Grossmont Escapes at Citrus, 36-29

Quarterback Tanner Engstrom threw for 317 yds and 3 TDs and led a Grossmont comeback as the Griffins escaped with a 36-29 win over Citrus in Glendora on September 14th. The Owls led by as many as 15 points at 29-14 with under 9 minutes left in the game before Grossmont's furious finish. RB Kashun McClay's 11-yd run with 1:51 provided the final margin of victory for Grossmont.

Citrus took their lead largely by taking advantage of Grossmont turnovers and penalties.  After a Engstrom pass to Jonathan Mitchell gave Grossmont an early 7-0 lead, Citrus responded with a touchdown drive of their own.  Shaun Akbarian's 20-yd pass to Antoine Levells tied the score 7-7 less than 5 minutes into the second quarter.

Then Grossmont began turning the ball over and committing costly penalties.  By the end of the first half, Grossmont had amassed 95 yds of penalties resulting in 4 free first downs for Citrus, and had thrown 3 interceptions.  And they trailed at intermission, 16-7.  Interceptions by Citrus' Thomas Sturgeon, Justin Sailor and Steven Espinoza each set up field goals by Carlos Cardenas.  Taking advantage of a strong west-to-east wind, Cardenas nailed a 48-yarder among his three field goals.

As the second half started, Grossmont appeared to right itself and scored on their first possession of the half.  Michael Yancy broke off a long run to begin the half, and Engstrom's 5-yd pass to Jeremy Bush less than 4 minutes into the third quarter closed the gap to 16-14.

But then Grossmont fumbled, and Citrus took advantage.  A 49-yd pass from Akbarian to Chris Greenwade on third and long resulted in an Owl touchdown.  After a penalty for excessive celebration, the extra point try was moved back to the 18.  But it didn't matter as Cardenas, still kicking with the wind, nailed the 36-yard extra point.  That made it 23-14, which is where things stood entering the 4th quarter.

And then Grossmont fumbled again.  This time it was RB Quinton Ganther who took advantage, rambling 44 yds into the end zone for the score.  This time the extra point went wide (kicking into the wind), keeping the score 29-14 Citrus.  It looked like a major upset was in the making.

But then the turnover bug bit the Owls.  A fumble with 9:29 left was recovered by Grossmont's Chanti Bloomer, and that was the break the Griffins needed.  Less than a minute later, Engstrom carried the ball across the goal line for a Grossmont touchdown.  Dontay Crowder carried the ball across for the 2-point conversion, making it 29-22 with 8:35 left.

A fired-up Grossmont defense held and forced a Citrus punt.  Then Engstrom found Todd Watkins in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown with 5:16 to go.  All Grossmont needed was a 1-point conversion to tie it, and they lined up to kick.  But of course it wasn't going to be that easy.  A bad snap ruined the conversion try, and though Watkins picked up the ball and tried to carry it across, he was stopped short of the goal line, leaving the score 29-28 Citrus.

However, Citrus was still unable to move the ball and had to punt.  Engstrom got the ball back with 3:52 left.  In less than half that time, the Griffins were knocking on the door for the go-ahead touchdown.  With the ball on the Owls' 1-yard line, Kashun McClay carried it across the goal line.

But of course it couldn't be that easy.  There was a flag on the play, and it was against Grossmont for holding.  That backed the Griffins up to the 11.

This time there was no denying Grossmont.  McClay took the handoff on the next play and went into the end zone untouched, giving the Griffins the lead.  They converted the 2-point try on a pass from Engstrom to Kyle Bachelor, making the score 36-29.

Citrus had one last chance, but Kyle Hollis intercepted Akbarian's pass, clinching the win for Grossmont.

Engstrom finished the day 25 of 40 for 317 yds and 3 TDs plus 2 passes for 2-point conversions and a rushing TD.  Yancy led all rushers with 128 yds on 23 carries.  However, The Citrus defense held him in check for the most part; 42 of those yards came on the one play to begin the second half, and even that was shortened by a facemask penalty (on Yancy) on the play.  He also caught 4 passes for 40 yds.  Kashun McClay had a strong game for the Griffins with 60 yds on 9 carries including the winning touchdown.  Jeremy Bush was the game's leading receiver with 6 catches for 74 yards.  For Grossmont, a remarkable total of 12 different receivers each caught at least one pass.

Quinton Ganther led the Owls' running attack with 104 yds on 12 carries.  Akbarian finished the day 14 of 27 for 140 yds and 2 TDs.  But the real dynamo for Citrus was 5-5 DB Darryl Fisher.  His bone-jarring hit on Grossmont's Bush in the 3rd quarter not only knocked the ball loose but knocked Bush out of the game.  It was one of several big hits he delivered.  And Fisher originally blocked Grossmont's first XPA and returned it for 2 points, only to have the play nullified by a personal foul penalty.  He and DB Justin Sailor, who had one of Citrus' 4 interceptions, were outstanding all day for the Owls.

Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 1 p.m.
at Citrus College Stadium, Glendora, CA
A Non-Conference California Community College Game

Grossmont College (Griffins)  36
Citrus College  (Owls)  29

1st Quarter:
G – Mitchell 5 yd pass from Engstrand (Perkins kick) 8:08 -- 7-0

2nd Quarter:
C – Levells 20 yd pass from Akbarian (Cardenas kick) 10:33 -- 7-7
C – FG Cardenas 27 yds 6:18 -- 7-10
C – FG Cardenas 48 yds 3:16 -- 7-13
C – FG Cardenas :50 -- 7-16

3rd Quarter:
G – Bush 5 yd pass from Engstrand (Watkins kick) 11:21 -- 14-16
C – Greenwade 49 yd pass from Akbarian (Cardenas kick) 3:31 -- 14-23

4th Quarter:
C – Ganther 44 yd run (kick wide right) 13:23 -- 14-29
G – Engstrand 7 yd run (Crowder run) 8:35 -- 22-29
G – Watkins 30 yd pass from Engstrand (run failed after bad snap) 5:16 -- 28-29
G – McClay 11 yd run (Bachelor pass from Engstrand) 1:51 -- 36-29


Team Statistics: Citrus Grossmont
First Downs 15 (6 pass - 5 run - 4 pen) 30 (16 pass - 12 run - 2 pen)
Rushes – Yards 31-118 47-231
Passing Yards 140 331
Comp - Att – Int 14-27-2 26-42-4
Return Yards 112 132
Sacks – Yards 1-3 5-37
Fumbles – Lost 3-1 3-2
Penalties – Yards 10-72 14-130
Time of Possession 27:34 32:26

Individual Statistics:

C:  22-Ganther 12-104, 8-J.Grant 10-43, 12-Budzien 1-2, 33-Gaines 1-1, 11-Akbarian 7-(-32)
G:  21-Yancy 23-128, 26-McClay 9-60, 15-Engstrand 10-33, 28-Hanchette 2-6, 32-Sartain 2-3, 27-Crowder 1-1

C:  11-Akbarian 14-27-2-140, 2 TDs.  G:  15-Engstrand 25-40-3-317, 3 TDs; 1-M.Clark 1-2-1-14

C: 80-Levells 3-23, 44-Kapturkiewicz 3-19, 6-M.White 3-13, 22-Ganther 2-21, 18-Greenwade 1-49, 5-Terreazas 1-11, 33-Gaines 1-4
G:  6-J.Bush 6-74, 21-Yancy 4-40, 5-Nenow 3-71, 4-K.Robinson 3-13, 31-Watkins 2-45, 16-Mitchell 2-14, 81-Bowman 1-24, 27-Crowder 1-13, 47-Mello 1-10, 89-Mazzi 1-10, 32-Sartain 1-9, 44-Higgler 1-8

C:  1-Cardenas 5-34.6 avg
G:  65-Warren 1-42.0 avg

Kick Ret:
C:  7-Fisher 1-32, 22-Ganther 1-22, 38-Grable 1-5 
G:  4-K.Robinson 3-56, 27-Crowder 2-48

Punt Ret:
C:  none
G:  28-Hanchette 3-20

Int-Ret Yds:
C:  58-Sturgeon 1-18, 2-Sailor 1-15, 52-Espinosa 1-20, 24-Guynes 1-0
G:  13-London 1-4, 8-Holllis 1-4

Fumble Rec:
C:  36-Hurd, 21-R.Williams
G:  19-Bloomer

C 1:  52-Espinoza ½, 61-Avilez ½ total 3 yds
G 5:  33-Macomber 2-15, 80-Milton 1-9, 3-C.Williams 1-8, 55-Castillo 1-5

Season opener for both teams. Grossmont entered ranked #7 in South (preseason); Citrus t-#29. All Citrus pts except the first TD came after Grossmont turnovers.  But GC's 3rd TD followed the Citrus fumble and got them back into the game.  Hollis' interception clinched the win.  After Engstrom's 2nd int, Clark entered for one series.  Fisher blocked the first GC XPA and ret it for 2 pts only to have the play nullified by a penalty. 

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