Eagles grounded by Jaguars

MSJC’s football team loses to Southwest College on Saturday, 17-7

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Action shot taken during Saturday’s game against the Southwestern Jaguars.

■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

Homecoming is a special time for schools and colleges, welcoming students back to school and drumming up school spirit. It’s no different for Mt. San Jacinto College, which held their homecoming game last Saturday. On the prowl in San Jacinto were the Southwestern College Jaguars, having come all the way from Chula Vista near San Diego. Attendees at this year’s homecoming got in for free, thanks to the Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation and the MSJC Student Government Association (SGA). The SGA also hosted a tailgate party and barbecue for attendees as they were heading in, as well as plenty of family-friendly pre-game entertainment.
Within two minutes of the Eagles’ kickoff, Ryan Stokes brought in the first touchdown of the game for Southwestern. In an attempt to push back against the Jaguars, Eagle Jonathan Reid took an injury but walked it off like a true champion. Further making their case, the Jags would also take in a field goal to challenge the Eagles’ vision. The Eagles would answer this challenge, with Sheriron Jones scoring the Eagles’ first TD at the 8-minute mark, and Coby Perine making their score seven.
During the second quarter, two more Eagles took minor injuries as they attempted to take the lead. It appeared that MSJC would have scored their second TD of the game at the 1:30 mark, but referees disqualified it as “intentional grounding,” and made other calls that disgruntled the Eagles’ fans. As a result, no scoring occurred in this quarter.

At halftime, MSJC held a special ceremony to honor the second class of inductees to the MSJC Athletic Hall of Fame, which includes the members of the 1982 Eagles Baseball team. A special induction banquet was held in their honor after the homecoming game.
The Jags kicked off the second half and within three minutes took their second TD of the day. The Eagles struggled to regain yardage after a Jaguar barrage. But it would be a referee who would take the brunt at the 7:33 mark. True to form, he got back up and went right back to work calling plays. The final quarter saw no score change, thus giving the win to the Jaguars, 17-7.
Coach Casey Mazzotta says it all came down to turnovers and interceptions from the Jags.
“To have (six) turnovers and give up 17 points…Most of the time, you’re not in a tight ball game like that,” said Mazzotta. “A lot of credit goes to Southwestern, they played a lot of pressure defense. We gotta continue working on ball security.”
The referees’ unpopular calls didn’t help the Eagles, either.
“There was quite a few of those today! I wish [the “intentional grounding”] could have been a touchdown. The flag didn’t come out until we crossed into the end zone,” said Mazzotta. “That’s one that sticks out in my mind as a real game-changer.”
But Mazzotta gives credit to Jamie Jinks for giving his fellow Eagles words of inspiration after the game, and to players Jomari Becnel and Dimitri Gallow for keeping up their game on the field today.
The Eagles are now 3-4 for the season, and 0-2 in the American Mountain League. They have their next game on Saturday, as they head to the High Desert to challenge the Victor Valley Rams. And if you have a chance on Saturday, Nov. 11, stop by Carl Quandt Stadium for the Eagles’ last home game of 2017 against the San Bernardino Valley Wolverines.

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