Jake Fadden passed for 186 yards, and had 6 completions for 59 yards on the winning drive for the Mounties to overcome what had been a spirited fourth-quarter comeback by the Vikings.
Mt. SAC held a 9-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but saw Long Beach rally and take a 24-23 lead after a short touchdown run by quarterback Josh Powell with exactly four minutes remaining. A 42-yard field goal by Froylan Sanchez earlier in the quarter started the rally, and Sanchez' all-important extra point after Powell's touchdown run gave the Vikings the one-point edge.
But four minutes turned out to be more than enough time for the Mounties to put together a scoring drive of their own. The first of Fadden's six completions was to Travis Lee for 19 yards. However, then Fadden had two incomplete passes and a short 6-yard gain on a pass to Randall Brown, leaving Mt. SAC with a 4th and 4 situation. On that fourth down play, however, Fadden found Michael Waller for an 8-yard gain, keeping the drive alive. Then came a 12-yard pass to DeAndre Okanji and a pair of short passes to Lee, setting up Gener's game-winning kick.
That drive negated Long Beach's impressive fourth-quarter rally. Trailing 23-14, the Vikings put together a 13-play drive that ended with Sanchez' field goal with 12:02 left. Then, following a 54-yard punt return by Ryan Howard (who caught the ball at his own 1-yard line), the Vikings took the lead on an 8-play drive that ended with Powell's second touchdown run of the day with exactly four minutes left.
Before the final quarter, virtually all of the game's scoring came after turnovers. Long Beach jumped to an early 7-0 lead on a Troy Guthrie touchdown 4:58 into the game and just one play after Junior Fasavalu recovered an Antonio Williams fumble at the Mt. SAC 1-yard line. That turned out to be the first quarter's only scoring play after a bad snap doomed Gener's first field goal attempt of the day late in the quarter; Long Beach's DaVonate Anderson blocked the low kick (Gener appeared to kick the side of the ball as it laid on its side longways across the field) to keep LBCC in front by a touchdown.
Mt. SAC pulled even in the second quarter on a 2-yard scoring run by Craig Williams. That capped a short 9-play,49-yard drive that began after Paul Unga recovered a Powell fumble caused by a Bernard Afutiti sack.
Long Beach went back in front, 14-7, on a 41-yard dash down the sideline by Powell midway through the second quarter. That came two plays after a Long Beach punt hit Mt. SAC's Lewis, who was downfield blocking on the play, and Randy Serrato recovered at the Mt. SAC 47 for the Vikings.
Mt. SAC pulled a little closer after a grinding 13-play, 36-yard drive ended with Gener's first field goal of the day, a 35-yard kick with 3:15 left before halftime. That drive started with a 30-yard kickoff return by Lee, making it the only scoring drive of the first half that didn't begin with a turnover.
And the Mounties took a lead just before halftime on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Fadden to Okanji, which came just 3 plays after another Long Beach turnover. Powell threw a short pass to Howard, who lost the ball at his own 22, where Mt. SAC's Lionel Vaiomounga recovered. Three plays later, Fadden's touchdown pass made it 17-14 in favor of Mt. SAC.
Mt. SAC extended its lead to 23-14 with a pair of third-quarter field goals. Long Beach took the opening kickoff but was forced to punt after just one first down. On the punt play, however, the snap sailed high over punter Matt Kromminga, and Vaiomounga recovered for the Mounties at the Viking 16. Three plays gained just one yard, but Gener came on to boot a 32-yard field goal. And Long Beach's next possession ended with Mt. SAC's Jonathan Gonis made a great catch, tipping the ball to himself, for an interception and returned the ball all the way to the Long Beach 16. That led to a 28-yard Gener field goal that pushed Long Beach's lead to 9 late in the quarter.
For Mt. SAC, Fadden completed 20 of 32 passes for 186 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. His favorite target, as usual, was Lee, who had 7 catches for 67 yards. And a lot of credit for this win must go to the Mountie defense, which sacked Powell 7 times and forced 4 turnovers. With the sacks and the bad punt snap, Long Beach ended up with a net of minus-9 yards rushing for the game. Afutiti, Philip White and Unga were among the more noticeable standouts on defense.
For Mt. SAC, Powell finished 15 of 30 passing for 165 yards, and also rushed for 2 touchdowns. LaTroy Dinkins (PHOTO) had a huge day for the Vikings with 6 receptions for 108 yards, nearly all of that coming in the second half. But the lack of a consistent running game hurt; Josh Henry led the Vikings with 15 yards on the ground. Howard excelled not only as a defensive back, but also on special teams where he had a total of 5 kickoff and punt returns for 140 yards.
With the win, Mt. SAC (which entered ranked #6 in Southern California) improves to 5-1 on the season. They will host Pasadena next Saturday at 6 pm (Mt. SAC's only night home game of the season). Long Beach, which entered ranked #13 in the South, falls to 3-3. The Vikings will host Riverside next Saturday at 5 pm.
Mt. San Antonio Mounties 26 Long Beach Vikings 24
Saturday, October 14, 2006 – 1 pm – Hilmer-Lodge Stadium (MSAC) – Walnut
Mission Conference – American Division
L – Guthrie 1 yd run (Sanchez kick) 10:02 (0-7)
M – C.Williams 2 yd run (Gener kick) 13:05 (7-7)
L – Powell 41 yd run (Sanchez kick) 8:40 (7-14)
M – FG Gener 35 yds 3:15 (10-14)
M – Okanji 16 yd pass from Fadden (Gener kick) 0:32 (17-14)
M – FG Gener 32 yds 9:39 (20-14)
M – FG Gener 28 yds 4:36 (23-14)
L – FG Sanchez 42 yds 12:02 (23-17)
L – Powell 2 yd run (Sanchez kick) 4:00 (23-24)
M – FG Gener 43 yds 1:05 (26-24)
First Downs: Mt. SAC 16 (3 rush, 12 pass, 1 penalty), Long Beach 12 (3 rush,
6 pass, 3 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Mt. SAC 27-58, Long Beach 22-(-9)
Passing Yds: Mt. SAC 186, Long Beach 165
Comp-Att-Int: Mt. SAC 20-33-0, Long Beach 15-30-1
Return Yds: Mt. SAC 165, Long Beach 176
Sacks-Yds: Mt. SAC 7-45, Long Beach 1-11
Fumbles-Lost: Mt. SAC 3-2, Long Beach 3-3
Penalties-Yds: Mt. SAC 8-85, Long Beach 4-32
Time of Possession: Mt. SAC 31:03, Long Beach 28:57
Rushing: M 36-C.Williams 14-39, 1-Brown 7-30, 2-A.Williams 2-2, 5-Lee
1-(-1), 3-Fadden 2-(-10), team 1-(-2); LB 13-Henry 3-15, 26-Guthrie 6-4, 41-Su'a
1-4, 7-Powell 11-1, team 1-(-33)
Passing: M 3-Fadden 20-32-0-186, 1 TD; 1-Brown 0-1-0-0; LB 7-Powell 15-30-1-165
Receiving: M 5-Lee 7-67, 8-Okanji 4-46, 85-Clark 3-30, 83-Waller 2-20, 1-Brown 2-12, 36-C.Williams 2-11; LB 18-Dinkins 6-108, 13-Henry 2-7, 4-Holloway 2-3, 26-Guthrie 2-3, 19-Munoz 1-38, 3-Robinson 1-6, 8-Howard 1-0
Interceptions-Ret Yds: M 44-Gonis 1-54; LB none
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: M 42-Vaiomounga 2-18, 15-Unga 1-0; LB 5-Fasavalu 1-0, 54-Serrato 1-0
Sacks-Yds: M 58-White 2-14, 94-Afutiti 2-14, 38-Finau 1-8, 54-Mackenzie 1-8, 15-Unga 1-1; LB 88-Faagata 1-11
Punters: M 48-Parkhouse 2-45.0 avg; LB 49-Kromminga 2-32.0 avg
Kick Returns: M 5-Lee 2-49, 4-Lewis 1-24, 21-Walker 1-20; LB 8-Howard 3-69, 26-Guthrie 1-25, 84-Thompson 1-11
Punt Returns: M team 1-0; LB 8-Howard 2-71
Missed Field Goals: M 33-Gener 34 yds (blocked)
Notes: Mt. SAC ent. 4-1, #6 in South and #12 in nation (JCGW). LBCC ent. 3-2, #13 in South. LB's 1st TD came one play after Fasavalu recovered a C.Williams fumble at the 1. An LB punt hit 4-Lewis in the back; Serrato recovered for LB, setting up the 2nd TD. Mt. SAC's 2nd FG came after a bad punt snap (30-yd loss). A low snap doomed Gener's FGA that was blocked (by 83-Anderson). Howard's 54-yd punt return set up LB's go-ahead TD. Gener had 4 FGs all season entering the game but came up big when it counted.