The Warriors lost despite a marvelous performance by quarterback James Coy, who passed for 355 yards and ran for a touchdown.
For much of the afternoon, it seemed El Camino had the better of the play. But a pair of long touchdowns in the first half staked Mt. SAC to a 16-7 lead at the break. And a handful of mistakes by El Camino - a pair of fourth-quarter fumbles deep in Mt. SAC territory, an offsides penalty that led to a Jacob Harfman field goal, and only having 10 men on the field on defense when Lamaison threw his third and final touchdown pass of the afternoon - enabled the Mounties to hold on, running their record to 8-0 and taking over sole possession of first place in the National Division’s most competitive conference.
Mt. SAC jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the first half when Lamaison threw a mid-range pass over the middle to Gabriel Tuata. The 5-5 receiver was wide open, and sprinted the remainder of the 60 yards into the end zone untouched for the game’s first touchdown, and the only scoring play of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Mt. SAC faced a 4th and 2 from the El Camino 41 and lined up to punt. But the Warriors jumped offsides, giving the Mounties a first down and another chance to score. After a 17-yard run by Isaac Garcia, Mt. SAC soon faced another 4th down but this time Harfman came on and kicked a 35-yard field goal to make it 10-0.
El Camino cut into that deficit late in the second quarter when Isaac Williams capped a short drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. The Warriors had been the beneficiaries of a Mt. SAC mistake moments before when a snap from center eluded Lamaison, and Paul Dancy recovered the fumble for El Camino at the Mounties’ 29. Williams’ touchdown made it 10-7 with 1:18 left in the half.
But that proved to be enough time for Mt. SAC to extend its lead. Seemingly content to run out the clock, the Mounties ran three rushing plays to start the drive, moving the ball to the Mt. SAC 49 but leaving only 15 seconds on the clock. On the next play, however, Lamaison found Michael Edwards all alone along the left sideline, and threw him a 51-yard touchdown pass. Edwards crossed the goal line with 4 seconds left. The extra point was blocked, but Mt. SAC had a 16-7 lead at intermission.
In the third quarter, Mt. SAC extended its lead to 19-7 on a short field goal by Harfman midway through the period. But then El Camino put together an impressive 8-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Andre Harris that made it 19-14 with more than a full quarter left to play.
But Mt. SAC pushed its lead back to 26-14 early in the final quarter on Lamaison’s third touchdown pass, an 8-yard toss to Jesse Canada. Lamaison and Canada had combined on a 35-yard pass moments earlier to get the Mounties into Warrior territory. And on the scoring play, El Camino had only 10 players on the field, with the wayward extra man scrambling in from the sideline just as the ball was snapped. Canada’s catch made it 26-14 with 14:25 left.
Still, that seemed to be more than enough time for El Camino to stage a rally. And it would have been if not for a pair of fumbles, both recovered by Mt. SAC’s Vincent Federico. First, the Warriors drove into Mt. SAC territory, but Williams lost the ball at the end of a carry and Federico recovered at the Mounties’ 23. Then after a Mt. SAC punt, El Camino again drove into Mt. SAC territory. This time Coy threw a short pass to Ken McRoyal, who gained a first down. But in struggling for a few extra yards, McRoyal lost the ball and Federico recovered at the Mounties’ 19.
However, the El Camino defense forced another Mt. SAC punt, and the Warriors got the ball near midfield. This time, however, the Warriors lost the ball on downs. Facing a 4th and 13 from his own 45, Coy went back to pass but was under a heavy rush from Bojay Filimoeatu, and his pass attempt fell incomplete with 5:15 left.
After still another Mt. SAC punt, El Camino got the ball back at its 18. Again Coy moved the Warriors down the field, getting to the Mt. SAC 22 after an 11-yard pass to William Bullock. On the next play, Coy was again under a heavy rush, but this time he escaped the pressure and broke free. And he got all the way into the end zone, reaching the ball across the goal line as he was hit inside the 1 yard line. That made it 26-21 with 2:31 left.
El Camino attempted an onsides kick, but the kick never got the high bounce and Anthony Huntley recovered for Mt. SAC at the Warrior 38. Though the Mounties weren’t quite able to run out the clock and eventually turned the ball over on downs, they left El Camino with just 15 seconds and no timeouts left when the Warriors got the ball at their own 29. Coy then completed two more passes, but when Kembrell Thompkins was tackled at midfield on the second pass, the clock already showed all zeroes, and Mt. SAC had the victory.
For Mt. SAC, Lamaison finished 10 of 19 passing for 212 yards and, of course, the 3 touchdowns. Burton Iosefa led all rushers with 107 yards on 20 carries, and Garcia had a solid day as well with 63 yards on 13 rushes. Canada led Mt. SAC receivers with 5 catches for 69 yards and a score.
For El Camino, Coy was superb, completing 31 of 41 passes for 355 yards and no interceptions. Though he did not throw for a touchdown, he did rush for one. Harris led the Warriors with 46 yards rushing and a TD on 7 carries. Bullock had a huge day receiving with 8 catches for 124 yards.
Overall, El Camino outgained the Mounties, 468-401 in total offensive yards, and had more first downs, 25-18. But the big plays - the two long touchdowns in the first half, as well as the turnovers in the fourth quarter - were the difference, allowing Mt. SAC to come away with the win.
Mt. San Antonio Mounties 26
El Camino Warriors 21
Saturday, November 1, 2008 - 1 pm - Hilmer Lodge Stadium - Walnut
National Division - Central Conference
M - Tuata 60 yd pass from Lamaison (Harfman kick) 8:31 (7-0)
M - FG Harfman 35 yds 12:06 (10-0)
E - I.Williams 9 yd run (Blumberg kick) 1:18 (10-7)
M - Edwards 51 yd pass from Lamaison (kick blocked) 0:04 (16-7)
M - FG Harfman 20 yds 8:17 (19-7)
E - A.Harris 6 yd run (Blumberg kick) 3:32 (19-14)
M - Canada 8 yd pass from Lamaison (Harfman kick) 14:25 (26-14)
E - Coy 22 yd run (Blumberg kick) 2:31 (26-21)
First Downs: Mt. San Antonio 18 (8 rush, 8 pass, 2 penalty), El Camino 25 (7 rush, 18 pass)
Rushes-Yds: Mt. San Antonio 41-158, El Camino 25-113
Passing Yds: Mt. San Antonio 243, El Camino 355
Comp-Att-Int: Mt. San Antonio 10-19-1, El Camino 31-42-1
Return Yds: Mt. San Antonio 75, El Camino 71
Sacks-Yds: Mt. San Antonio 4-15, El Camino 2-19
Fumbles-Lost: Mt. San Antonio 2-1, El Camino 2-2
Penalties-Yds: Mt. San Antonio 6-50, El Camino 9-59
Time of Possession: Mt. San Antonio 27:08, El Camino 32:52
Rushing: Mt. SAC 29-B.Iosefa 20-107, 34-Garcia 13-63, 20-Wagner 1-1, 22-Owens 1-1, 7-Lamaison 5-(-12), team 1-(-12); El Camino 6-A.Harris 7-46, 26-I.Williams 5-24, 35-Sekona 2-17, 9-Eaterling 2-13, 11-Coy 6-9, 22-Hokama 1-6, 33-Areyan 1-0, 29-R.Smith 1-(-2)
Passing: Mt. SAC 7-Lamaison 9-17-0-212, 3 TDs; 6-Austin 1-2-0-31; El Camino 11-Coy 31-41-0-355; 26-I.Williams 0-1-1-0
Receiving: Mt. SAC 4-Canada 5-69, 5-Tuata 3-92, 41-Edwards 1-51, 29-B.Iosefa 1-31; El Camino 1-Bullock 8-124, 17-VanAmersfort 4-58, 3-McRoyal 4-50, 2-Thompkins 4-34, 4-Adams 3-49, 35-Sekona 2-16, 10-Tuli 2-15, 6-A.Harris 2-5, 9-Easterling 2-4
Interceptions-Ret Yds: Mt. SAC 15-Latu 1-0; El Camino none
Fumble Rec: Mt. SAC 62-Federico 2; El Camino 99-Dancy
Sacks-Yds: Mt. SAC 97-Filimoeatu 1-10, 49-Soliai 1-2, 99-Fangupo 1-2, 3-Gaisie 1-1; El Camino 27-Brooks 1-12, 95-Vainikolo 1-7
Punters: Mt. SAC 13-Harfman 5-35.8 avg; El Camino 19-Fournier 3-35.3 avg; 11-Coy 1-12
Kick Returns: Mt. SAC 3-Gaisie 2-55, 22-Owens 1-21; El Camino 26-I.Williams 1-15, 33-Areyan 1-14, 10-Tuli 1-12
Punt Returns: Mt. SAC 22-Owens 1-(-1); El Camino 26-I.Williams 1-27, 25-Gavins 1-3
Notes: Showdown! Mt. San Antonio entered 7-0, 3-0 in conference, #1 in South and #1 in the nation (JC Grid-Wire); El Camino entered 7-0, 3-0 in conference, #3 in South and #4 in the nation. El Camino’s 1st TD came after Dancy’s fumble recovery (on the bad snap). But mistakes doomed El Camino - Williams' int was on a halfback pass; Latu made the catch at the Mt. SAC 2. The two fumbles - both in the 4th qtr - halted scoring drives at the Mt. SAC 23 & 19. The Warriors jumped offsides when Mt. SAC faced 4th and 2 early in the 2nd, keeping a drive alive that led to Harfman’s 1st FG. There were also the two long TDs for Mt. SAC, and on the Mounties’ final TD El Camino only had 10 men on the field on defense. After El Camino’s final TD, the Warriors tried an onsides kick but it was recovered by 87-Huntley for Mt. SAC. El Camino still got one last desperate chance but with just 15 seconds and no timeouts to work with the Warriors only reached the 50. SIDENOTE - JCFootball.com / JC Grid-Wire extends its thanks to Mt. San Antonio for being such great hosts.