Late Score Costs MSJC Football the Palms to Pines Trophy
College of the Desert scored with just 11 seconds left in the game on Saturday to break a 36-36 tie and defeat the MSJC football team in the annual Palms to Pines Trophy game at Carl
The Roadrunners started the scoring when Tony Williams broke a 62 yard run midway through the first quarter for a COD touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. The Eagles answered just four minutes later when Sheriron Jones connected with Michael Stewart for a TD from 13 yards out capping a 12 play 75 yard drive. COD would reclaim the lead just before the end of the first period when Demetrius Whitmore scored on a 2 yard run, the Roadrunners then converted a two point play to make it 15-7. MSJC would even up the game with 7:15 to play in the half when Jomari Becnel scored the first of his three touchdowns on the day with a 1 yard run. The Eagles then made a two point conversion of their own to tie the game at 15. Becnel's TD was set up by an interception by the Eagles' Tavares Talton who returned the INT all the way to the Roadrunner 6 yard line. COD found the end zone one more time before the half on a 35 yard pass from Noah Sherman to Franklin Miller to lead at the half 22-15.
MSJC opened the second half with an efficient 4 play 75 yard drive to tie the game again, this time the touchdown came on a 24 yard pass from Jones to Kefa Cort. The Eagles finally took their first lead of the game with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter when Becnel scored from 4 yards out, but the extra point was no good and MSJC's lead was 28-22. The Roadrunners bounced back yet again to take the lead just three plays later with a 49 yard scoring strike from Shoeman to Kerrion Ringo and with the extra point led 29-28 headed to the fourth quarter. Williams second TD of the day for COD pushed the Roadrunner lead back to eight at 36-28 with 6:30 to play in the game. MSJC then evened up the contest again when Becnel broke loose for a 45 yard touchdown run and with a two point pass play from Jones to Cort the score was 36-36 with 6 minutes left. The Roadrunners then methodically drove the ball down the field 75 yards on 12 plays and scored the winning touchdown on a 1 yard run by Benjamin Miles with just 11 seconds left to play.
Becnel finished his three touchdown day by carrying the ball 20 times for 168 yards. Jones threw for 188 yards on 16 of 33 passing he also ran fro 32 yards on six carries. Stewart had a team high 5 receptions for MSJC while Becnel each caught three passes. Jaylon Macklin had 4 receptions for the Eagles. On defense James Reeder III had a game high 13 tackles while Darry Felix and Auomanu Manu had 10 tackles a piece.
The game was also the American Mountain League opener for both teams with the Eagles falling to 0-1 in conference play and 3-3 overall. COD improved to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in league action. MSJC will be at home at Carl Quandt Stadium again this Saturday when they host Southwestern in their 2017 Homecoming game. The game on the 21st will kick off at 1 pm and will feature a halftime show honoring the MSJC Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017. There will also be a free tailgate Bar-b-que courtesy of the MSJC SGA and a beer garden hosted by the Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation prior to the game.
MSJC's #1 Jomari Becnel ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday, but the Eagle football team came up just short of a victory as they lost to visiting College of the Desert 43-36 in the Annual Palms to Pines Trophy game played at Carl Quandt Stadium. (DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC).