The Jaguars (1-2, 1-0) played two different halves. In the first half, the defense forced three turnovers, including an interception return for a touchdown, and held the Wolverines (0-3, 0-1) scoreless.
In the second half, the Jaguars were the ones who were held scoreless as the Wolverines scored 21 unanswered points.
"I thought we had this game won from the beginning," said Santa Maria, who made the game saving block.
On their opening drive, after pounding the ball with Sharon Simpson to soften the defense, Antuan Bloom got the Jaguars on the board on a 19-yard pass from Robert Riggs (10-20, 109, 2 TDs) to make it 7-0.
Minutes later, Adrian Trujillo returned a 25-yard interception for a touchdown to widen the Jaguars to 13 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
"They (San Bernardino) were flat," said Jaguars Head Coach Walt Justice. "I'm going ‘holy cow this is just what we need.' We needed to get some breaks, to get up on somebody, to go out there and feel good about something and our defense went out there and made it happen."
Following Trujillo's interception, Southwestern forced its second fumble of the game and Riggs found Ernest Ballenger (3-42, TD) on a three yard pass to capitalize on the turnover and make it 20-0 at the end of the first quarter.
A 31-yard field goal as time expired by Jorge Mendoza made it 23-0 at halftime, were Justice told his offense that it was up to them to win the game in the second half.
"From day one (this year) we knew we were going to have to win some games with defense, but I told the offense ‘we need to win this game,'" he said. "And we had our opportunities. We missed two field goals and we drop a touchdown with our key guy (Ballenger) and we just didn't execute."
In the second half, two fumbles – one which was returned for a touchdown – and three defensive penalties that extended Wolverine drives allowed San Bernardino to get back in the game.
"I was getting a little worried there (in the second half)," said Trujillo. "We weren't putting up points and they were."
Halfway through the third quarter, a fumble that was created by a bad handoff between Riggs and Paul Plunkett was returned 18 yards by DePhillip Harris for the Wolverines first score of the game.
Seven minutes later, Exnor Cox made it 23-12 on 9-yard run. Quarterback Brandon D'Amico, who hurt the Jaguars more with his feet (43 yards) than with his arm (8-26, 79 yards, TD, INT), found Jason Hawkins in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
D'Amico's scrambling ability gave the Jaguars defense problems through the entire game. In the fourth quarter, all his sack evasions and Elway-like runs for first downs put the visiting Wolverines within three points of the Jaguars when he connected with Andrew Roberson on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Moore's extra point made it 23-21.
"It was not easy for us…but we got the win," said Justice. "I'm proud of the victory. For us to come out and win the game when it was on the line is big. Two weeks ago the game was on the line, we thought we tied it and we didn't. So for us to come home and feel the glory of victory is what we needed."
NOTES: This was Riggs', who redshirted last year, third collegiate start. "He threw some balls right on the money," said Justice. "He is growing into that QB position and he is maturing into it every game. He is going to be a special one for us down the road."…Ballenger's touchdown was his first of the year. He now has 19 catches for 268 yards on the year…After being shut out 35-0 last week, the Jaguars scored 20 points in the first quarter…Santa Maria (6-feet-3, 215-pounds) plays linebacker and is also the Jaguars' punter…The Jaguars three-headed rushing attack of Rodrick McPeak, Plunkett and Simpson totaled 201 yards…Jaguars travel to Antelope Valley College (2-1, 0-1) next week.
Foothill Conference Game
SOUTHWESTERN 23, SAN BERNARDINO 21
San Bernardino 0 - 0 - 14 - 7 - 21
Southwestern 20 - 3 - 0 - 0 - 23
SW— Bloom 19 pass from Riggs (Mendoza kick) - 10:34 1st
SW— Trujillo 25 yard interception return (pass failed) 07:51 1st
SW— Ballenger 3 pass from Riggs (Mendoza kick) - 01:24 1st
SW— FG Mendoza 31 - 00:00 half
SB— Harris 18 fumble return (run failed) - 07:14 3rd
SB— Cox 9 run (Hawkins pass from D'Amico) - 00:12 3rd
SB— Roberson 8 pass from D'Amico (Moore kick) -11:07 4th
RUSHING— San Bernardino—Narin 13-62, D'Amico 12-43, Cox 7-46, Figueroa, Southwestern—McPeak 13-101, Simpson 18-57, Plunkett 5-43, Riggs 7-(minus 15).
PASSING— San Bernardino—D'Amico 8-26-1-1-79, Southwestern—Riggs 10-20-2-0-109.
RECEIVING— San Bernardino—Hawkins 3-40, Justice 1-11, Ross 1-8, Smith 1-8, Narin 1-5, Southwestern—Bloom 4-51, Ballenger 3-42, Wright 2-9, Teisher 1-7.
INTERCEPTIONS— San Bernardino—None, Southwestern—Trujillo 1-25.
MISSED FIELD GOALS— San Bernardino—Moore 48, Southwestern— Mendoza 30, 23.