While the eight-year streak didn't rival that of the Boston Red Sox' 86-year-old drought, beating Southwestern 24-7 win was still special for Moss.
"It looks like he was waiting eight years to present this to me," Moss said of Haskins' gesture. "It's a fantastic feeling to get rid of one of those monkeys that has been on our back."
Going into the game Mesa's defense had been allowing an average of 27 points, but the Olympians held the Jaguars (2-7, 2-5) to seven points and forced six turnovers to improve their record to 5-4 overall, 4-3 in the Foothill conference.
"It's been an up and down defense," said Moss. "In our hot weeks we've played extremely well, and in our bad weeks we've played extremely poor. This was one of the hot ones. They were able to take the ball away and in community college football turnovers determine the outcome."
Linebacker Aaron Hoxie ended up with two of those turnovers, a fumble in the first quarter and interception in the fourth quarter that led to Mesa's third touchdown of the game. Hoxie returned Ryan Jones second interception of the game 51 yards to the 3 yard line, where Gabriel Sayers punched it two plays later.
Jones, a freshman from Kamiak, Wash., was the Jaguars third quarterback. He finished the game 5 of 11 for 50 yards with two interceptions.
The visiting Olympians came of out the gate really sharp on both side of the ball and nearly blew the game wide open in the first quarter. After scoring on the game's opening drive on a 44-yard pass from Jake Santos to Tyrell Spain (3 receptions for 62 yards), Mesa's Jeffery Braun intercepted Robert Riggs' first pass attempt and returned it 25 yards to the Jaguars 12 yard line to set up a 26-yard field goal by Luis Villagomez to make it 10-0 after six minutes of play.
On the ensuing drive, Roderick McPeak fumbled on the first play of the series to give the Olympians excellent field position on the 18. But the Olympians were unable to get a first down and went for the jugular on a fourth down-and-three, but Santos (9 of 12 for 113 yards with one touchdown and one interception) was sacked and Mesa turned the ball, and the momentum, over to the home team.
"We didn't take advantage it in the first half. We had opportunities to put them away and we let 27 points in the first half get away," said Moss, who's Olympians also failed to convert on a 25-yard field goal which was set up by a 34-yard interception return by Josh Tili as time expired in the first half.
The sack was the first of four the Jaguars recorded.
In the first half, Southwestern had two 10-play drives that didn't net any points. The first, a 14-play drive that ate seven minutes of the clock, ended on a 22-yard field goal attempt that was blocked by Reggie Pierre. The second, an 11-play drive that took six minutes, ended in a punt.
In the third quarter, Lateef Azziz (56 yards on 19 carries) capped a 9-play drive with a 1-yard run to extend the Olympians lead to 17. Antuan Bloom fumbled the ball near the midfield on the ensuing kickoff, but on the first play Patrick Dunn recorded the Jaguars second sack of the game and Southwestern forced Mesa to punt.
The Jaguars then marched 74 yards down the field to score their only touchdown of the game on McPeak's 3-yard run that capped an 11-play drive. McPeak (22 carries for 155 yards) had six carries for 54 yards in the drive.
Mesa's Bryan Cortney punted five times for an average of 36 yards. Cortney also had three kickoffs go into the end zone, two of which where touchbacks.
Even though they didn't capitalize on all of their turnovers, a missed field and two interceptions in the fourth quarter allowed the Olympians to escape Southwestern College's Devore Stadium with the win.
NOTES: This was the first time in four years that the game had been played in Southwestern, who had two move their home game two years ago to accommodate a national high school marching band competition. …With freshman starters like McPeak, linebackers Carlos Santa Maria and Tony Koone and quarterbacks Riggs and Jones, the Jaguars could step up and challenge next year in the conference. "There's a whole bunch of freshman that are coming back, and some kids that red-shirted," said Jaguars Head Coach Justice. "We'll be – on paper – a more mature, sophomore heavy, team."
Two, Potentially Four, Are Mid-Transfer Eligible
According to Justice, safety Matt Barbier and tight end Zack Teisher are academically ready to transfer at the end of the semester. Cornerbacks Adrian Trujillo and Chris Johnson could also be ready.
Offensive tackle Fred Smith (6-foot-8, 375-pounds) and safety Kenneth Clary have peak the interest of Division one schools and are on track to graduate on time next semester. Another sophomore is Ernest Ballenger (6-3, 195-pounds), who with two catches against Mesa raised his season total to 40 with 673 yards.
SD— Spain 44 pass from Santos (Villagomez kick)
SD— FG Villagomez 26
SD— Azziz 1 run (Villagomez kick)
SW— McPeak 3 run (Mendoza kick)
SD— Sayers 3 run (Villagomez kick)
RUSHING— San Diego Mesa—Azziz 19-56, Santos 7-(minus 22), Sayers 6-19, Cox Beavan 1-6, Southwestern—McPeak 22-155, Simpson 7-51, Plunkett 4-2, Riggs 2-(minus 14), Taufaasau 1-1, Horn 1-1.
PASSING— San Diego Mesa—Santos 9-12-1-1-113, Southwestern — Jones 5-11-0-1-50, Riggs 3-4-1-0-24, Taufaasau 0-2-0-1-0
RECEIVING— San Diego Mesa—Azziz 2-9, Spain 3-62, Davis 1-12, Nolan 1-10, Santos 1-(minus 10), Southwestern—Bloom 3-21, Ballenger 2-25, Horn 1-13, Hilton 1-7.
INTERCEPTIONS— San Diego Mesa—Braun 1-25, Tili 1-34, Coppa 1-2 Hoxie 1-51, Southwestern—Montgomery 1-1.
MISSED FIELD GOALS— San Diego Mesa—Moore 48, Southwestern— Mendoza 22, 44.