Eagle Football Drops Tough One in Home Opener

The MSJC football team will be back in action on Saturday at Moorpark.  (Jerry Lee Palad-MSJC)
The MSJC football team will be back in action on Saturday at Moorpark. (Jerry Lee Palad-MSJC)

The MSJC football team opened their new stadium on Saturday night, unfortunately the Eagles came out on the short end of a hard fought game as they lost to visiting Citrus 16-7.

A large crowd of over 1.500 was on hand as the Eagles played their first game in the long awaited Stadium at Menifee.  The pre-game celebration had just about everything you could want including a military fly-over after the national anthem.

For the game itself, the Eagles and Owls both had a tough time finding points in the first half as the game was scoreless for the first 25 plus minutes.  Citrus finally started the scoring with 4:40 to play before halftime when Tayvonne Miller scored on a 46 yard pass from Koy Riggin to give the Owls the 7-0 lead.  Citrus would tack on a field goal on the final play of the half to lead 10-0 going to the break.

The Eagles clawed their way back into the game in the third quarter when they scored on a 21 yard TD run by Hayden Lara, and after the extra point by Mason Krause cut the lead to 10-7.  That's all the scoring MSJC could muster on the night however, and an early fourth quarter touchdown by Citrus led to the final score of 16-7.

Matthew Caldera led the ground attack for MSJC with 56 yards rushing, Lara finished his night throwing for 187 yards on 17 of 35 passing.  Koa Apana had a team high 6 receptions and Elijah Simley had a team high 70 yards recieving on 5 catches.  Christian Kretz also made 5 grabs for the Eagles and Caldera caught 4 passes out of the backfield.

On defense Quentin Evans recorded a team high 8 total tackles, Miron Hazem had a sack, and Tyler Martin had an interception.  When the night was over Citrus had out gained the Eagles in total offense 417-295, the big difference was in the run game where the Owls out rushed MSJC 231 to 57.

The loss drops the Eagles to 0-2 on the season while Citrus improved to 2-0.  This week the Eagles play their final non-league game of the year when they travel to Moorpark.  Kick off on Saturday night in Moorpark is scheduled for 6 pm.  MSJC will also be on the road September 23rd when they travel to Fullerton, before returning home to host Riverside on September 30th.