Southwestern wins home opener 22-21

The Southwestern College Jaguars football team came back in the fourth quarter to defeat L.A. Southwest in thrilling form, 22-21. Backup quarterback David Bellinger took the Jaguars 91 yards downfield to bring the Jags within one point of the Cougars on a 9-yard touchdown run. Jaguars took over the lead with 5:19 left in the game when Bellinger found TE Matt Gravette in the end zone for the two-point conversion.

Before the start of the game head coach Walt Justice decided to start Sammy Chavez instead of the redshirt freshman Bellinger.

"I hung in there and I knew that if I was given a chance I would have to bring my team through," said Bellinger. "I ran in that touchdown, but I couldn't have done it with out the guys blocking for me. It was a good team effort."

Justice said that the two-point conversion play had been added to the playbook three days earlier. The play had work during practice so much that Justice felt comfortable going rather than kicking the PAT for the tie.

"I couldn't have written a better script," said Justice. "To come back in the fourth quarter and win with a two-point play. It was team effort."

The game's exciting pace was set from the opening kickoff when Jaguars receiver Chad Donaldson returned the kick 81 yards for a touchdown. On the Jags' second possession of the game Donaldson caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Chavez that made it 14-0. At halftime the Cougars had evened up the score at 14 all.

The Jaguars defense started the second half the same way they ended the first, allowing L.A. Southwest's Dale Hester to run it in for a touchdown. The Cougars took a 21-14 lead.

After scoring the go ahead touchdown The Jags' defense stopped the Cougars on three plays, allowing Bellinger and the offense to run out the clock.

"Defensively we're young and have some growing pains, but we came through in the end," said Justice who after the game's final whistle turned his attention to Palomar College. The Comets are ranked 12th in the nation. "I'll celebrate the win for about an hour and then it's time to prepare for the Comets next week."

The Jaguars improve their winning streak to four games. They will play Palomar this Saturday at Escondido High School. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Game Stats

Category  Jaguar stats LA SW
First Downs 13 12
Penalties 4 0
Rushing Yards 167 102
Passing Yards 149 210
Total Yards 316 312
Passes Intercepted 1 0


Bellinger, Fresh, 7-10 60 yards, 0 INTs and 0 TD
Chavez, Fresh, 6-11 89 yards, 1 INT and 1 TD


Andrew Follins, Fresh, 11-77 yards 0 TDs
Tyshon Rodgers, Fresh 14-58 yards 0 TDs
Bellinger, Fresh, 2-16 yards 1 TD


Matt Gravette, Soph, 3-27 yards
Richard Gaines, Soph, 2-30 yards
Chad Donaldson, Soph, 2-53 yards 1 TD

Special Teams

Donaldson, Soph, (kickoff return), 1-81 yards 1 TD (LA kicked away rest of the game)
Rene Montes, Fresh, (Kick Scoring), 2-2 PATs & no field goals




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