MSJC loses Homecoming game against Antelope Valley, 26-21
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Homecoming game is something very special to high school and college students in America. It’s a chance for alumni to see how their alma mater has changed in recent years, and for students to welcome their home team back from being on the road. Mt. San Jacinto College is no exception, celebrating the morning before with a motorcycle show, barbecue and raffles for the community. This helped fans warm up for the Eagles’ homecoming game against the Antelope Valley Marauders on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The Marauders won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Eagles received the ball and made some work of it: Semaj Wren brought in touchdown number one at 10:26 in this first quarter, with Victor Carbajal kicking in the extra point. The Eagles denied a Marauder field goal attempt, with DeJon Hopes returning the blocked kick to the Marauders’ 49-yard line. Elijah Campbell of the Marauder hurt his arm at 3:15, but the two teams didn’t let that stop their momentum. But as Wren brought in the second Eagle TD of the day, another Marauder would be felled: Enzo Fantau-Barker. Once Barker made his way to sports medicine, Carbajal added a point once again.
The second quarter started out slow, but then CJ Sullivan caught the ball in the end zone at 9:20 to score TD number three, with Carbajal doing his job again. But the Marauders wouldn’t stay on the nil for long, with Nathaniel Myles getting Antelope Valley off the mark. At 2:28, Eagle Steven Agyemang suffered the day’s third injury, albeit minor. Then with just 26 seconds to halftime, James Kelley suffered an injury to equal with the Marauders on the sports medicine bench. As this happened, Jaylen Miller received a questionable pass which officials ruled a TD for the Marauders. Luke Coffman kicked in the extra point, bringing the Marauders to 14. James Phillips ran the ball home for the Eagles going into halftime, but the refs flagged this touchdown, thus disqualifying it.
The Eagles had a precarious seven-point lead going into third quarter. Jacobi Boudreaux would TD less than two minutes in to narrow that gap to just one. Then Tony Bell followed up a 90-yard Marauder rush to take the lead from the Eagles.
Fourth quarter saw lots of middle-of-the-field action, including two more injured Marauders. But despite a strong effort by the Eagles, including much frustration with themselves and the referees’ calls, the Eagles suffered their second setback of the season with a score of 26-21 Marauders.
Eagles Head Coach Casey Mazzotta acknowledges the crowd’s frustration with game officials today: “Our crowd’s not dumb… they saw what they saw.”
But despite the decidedly lackluster refereeing, Mazzotta believes his Eagles gave it what they could. “I thought our team fought; Every weekend they fight.”
The Eagles have a chance to recover from the loss on Saturday night, as they travel to Palm Desert to take a run at the Roadrunners at College of the Desert. They’ll be home next Saturday, Nov. 10, for their final season game against the Citrus Owls. The next two weeks ought to be worth tweeting about!
Elsewhere in football:
• Hemet rode the West Valley Mustangs into victory lane on Friday, Oct. 26, with a score of 44-6. The now two-time Ramona Cup winning Bulldogs now advance to the playoffs against the Colton Yellow Jackets with a season record of 6-4, as the Mustangs’ season quietly ends with a record of 1-9.
• San Jacinto struck down the Tahquitz Titans on Friday, doing a number of 35-14 on them to finish the regular season with a run of 9-1. The Tigers are home on Friday for rounds one of CIF against the La Quinta Blackhawks. With this loss, the Titans are eliminated from CIF this season as of publication time.