against College of the Desert 55-51.
The Eagles fell behind early 14-0, but did manage to get a 22 yard field goal from Joshua Gonzalez with 24 seconds left in the first quarter to get on the scoreboard. The Eagles then cut the lead to 14-10 early in the second when Vanel Dossous caught an 18 yard touchdown pass from Vitu Chilongo. The Roadrunners then extended the lead all the way to 27-10 with a 29 yard pass play and then a 60 yard interception return with still 7:45 to play before halftime. On the ensuing kick off MSJC's Laquan Washington had an 85 yard return for a touchdown. Then on the Eagles next possession Chilongo hooked up with Dossous on an 82 yard scoring strike to make it 27-24. The high scoring first half was not quite over though as COD was able to take advantage of a bad snap on a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a 34-24 halftime lead.
The scoring didn't stop as the second half began with COD quickly pushing their lead back to 17 on a 7 yard run by Stephen Johnson II. The Eagles then closed the gap to four when Chilongo threw his third TD pass of the day, this time to Don'yae Hopkins for a 34 yard score and then Dossous continued his huge day as he had an 86 yard punt return for a TD and the score was 41-37 COD after three quarters. The teams traded touchdowns to start the fourth quarter with MSJC missing on a two point conversion and with 7:23 left in the game the Roadrunners led 48-43. MSJC would force a COD turnover with 3 minutes to play in the game and then cash it in 7 plays later on Chilongo's 20 yard TD pass to Dossous with 1:20 to play. The Eagles converted a two point conversion and held a 51-48 advantage. With COD forced to start their final drive at their own 25 yard line and no time outs, Johnson connected with Tristian Buyck on a 72 yard pass on their second play to shock Carl Quandt Stadium with the game winning touchdown with just 38 seconds left on the game clock. MSJC's final desperation drive came up empty and the Roadrunners held on 55-51.
Chilongo finished the day going 29 for 47 passing with 424 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Dossous had a monster day with 11 catches for 220 yards and 3 receiving TDs to go along with his punt return touchdown. Washington had 5 receptions to go with his kick off return. On defense Jevon Gooden had a career high 13 tackles with a sack and 4.5 tackles for loss. C. J. Parker had 9 tackles and a fumble recovery while Pierre Harris picked up an interception.
The loss drops MSJC final record on the year to 5-5 overall and 4-3 in American Mountain Conference play, COD finished the season 6-4 and 6-1.
San Jacinto College's Elijah Brown almost catches long pass during Eagles loss
51-54 to College of the Desert Saturday, November 14, 2015. Photo by DeeAnn