Arbuckle threw touchdown passes to Bryson Martinez, Shaquan Hall and Isaiah Nelson, and Myles opened the scoring by returning a punt 57 yards for a score with 3:46 left in the first quarter. Pierce (2-0) held the lead for all but the briefest of moments after that, after Michael Harrison scored his third of four touchdowns for Mt. San Jacinto (1-1) early in the fourth quarter. But on the extra point following that score, the kick was blocked and Myles returned it the distance to put Pierce back in front.
And the Brahmas stayed in front the rest of the way despite an outstanding performance by Harrison, a 5-7 sophomore receiver who moved to running back in place of injured Superiorr Reid. Harrison led all rushers with 115 yards rushing on 30 carries, caught 4 passes for 73 yards and scored all 4 of the Eagles' touchdowns.
Though the game ended up with the typical overall scoring output one would expect in an American Division game, both teams' offenses started very slowly. The teams combined for a total of 8 punts - one of which Myles returned for a touchdown - in the first quarter before either team scored a touchdown on offense. Pierce took a 6-0 lead on Myles' return 11:14 into the game despite not gaining a single first down on offense to that point.
But the next time Pierce got the ball, the Brahma offense awoke after getting a big break when a high snap disrupted Mt. San Jacinto punter Richard Caballero's rhythm, the result being an 11-yard punt that went out of bounds at the Eagles' 39. Five plays later, Arbuckle threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Martinez on the final play of the first quarter to make it 13-0 Brahmas.
Mt. San Jacinto got on the board on its next drive, a 15-play, 91-yard march that chewed up neary half of the second quarter and ended with Harrison scoring on a 6-yard run. Then on the conversion, the Eagles rushed onto the field and used a trick play out of the swinging gate formation, with kicker Clay Goga throwing the ball to Delontra Fields for a 2-point conversion to make it 15-8.
At that point, the offenses seemed to find their stride. Pierce answered with a quick, 5-play drive that ended with Arbuckle throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Shaquan Hall with 5:21 left in the half to make it 20-8. But Mt. San Jacinto got another touchdown after Aaron Kelley partially blocked a Daniel Schlorf punt - it went just 10 yards - with Harrison scoring his second touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run with 36 seconds left in the half, making it 20-15 at the break.
Mt. San Jacinto scored on its first drive of the second half, taking a 21-20 lead when Harrison scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Chad Virgil just 3:58 into the second half. But on the conversion, Goga's kick was low and blocked. Myles picked up the loose ball near the 10 yard-line and ending perhaps the shortest-lived lead in football history, returning the ball all the way to the end zone for the two points that put the Brahmas back in front, 22-21.
Pierce added a field goal by Schlorf later in the quarter at the end of a 14-play, 84-yard drive that took more than 7 minutes off the clock. And the Brahmas pushed their lead to 32-21 early in the fourth quarter when Josh Mathis scored on a 25-yard run with 14:47 left in the game. Mt. San Jacinto answered with a 21-yard field goal on its next drive, but then Pierce scored again on its next possession with Arbuckle throwing his third touchdown of the game, a 57-yard strike to Nelson with 8:46 left that made it 38-24.
Mt. San Jacinto drew within a touchdown when Harrison scored his fourth touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run with 3:26 left to make it 38-31. But the Eagles kicked off after that score and never got the ball back again. Pierce got one first down on two short passes by Arbuckle and another when Arbuckle threw a 23-yard pass to Hall with just under two minutes left. By then Mt. San Jacinto had exhausted its supply of timeouts, and the Brahmas were able to run out the clock without gaining another first down.
L.A. Pierce Brahmas 38, Mt. San Jacinto Eagles 31
Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 7 pm - John Shepard Stadium - Woodland Hills
P - Myles 57 yd punt return (kick blocked) 3:46 (6-0)
P - Martinez 14 yd pass from Arbuckle (Schlorf kick) 0:00 (13-0)
M - Harrison 6 yd run (Fields pass from Goga) 7:31 (13-8)
P - Hall 25 yd pass from Arbuckle (Schlorf kick) 5:21 (20-8)
M - Harrison 10 yd run (Goga kick) 0:36.0 (20-15)
M - Harrison 40 yd pass from Virgil (kick blocked) 11:02 (21-20)
P - Myles 2-point return of blocked XPA 11:02 (22-21)
P - FG Schlorf 19 yds 3:39 (25-21)
P - Mathis 25 yd run (Schlorf kick) 14:47 (32-21)
M - FG Goga 21 yds 9:16 (32-24)
P - Nelson 57 yd pass from Arbuckle (Schlorf kick) 8:46 (38-24)
M - Harrison 1 yd run (Goga kick) 3:28 (38-31)
First Downs: Pierce 19 (4 rush, 13 pass, 2 penalty), Mt. San Jacinto 22 (12 rush, 5 pass, 5 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Pierce 25-81, Mt. San Jacinto 48-169
Passing Yds: Pierce 308, Mt. San Jacinto 144
Comp-Att-Int: Pierce 23-35-1, Mt. San Jacinto 10-26-0
Return Yds: Pierce 157, Mt. San Jacinto 200
Sacks-Yds: Pierce 3-20, Mt. San Jacinto 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: Pierce 0-0, Mt. San Jacinto 5-1
Penalties-Yds: Pierce 8-74, Mt. San Jacinto 13-114
Time of Possession: Pierce 25:27, Mt. San Jacinto 34:33
Rushing: P 1-Mathis 14-45, 34-Wims 8-37, 2-De.Jones 2-3, team 1-(-4); M 6-Harrison 30-115, 34-Brown 6-29, 2-Virgil 9-24, 20-Zakhar 3-1
Passing: P 4-Arbuckle 23-35-1-308, 3 TDs; M 2-Virgil 10-26-0-144, 1 TD
Receiving: P 81-Martinez 5-48, 9-Nelson 4-120, 8-Hall 4-66, 82-Torres 4-38, 80-Ijalana 3-22, 88-Zepeda 1-6, 47-Mumford 1-5, 4-Arbuckle 1-3; M 6-Harrison 4-73, 9-Hairston 3-32, 15-Fields 1-21, 83-Holbert 1-13, 11-J.Johnson 1-5
Sacks-Yds: P 18-Adams-Hurd 1-8, 95-Neuhauser 1-7, 11-J.Johnson 1-5; M none
Interceptions-Ret Yds: P none; M 7-Hifo 1-53
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: P 54-Katz 1-0; M none
Punters: P 64-Schlorf 5-34.2 avg; M 56-Caballero 7-35.1 avg
Kick Returns: P 30-Brahm 2-62, 34-Wims 2-24, 1-Mathis 1-3; M 9-Hairston 6-132, 34-Brown 1-15
Punt Returns: P 5-Myles 3-68; M 6-Harrison 1-0
Missed FG: P 64-Schlorf 51 yds (low); M none
Notes: Both teams entered 1-0; Pierce was ranked #22 in Calif (JCAB) while Mt. San Jacinto was ranked #19. MSJC was without top running back Superiorr Reid (inj). Kicker Goga threw a pass to TE Fields on a trick play on the conversion after MSJC's 1st TD. 1-Kelley partially blocked a Pierce punt that went 10 yards and set up MSJC's 2nd TD. Pierce got 2 first downs on its last possession to run out the final 3:28 after MSJC's last TD.