It was a defensive grudge match, with neither team able to generate much offense. Each team had just one touchdown, and neither team was able to muster as many as 200 yards of total offense. And Mt. SAC scored all of its points after either an interception or a huge play on special teams.
The winning score, a 20-yard field goal by Richard Parkhouse with 4:22 remaining, came after a spectacular 40-yard punt return by Travis Lee. Catching the ball in stride at the Grossmont 45, Lee raced down the right sideline and was prevented from scoring only by the saving tackle of punter Jared Ballman at the 5-yard line. The Griffin defense kept Mt. SAC out of the end zone, but couldn't prevent Parkhouse's field goal, which ended up being the decisive score.
Grossmont still had time to respond, but the Griffins went 3-and-out on their next possession. And when Mt. SAC got the ball back, the offense gained a pair of first downs, running the clock down to just one second before turning the ball over on downs at their own 40. Grossmont tried to rush Ballman and the field goal team onto the field to try a 57-yard potential game-tying field goal, but with the (new) rule that starts the clock once the ball is ready for play after a change of possession, the Griffins couldn't get the ball snapped before the game ended.
Early in the game, Mt. SAC took a 7-0 lead after an interception by Chris Moody, who returned the ball to the Grossmont 37. A 23-yard pass from Jake Fadden to Deandre Okanji moved the ball to the 12, and two plays later Fadden hooked up with Lee on a 13-yard scoring pass to put the home squad in front.
Grossmont tied the game on its next possession when Joe Wynn took a mid-range pass from John Soli and sped through the Mt. SAC defensive backfield for an electrifying 52-yard touchdown pass. That score came with 30 seconds left in the first quarter, and seemed to signal an awakening of the Grossmont offense after a turnover-plagued first quarter.
But that would be the only touchdown of the day for the Griffins. In the second quarter, Grossmont got a 26-yard field goal from Ballman to take the lead after a short drive. The Grossmont defense forced a Mountie punt from the Mt. SAC 13, and Justin Johnson returned that kick to the Mt. SAC 37. The Griffins reached the Mt. SAC 8-yard line before settling for the field goal, which gave them the lead at halftime.
However, those would be the last points Grossmont would score in the game. And after a marvelous 57-yard punt by Parkhouse was downed at the Grossmont 1-yard line, Mt. SAC got the ball back on the very next play on the interception by Burton at the Griffin 12. Three Mt. SAC plays gained just 7 yards, but on fourth down Parkhouse booted the field goal through from 22 yards out to tie the game, 10-10, midway through the third quarter.
After that, neither team came close to scoring until Lee's punt return that led to the winning field goal. Grossmont managed just one first down in the fourth quarter, and never got the ball in Mountie territory except for the last-second non-play.
For Mt. SAC, Fadden completed 15 of 31 passes for 130 yards, one touchdown, and perhaps most importantly, no interceptions. In fact, Mt. SAC didn't turn the ball over even once the whole game. Lee had a strong game with game-highs of 6 catches for 76 yards and the TD, plus 3 kickoff returns for 137 yards (including a 71-yarder to open the second half) and the key 40-yard punt return.
For Grossmont, Kevin Smith led all rushers with 48 yards on 13 carries. Wynn had a pair of catches for 62 yards, including the 52-yard touchdown reception. But Griffin quarterbacks Soli and Hunter Flynn combined to go just 4 of 21 for 107 yards, finishing with more interceptions (5) than completions (4).
Next week, Mt. SAC travels to Glendora to take on Citrus College, while Grossmont returns home to take on College of the Canyons, which was also upset Saturday. Street & Smith ranked Grossmont #1 and Canyons #2 in the nation entering the season, but each will enter their showdown next week with an 0-1 record.
NOTES AND STATS
Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 1 p.m.
at Hilmer-Lodge Stadium, Walnut, CA
Mt. San Antonio College (Mounties) 13
Grossmont College (Griffins) 10
M – Lee 13 yd pass from Fadden (Parkhouse kick) 2:34 (7-0)
G – Wynn 52 yd pass from Soli (Ballman kick) 0:30 (7-7)
G – FG Ballman 26 yds 5:02 (7-10)
M – FG Parkhouse 22 yds 6:13 (10-10)
M – FG Parkhouse 20 yds 4:22 (13-10)
First Downs: Mt. SAC 12 (4 run, 6 pass, 2 penalty); Grossmont 10 (6 run, 3
pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes - Yards: Mt. SAC 36-36; Grossmont 36-86
Passing Yards: Mt. SAC 130; Grossmont 107
Comp - Att - Int: Mt. SAC 15-31-0; Grossmont 4-21-5
Return Yards: Mt. SAC 228; Grossmont 132
Sacks - Yards: Mt. SAC 2-11; Grossmont 4-21
Fumbles - Lost: Mt. SAC 2-0; Grossmont 1-0
Penalties - Yards: Mt. SAC 14-94; Grossmont 7-44
Time of Possession: Mt. SAC 34:34; Grossmont 25:26
Rushing: Mt. SAC: 1-Brown 9-30, 36-G.Williams 11-24, 2-A.Williams 4-4, 33-Guzman 1-3, 3-Fadden 7-(-11), 5-Lee 1-(-12), team 1-(-2); Grossmont: 25-Smith 13-48, 28-Ross 6-19, 8-Soli 7-12, 35-Tiofu 4-8, 21-Gardner 5-0, 6-Cedric 1-(-1)
Passing: Mt. SAC: 3-Fadden 15-31-0-130, 1TD ; Grossmont: 8-Soli 3-14-3-97, 1 TD; 9-Flynn 1-7-2-10
Receiving: Mt. SAC: 5-Lee 6-76, 1-Brown 3-18, 33-Guzman 2-5, 8-Okanji 1-23, 36-G.Williams 1-7, 6-Carothers 1-3, 2-A.Williams 1-(-2); Grossmont: 4-Wynn 2-62, 20-Johnson 1-35, 25-Smith 1-10
Int-Ret Yds: Mt. SAC: 7-Huley 1-25, 29-Moody 1-22, 24-Day 1-4, 14-Burton 1-0, 9-Richardson 1-0
Sacks: Mt. SAC: 15-Unga, 50-Punimata; Grossmont: 52-Pugh 2, 1-Mixon, 37-Palifein ½, 99-Glazer ½
Punters: Mt. SAC: 48-Parkhouse 8-37.6 avg; Grossmont: 14-Ballman 6-37.3 avg
Kick Ret: Mt. SAC: 5-Lee 3-137; Grossmont: 5-Young 1-24, 2-Davis 1-7, 1-Mixon 1-5, 35-Tiofu 1-3
Punt Ret: Mt. SAC: 5-Lee 2-40; Grossmont: 20-Johnson 4-91
Missed FG: Mt. SAC: 48-Parkhouse 36 yds (wide left)
Notes: Season opener for both teams. Upset! Grossmont entered as the defending state & national champions, preseason t-#1 in the South and #1 in California in COA polls, #1 in the nation by Street & Smith and #3 in the nation by JC Grid-Wire. Mt. SAC entered #12 in South and #23 in Calif. by COA. Soli started at QB for Grossmont; Flynn played the 2nd qtr and some of the 4th. Moody's int, Mt. SAC's 2nd, set up the 1st Mountie TD. Burton's int, Mt. SAC's 4th, set up their 1st FG. A 40-yd punt return by Lee set up the winning FG. Ballman made the saving tackle at the 5 to prevent a TD on that return. Grossmont lined up to try a last-second potential game-tying 57-yd FG but couldn't get the play off before time ran out. The loss ends Grossmont's 12-game winning streak, the longest current streak in California. There was no full Grossmont roster available, so thanks to the Grossmont coaches in the press box for help with the names!