The MSJC football team built a sizable lead on Saturday night at Santa Ana and then held on in the fourth quarter to beat the Dons 39-34 to pick up their first road win of 2021.
Santa Ana got on the board first with a big play half way through the first quarter when they had a 59 yard touchdown pass to take the early 6-0 lead. The Dons extra point attempt was blocked. MSJC answered on the following possession with a 7 play 63 yard drive that was capped off by a five yard touchdown pass from Devan Freeland to Rashoud Shelton and with Javier Luna's extra point the Eagles took the lead 7-6. Both teams added big plays later in the first with Santa Ana regaining the lead 13-7 with a 25 yard pass with 3:32 to go, before the Eagles answered again with a Shelton touchdown catch, this time it came from Robert Coleman on a 32 yard strike and MSJC led at the end of a fast paced opening period 14-13.
Early in the second the Eagles came up with a big defensive play when Darryl Moody picked off a pass, giving MSJC great field position at the Dons 25 yard line. On the ensuing play the Eagles took advantage with a 25 yard touchdown pass from Coleman to Cayden Chambers and MSJC pushed their lead to 21-13. In a back and forth offensive game the Dons would come right back and score again with a 27 yard TD pass with still just under 10 minutes to play in the half to cut the lead to 21-20. The Eagle special teams made the next big play of the night when Kelvin Davis blocked a Dons field goal attempt and scooped up the ball returning it 64 yards to the Santa Ana 11 yard line. Two plays later Coleman ran in from five yards out to give the Eagles a 27-20 lead. Demond Young intercepted a pass on the next Santa Ana possession, but the Eagles late first half drive ran out of time sending the teams to the locker room with MSJC up 7.
The teams defenses played better in the 3rd as neither team was able to score until the Eagles put together a quick strike 4 play 73 yard drive culminating with a 30 yard touchdown run by Sherod White and the Eagles pushed the lead to 33-20. MSJC then pushed the lead to 19 midway through the fourth when Shelton caught his third TD pass of the night, this one from Freedland on an 8 yard play making the score 39-20. The Dons then went on a quick 14 point run as they scored on their next possession on just 3 plays and followed that up with a successful onside kick. Then it took Santa Ana just four plays to take advantage of their field position to score again and with 5:46 to play in the game the score was 39-34 Eagles. MSJC then used a methodical 8 play drive of 37 yards to take over 5 minutes off the clock, before a 29 yard punt by Coleman pinned Santa Ana back at their own 15 yard line with just 34 seconds to play. The Dons got out to midfield, before a pair of incomplete passes ended the game.
The game ended with over 1,000 yards of total offense as the Eagles gained 553 yards while the Dons finished with 505. Both Eagle quarterbacks were impressive on the evening as Freedland ended the game completing 21 of 35 passes for 199 yards a two TD's while Coleman hit on 12 of 14 passes for 220 and a pair of touchdowns. Shelton finished his huge night with 9 receptions for 170 yards and 3 TDs while Doryan Cole made 8 catches on the night. White led the ground game with 91 yards on 19 carries, he and Chambers each also made 4 receptions on the night.
Defensively Kamari Ross and Young led the way with 7 tackles a piece for MSJC while Davis, Nathan Ortiz, and Jahiel Blue-Smith each recorded a sack. Hunter Rapolla and Jeremyah Wilson also combined on a sack giving the Eagles 4 total for the game.
The Eagles are back on the road Saturday when they travel to El Cajon to take on Grossmont at 3 pm.