There were so many twists, turns and changes of momentum in the game that either team could have won the game multiple times. Each team saw a double-digit lead disappear, and each team had multiple chances to win the game in overtime. But in the end, it was Lee, in a bit of redemption, who made the play that gave his team the victory.
It was expected to be a battle of the defenses, but the first half saw the teams combine for 50 points and seven touchdowns. Mt. SAC got the first break of the game when Brandon Johnson recovered a fumble at the Warrior 42. Five plays later, Jake Fadden threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Michael Waller to put the Mounties ahead, 7-0.
El Camino struck back quickly on an electrifying 62-yard touchdown pass from Tavares Kendrick to Kayne Farquharson later in the quarter, but Mt. SAC pulled ahead again when Craig Williams burst through the line and scored on a 29-yard run later in the quarter. Though the extra point was blocked, Mt. SAC extended its lead early in the second quarter when Fadden combined with Eric Walker on a 17-yard touchdown pass to cap a 57-yard drive after a short punt by El Camino. That made it 20-7, and the home team seemed in control.
Then El Camino stormed back, taking a 30-20 lead with a little help from a pair of Mt. SAC fumbles. The Warriors got a boost from backup quarterback Boo Jackson, who entered the game in the second quarter and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Trey Buckley to cut the Mt. SAC lead to 20-14. Then, after Davion Rogers recovered a fumble by Mt. SAC's Randall Brown, Jamicah Bass capped a 44-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run; Joe Houston's extra point put the Warriors ahead, 21-20. And after another Mt. SAC fumble, this one by Craig Williams, was recovered by El Camino's James Wheeler and returned to the Mountie 10-yard line, Ruddy Irving scored two plays later on a 1-yard run to push El Camino's lead to 28-20. And just after the next kickoff, El Camino's Justin Thompson pressured Fadden in the end zone; Fadden tried to throw the ball but it ended up in the hands of offensive lineman Vil Nau, who was standing in the end zone. That penalty (illegal touch) resulted in a safety, pushing El Camino's lead to 10 at 30-20 at halftime.
In the second half, Mt. SAC's defense took over, shutting down El Camino's offense and forcing a Warrior punt on each of El Camino's five possessions. Meanwhile, the Mt. SAC offense, powered by the determined running of Brown, put together a 7-play, 61-yard drive midway through the third quarter to cut the El Camino lead to 30-27. And after another short El Camino punt, Mt. SAC took advantage of a short field, drivings just 17 yards but getting close enough for Jeremy Gener to kick a game-tying 42-yard field goal that evened the score at 30 late in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, neither team scored. But Mt. SAC had a pair of golden opportunities late in the game. First, a 12-play, 58-yard drive that chewed up 7:27 off the clock reached the El Camino 22 with just over 4 minutes left in the game. But that drive ended in frustration when a Fadden pass bounced off Lee's fingertips and into the hands of El Camino's Peter Qerbash for the interception. The Warriors gained just one first down before having to punt, and that created the second golden opportunity when Lee returned the punt 81 yards, all the way to the El Camino 1-yard line. A holding penalty pushed the Mounties back to the 25, but that was still close enough to allow Gener to attempt a game-winning 39-yard field goal in the final seconds. However, El Camino's Christopher Williams came around the left side of the line and blocked the kick, keeping the game even and sending it to overtime.
In the first overtime, El Camino began with the ball. A big hit by Mt. SAC's Chris Huley caused an incomplete pass on third down, so on came Houston to attempt a 40-yard field goal. The kick was good, putting El Camino in front, 33-30. And when Mt. SAC got the ball, the Warrior defense nearly won the game when Vuna Tuihalamaka sacked Fadden and knocked the ball loose. But the Mounties recovered, keeping their chances alive. After Lamar Chapman made a nice play to break up a pass on third down, on came Gener to try a 48-yard field goal to keep the Mounties in the game. And his kick was just long enough, clearing the crossbar by just a few feet, tying the game at 33 and sending it to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, Mt. SAC got the ball first. An end-around play to Lee gained 6 yards, but a nice tackle by Chapman stopped him well short of the first down, forcing another field goal try. On came Gener, and he kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it 36-33 in favor of Mt. SAC. When El Camino got the ball, the Warriors got the ball to the Mountie 6 but on third and goal, Huley knocked away a pass, forcing El Camino to settle for a 23-yard field goal try. Houston's kick was good, knotting the game once again and sending the teams to a third overtime.
In overtime number three, El Camino got the ball first and threatened to score a touchdown after a short pass from Kendrick to Jeremy Francis turned into a 24-yard play that got the ball to the Mt. SAC 3. But then a pair of penalties pushed the Warriors back to the 18, and they were forced to settle for yet another field goal, this time a 31-yarder by Houston that made it 39-36.
When Mt. SAC got the ball, they handed it to Brown, who gained 4 yards on the first down play. But on the second down play, he burst around the left side and down the sideline, finally stepping out of bounds at the El Camino 3. But on the next play, El Camino's Elisha Mueller threw Brown for a 4-yard loss back to the 7. And on second down, Fadden threw towards the right sideline. As the ball came down, El Camino's Tuihalamaka nearly made an unbelievable interception, coming seemingly out of nowhere and diving after the ball just as it went out of bounds. But the ball fell incomplete, making it 3rd and goal from the 7 and giving Mt. SAC one more play in which to try for a touchdown before settling for yet another field goal and sending the game to a fourth overtime.
And that play turned out to be the winning play. After the snap, Fadden drifted back and tossed the ball to Lee, who was running from right to left just behind the line of scrimmage. After he caught the ball, the speedy Lee accelerated around the left side and into the end zone untouched, giving Mt. SAC the victory and creating pandemonium on the home side of the field.
There were so many top performers on both teams that it is impossible to name them all. But a few standouts for the victorious Mounties include Brown, who plays much bigger than his 5-6 listed height and gained 126 yards on 29 carries, and Fadden, who was solid at quarterback and finished 12 of 24 for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lee led all receivers with 6 catches, and he gained a team-best 54 yards on receptions plus 43 more on 3 carries and 67 more on the punt return (that's the adjusted yardage after the penalty). The defense, led by Vaiomunga and Elia Le-au, also deserves a lot of credit, holding El Camino scoreless for the entire second half and keeping the Warriors out of the end zone in overtime.
For El Camino, Bass rushed 18 times for 89 yards while Irving had 54 yards on 12 carries. Kendrick finished 9 of 23 passing for 150 yards and a TD, while Jackson was 4 of 8 for 33 yards and a TD in a backup role. Kayne Farquharson was again spectacular, hauling in the 62-yard touchdown pass and finishing with a game-high 84 yards on a team-high 4 catches. He also returned 3 kickoffs for 66 yards. And the El Camino defense, led by Tuihalamaka and Thompson, played well enough to allow the Warriors to outgain Mt. SAC in total yardage, 340 to 318.
With the win, Mt. SAC moves to 4-0 and is a prime contender to take over the #1 spot in the JC Grid-Wire national ranking next week. The Mounties will travel to Mission Viejo to take on yet another unbeaten Mission Conference foe in Saddleback next Saturday. Meanwhile, El Camino will travel to Palomar and take on the Comets next week in its last game before the bye week.
Mt. San Antonio Mounties 42 3 OTs
El Camino Warriors 39
Saturday, September 23, 2006 – 1 pm –
Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Walnut - Mission Conference
M – Waller 9 yd pass from Fadden (Gener kick) 9:38 (7-0)
EC – K.Farquharson 62 yd pass from Kendrick (Houston kick) 4:09 (7-7)
M – C.Williams 29 yd run (kick blocked) 1:45 (13-7)
M – Walker 17 yd pass from Fadden (Gener kick) 11:46 (20-7)
EC – Buckley 13 yd pass from Jackson (Houston kick) 7:57 (20-14)
EC – Bass 1 yd run (Houston kick) 4:09 (20-21)
EC – Irving 1 yd run (Houston kick) 2:30 (20-28)
EC – Safety – Illegal Touch penalty in end zone 0:53 (20-30)
M – Brown 1 yd run (Gener kick) 5:52 (27-30)
M – FG Gener 42 yds 1:12 (30-30)
EC – FG Houston 40 yds (30-33)
M – FG Gener 48 yds (33-33)
M – FG Gener 36 yds (36-33)
EC – FG Houston 23 yds (36-36)
EC – FG Houston 31 yds (36-39)
M – Lee 7 yd pass from Fadden (42-39)
First Downs: Mt. SAC 17 (9 run, 8 pass), El Camino 18 (8 run, 7 pass, 3
Rushes-Yds: Mt. SAC 42-203, El Camino 35-157
Passing Yds: Mt. SAC 115, El Camino 183
Comp-Att-Int: Mt. SAC 12-24-1, El Camino 13-31-0
Return Yds: Mt. SAC 209, El Camino 72
Sacks-Yds: Mt. SAC 2-3, El Camino 2-15
Fumbles-Lost: Mt. SAC 4-2, El Camino 2-1
Penalties-Yds: Mt. SAC 13-114, El Camino 12-110
Time of Possession: Mt. SAC 31:52, El Camino 28:08
Rushing: Mt. SAC 1-Brown 29-126, 36-C.Williams 6-46, 5-Lee 3-43, 2-A.Williams 1-4, 3-Fadden 3-(-16); ECC 4-Bass 18-89, 46-Irving 12-54, 9-K.Farquharson 1-16, 17-Jackson 1-1, 8-Knight 1-0, 12-Kendrick 2-(-3)
Passing: Mt. SAC 3-Fadden 12-24-1-115, 3 TDs; ECC 12-Kendrick 9-23-0-150, 1 TD; 17-Jackson 4-8-0-33, 1 TD
Receiving: Mt. SAC 5-Lee 6-54, 83-Waller 2-18, 21-Walker 1-17, 30-Taminick 1-11, 36-C.Williams 1-11, 6-Carothers 1-4; ECC 9-K.Farquharson 4-84, 32-Francis 3-29, 4-Bass 2-26, 5-Tucker 2-22, 89-Buckley 1-13, 6-Surrency 1-9
Interceptions-Ret Yds: ECC 35-Qerbash 1-0
Fumble Recoveries-Ret Yds: Mt. SAC 28-Johnson 1-0; ECC 20-Rogers 1-0, 25-Wheeler 1-5
Sacks-Yds: Mt. SAC 15-Unga 1-2, 42-Vaiomounga 1-1; ECC 90-Thompson 1-9, 7-Tuikalamaka 1-6
Punters: Mt. SAC 48-Parkhouse 3-42.0 avg; ECC 15-De Alba 6-33.3 avg
Kick Returns: Mt. SAC 4-Lewis 3-111, 5-Lee 1-19, 72-Le-au 1-12
Punt Returns: Mt. SAC 5-Lee 1-67; ECC 9-K.Farquharson 1-1
Missed FG: Mt. SAC 33-Gener 39 yds (blocked by 31-Williams); ECC 86-Houston 47 yds (wide right)
Notes: Both teams entered 3-0. Mt. SAC was ranked #2 in nation (JCGW), #3 in South and #4 in Calif (COA). El Camino was #3 in nation (JCGW), #1 in South and #1 in Calif (COA). 99-Decordova blocked the XPA for El Camino. Thompson's sack caused the illegal touch (Fadden's pass attempt was caught by OL 71-Nau) for the safety.